"Speaking of dethroned royalty, the New York “shock jock” Howard Stern, who once declared himself the King of All Media, is mightily upset with the Los Angeles Times, which ran a front-page story last week declaring that his move to satellite radio has effectively ended his reign.
The story - which ran the day after Stern returned from his honeymoon, presumably for maximum irritation value - claimed that a mere one or two million people now listen to his show via Sirius (an in-car subscription service) against some 12 million during his peak years on “terrestrial” radio. It also claimed that A-listers now shun Stern's show, because they think him “culturally irrelevant”. “This article makes me sound like I'm a loser,” raged Stern, who was paid half a billion dollars - partly in stock - to join Sirius as opposed to its rival XM. Sirius has since merged with XM.
Now, much as I've never been much of a fan of such Stern fare as “Bestiality Dial-a-Date”, it would be a shame to see the King of All Media deposed. His interviews are consistently the most honest and entertaining to be found anywhere - which is probably why A-listers' publicists don't like him. Fortunately, I think the Los Angeles Times is missing the point. At a time when most media companies are struggling to make any money at all, Stern's lure has helped to persuade nine million people not only to buy and install expensive Sirius receivers, but also to sign-up for monthly subscription plans. My wife - a lifelong fan - pays $20 a month to listen to him.
If only readers of the Los Angeles Times were so loyal - the troubled paper has just fired 250 employees amid a 5 per cent slump in circulation."