Morning-show legend and Sirius
In a story originally reported by the New York Post and later confirmed in a press conference by Stern himself, CBS
The claims may be true, but CBS will be hard-pressed to emerge victorious. Stern was paid to pick apart his own daily life, and obviously his impending deal was going to come up often. More importantly, Viacom censored the show to keep the naughtiest bits off the air; they could have just as quickly bleeped out any references to Sirius.
CBS may feel that Stern's Sirius mentions over the last year or so helped further the cause of the fledgling satellite radio service, but that may not quite be the case. Since the deal was announced in October 2004, rival XM Satellite Radio
But how silly does this make CBS? Going after Stern for the original value of his five-year deal with Sirius simply denigrates his CBS Radio replacements, who could use a little more corporate support. But it's equally brainless that CBS is giving Stern another crack at the national media stage.
Stern was already starting to settle in with his smaller Sirius audience. A Sirius investor might have wondered what Stern would have to do to promote his show to those outside of his satellite radio reach. Was taking shots at Oprah in recent weeks a tactical ploy to land him on her show? Would he give Larry King a good reason to have him on his show again? Where art thou, Jon Stewart and David Letterman?
CBS, in a move that game theory advocates will likely judge brutally idiotic in a few years' time, seems to have accomplished what Stern alone would have been hard-pressed to do. It just gave Stern new life. CBS presented him with a can of worms, then loaned him a can opener.
It gets better, though. Come Monday, CBS Radio will start airing a daily afternoon show with TheStreet.com's
CBS is getting itself into a legal tangle it will be hard-pressed to win, and empowering its target along the way. Can you believe it?
A clip of Howard Stern's dad chastising a young Stern gets played often during Howard's show.
"I told you not to be stupid, you moron!"
If the sound bite fits, CBS, blare it.
Rick is a fan of satellite radio and has been a Sirius subscriber since 2004. He also recommended XM to Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter subscribers last year, based on the prospects of the promising satellite radio industry. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.