Arts & Culture
Howard Stern’s Billboard Q&A
The radio comedian continues his rule on satellite radio Read More
Howard Stern looks like the boss he is in a recent photo shoot for a Billboard Magazine Q&A. Sporting his signature sunglasses and a tamed mane, The 60-year-old king of radio is preparing to publicly celebrate his 60th birthday with a star-studded birthday bash set to air live on SiriusXM on Jan. 31
“The Howard Stern Show” debuted in 1986 on K-rock WXRK, where he entertained, criticized, and consistently stirred the pot for almost 20 years before landing a deal with satellite radio in 2004. Stern has also signed on for his third year as judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
Ahead of his birthday celebration, Stern sat down with Billboard for a Q&A where he touched upon his lengthy career, the future of broadcast news, and what’s in store for Stern come 2014.
Some of my favorite highlights from the interview, below.
On being a trailblazer for satellite radio:
“A lot of my fellow broadcasters were so angry with me when I left terrestrial radio. They were like, “Don’t talk about him.” But I said, “Guys, there are more jobs for us. If satellite takes off, the Internet takes off, we’re in the driver’s seat—content is king!” I knew if satellite could be developed, it would be a great tool for all broadcasters.”
On his fame and success:
“Who could’ve imagined? I swear to God on a stack of bibles, when I first got into radio, I was this guy just trying to make a living for $250 a week. That was my goal. I never thought I’d ever have any money. I just wanted to do a really wild show.
It was such a slow process, and I’m a big believer in a slow process. If I had an intern who wanted to be on-air, I’d tell them to not work for me anymore, stop, go out, find a small market, and do that, none of this big-market thing. It’s getting harder and harder to do that in terrestrial radio, but if you’re able to go out and get an audience . . . see the ratings come back, see where you fucked up and see where you did it right. All of that is the testing ground for what you’re going to be doing.”
On staying true to radio:
“I still feel like I have a lot to learn. I still look back and say, “I fucked that up.” You’ve got to care. It would be very easy not to care, but it was never for me to get into radio for the money—it’s because I really cared about it, the medium. I thought I could be my funniest, my best on the radio, not anywhere else.
Years ago, I was sitting with Rupert Murdoch. I was at [WXRK] and it was when Fox was getting rid of Joan Rivers’ TV talk show. Rupert asked if I wanted to take over that late-night slot. And I was thinking, “Not really,” because radio is so fucking great. Radio seemed like security to me. TV seemed like a tricky game where they bail on you in one second.”
Read the rest of the interview here.
(Photo by Getty)