A few months ago I took to beating Bubba over the way he’s treated his fans, mostly riled up by his requesting the removal of his forum at SternFanNetwork because it was too negative. Well it seems that Howard Stern finally got his way and got Mutt to shut down the forum. Here’s what he had to say:
I don’t go on that SternFanNetwork,” said Stern. “I hate it, and Mutt, you know, that’s his whole life…People just get on there and talk about what a horrible person I am…They’re terrible to my wife…my parents, everything. It’s awful. You know what Mutt? If you have any love for me, close that f***ing thing down.
Of course it doesn’t take a genius to point out that if Howard doesn’t go on SFN, how does he know what they are saying? Why does he even care what they are saying?
It’s obvious he visited the forums and read them. Although in the past he had played off the hate coming from SFN, I think it had easily reached it’s boiling point now. There was seemingly no one defending Howard for a multitude of reasons. From his Imus like behavior when it came to his wife, to his attempts at suing Sirius in order to get out of his most recent contract, this is no longer the Howard Stern many of us have been listening to for more then2 or 3 decades.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been a pretty fervent listener of Howard since the early 90s. I was borderline about switching over to Satellite Radio when Howard did, but after listening to a few shows I was hooked. Before we even consider my subscription rates, I spent over 400 dollars on two different radios and all the different gear I needed. The worst part was that everything eventually broke down, even my 200 dollar Sirius Stiletto 2. But I was still able to listen to Howard, so it was fine.
But the problem became Howard himself. Personally, if there’s any moment the show jumped the shark, it was when Artie left. He was the last guy bringing any kind of energy into the studio. Even if he was telling the same story for the 100th time, at least he was excited to be telling it. I’m sure part of the refusal to replace Artie with anyone is because the person would be paid out of Howard’s pocket (That 500 million you heard he makes is actually the budget for the show). Howard now cares more about money then putting on a show.
That really should be easy to see though. He starts the news at 9 on the dot so he can be out the door at 10 on the dot. The whole time he no longer discusses or really interacts with Robin, it’s just “Anything Else, Robin?”. The program breaks feel like they take almost as long as the commercials used to at his old building, as they pad them out with the same old phony phone calls you’ve heard a million times by now.
While there are people on SFN who take the hate a bit too far, the problem for Howard (since we know he reads the board) are those somewhat sane people that have given up on him. Because he knows it’s true that he’s only a former shell of himself. Combine the fact that he now rotates 3 day weeks with 4 day weeks while taking off almost 2 whole months in the summer now and that for most Sirius susbscribers have seen a raise in their subscription rates ever since Sirius bought XM. So your getting less and less show for more and more money.
And don’t try to argue that most subscribers do more then just listen to Howard. I’m willing to bet a good majority of the people who subscribe listen to Howard and the music is a nice extra. But they wouldn’t be paying what they pay for just the music. It’s a different world out there now, and why pay for Sirius when my smartphone (well not mine, but you get the point) has built in wifi and I can go to Pandora for free?
In the end, it’s probably for not. While Mutt (the owner of SFN) and his mods worked to control some of the insanity that was going on. While there is http://realbubba.boardhost.com/index.php which I work with somewhat, unfortunately for Howard there is already SternFanSNetwork.com which has none of the mods getting rid of anything. It’s basically what SFN was but completely insane given how Howard got SFN taken down. Silencing the voice of people is never a good idea.