Howard Stern to Replace Simon Cowell on 'Idol'?
By Sam Brand Posted Feb 6th 2010 12:13AM
The self-described 'King of all Media' took to the airwaves earlier this week to announce that he had been offered a high-profile job in network TV. On Friday, the New York Post reported the job is none other than Simon Cowell's soon vacant seat on 'American Idol.' Nobody at Fox has yet confirmed the report.
Is the rumor full of hot air, or might we really see the sharp-tongued shock jock eviscerate off-key contestants in prime time next year?
On Wednesday, Stern told Sirius subscribers that he was "approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year."
But he didn't accept the offer just yet.
"I did turn it down," he told his loyal fans. "I'm not even sure If I want to be working. I'm waiting to see what happens."
The New York Post's source confirms what the disintegration of the traditional media landscape has made increasingly apparent. 'American Idol' is "one of the few shows that could compete with Stern's $100 million-a-year Sirius contract, and 'Idol' bosses think he'd be even nastier than Simon," the insider says.
Stern's unprecedented 5-year contract, inked before Sirius and XM merged and the company's stock dropped below $1, expires on December 31, 2010. Simon Cowell, who makes $50 million a year for his work on 'Idol,' will be out of the judging booth and laying the groundwork for the stateside arrival of 'X Factor' several months before that.
Fox knows Stern would make for "great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants," the Post's source says.
But another source isn't so optimistic that a deal will get struck. "Howard isn't ready to leave radio and would like to stay on at Sirius," the source said. "We believe this is a ploy to make Sirius pay up and keep him on his huge contract."
Some analysts believe Sirius and Stern could settle on a multi-year extension at $80 million per year.
Charles Barkley would make for a better 'Idol' replacement anyway.
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