City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Howard Stern talks about never getting on Z93


Someone posted this earlier in the week on

Yesterday, Howard Stern had former CBS Radio executive Rob Burnett on his show to talk about life after Stern (i.e. the David Lee Roth era). Part of the conversation included a reference to how Stern’s show couldn’t sell in Atlanta. A listener transcribed the segment, but here is the portion that involves Atlanta:

HOWARD: … This terrestrial radio thing was killing me with the censorship. I had felt alone. Many times they’d tell me they can’t expand my radio stations, you’re too outrageous, we can’t put you on in Atlanta. I was fed up.

ROB BURNETT: When I heard you were down to only 27 radio stations, I said that’s small…

HOWARD: I went to them and said, you have three radio stations in Atlanta. You’re only billing 2 million dollars there. I can do better. They said, no you can’t. It’s too hard to sell you…

–My comment: I’m sure rock station Z93 billed more than $2 million a year when they could have picked up Stern in the 1990s into 2004, when he went to Sirius. Stern was referencing CBS’s trio of stations which included WAOK-AM and WVEE-FM, both targeting African Americans and not really Stern territory.

Still, Stern’s frustration were very fair: why not try him when nothing else was working? Would he have been that tough a sell to advertisers in Atlanta? Stern did alienate a lot of people with this content (and drove the FCC nuts), but he also had a hugely loyal audience. Would that have translated in a broad way here in Atlanta? We’ll never know. Z93 tried the much less talented Greaseman once and he bombed. (In fact, he was one of the worst jocks I’ve ever heard in my life.)

12 comments Add your comment


April 22nd, 2010
7:51 pm

Stern was never on Z-93 due to a condition of sale when the station went to rock. The original owner sold on the condition, “that The Howard Stern Program would never be allowed on the station/

Brian in Villa Rica

April 22nd, 2010
9:46 pm

Are you serious? The Greaseman is much more talented than Stern. Stern’s popularity was driven by his vulgarity and his guests. Nothing was witty about it. I will admit that the Greaseman isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but the guy is much more talented than Stern.

Gary B.

April 22nd, 2010
11:10 pm

Howard Stern turned a company that at one time was losing money and nothing more then an after thought and almost gobbled up by a much bigger company doing the same thing ( XM), into the winner in the Satellite radio game. He grew Sirius’s customer base by millions and millions of new subscribers, and he is the main reason Sirius won out over XM and is now a profitable business. No other person in radio could have done that. The Greaseman more talented then Howard Stern ? Huh ?


April 23rd, 2010
7:23 am

Greaseman replaced Stern in DC in the early days (at DC101, I think) – and while he did well, he wasn’t bringing in Stern numbers. Stern isn’t a bad listen – if you can get past the occasional stripper / dancer / entertainer interviews. Greaseman is a better dj, but a hack.

And Sirius is not profitable. Stern brought in some extra subscribers, but didn’t bring Sirius into profitability.


April 23rd, 2010
7:27 am

Gary – I love my Sirius radio – but your facts are way off. Sirius-XM is not a profitable business in the least!

Bring back...

April 23rd, 2010
9:02 am

…Gary McKee…..

The Greaseman

April 23rd, 2010
9:51 am

You didn’t like my radio show on Z93? Well, I don’t like that stupid hat.


April 23rd, 2010
10:15 am

If you have Sirius/XM on anthing besides an iPhone, you are wasting money.
iPhone App is a fraction of the cost monthly, and iPod adapters are now available for very little as well.

Gary B.

April 23rd, 2010
1:54 pm

Please let me know what facts of mine are off ? Sirius/XM turned a profit last quarter…check their earnings report…here is the summary:

(RTTNews) – Thursday, satellite radio service provider SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (SIRI: News ) reported a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss in the year-ago quarter, helped by higher revenues as well as lower expenses. Earnings for the quarter came in ahead of Street view, as did revenues. Looking ahead, the company issued its revenue guidance for fiscal 2010, expected to come in line with the analysts’ estimate


April 24th, 2010
2:45 am

It is hard for me to believe they couldn’t have sold him here. He was on in places like Memphis and St Louis, for instance, and did fine. I’ve always thought that it truly is a different world in terms of social conservatives’ influence once you go south of the southern borders of Tennessee and North Carolina, but sheesh…


April 25th, 2010
8:51 pm

Gary b…., if it took them almost 8 years to earn profits in one quater, where’s the advantage in that? it’s like they earned that quaterly profit in spite of Stern. and there are no stats that say his was the boat that pulled everyone else along. it wouldn’t suprise me if his contract isn’t renewed next time, because i don’t believe they’ve gotten the value they expected from him. satellite radio is still a struggling medium, not pulling anywhere near the no. of sucribers they expected. and may never pull the amount, as long as there’s still free radio, regardless of how bad it may be. i seldom listen to his radio show, but if it’s the same as his t.v. show, then i’m not missing anything.

war eagle

April 26th, 2010
1:49 pm

Grease was better listening than Stern for entertainment. If you wanted porn-then Howard was your cup of tea.