Shock jock Howard Stern said a final goodbye to his loyal radio listeners early Friday morning; on Jan. 9, he will say hello again to fans—for $12.95 per month.
After 20 years of radio broadcasting in New York City, Stern is set to make his Sirius Satellite Radio debut next month, and he went out in classic Stern fashion this morning: “remakes” of “What a Wonderful World” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” more suitable for the show serenaded listeners as he said farewell.
His words to open the show: “Good morning, and welcome to the last show on terrestrial radio.” Stern also planned to follow up the broadcast by directly address and saying goodbye to fans in and around Manhattan.
The move to satellite is risky for both Sirius and Stern, but both parties have already seen the fruits of their deals: Stern was paid $500 million for his five-year deal, and Sirius, trying to reverse financial struggles, has already seen subscriptions jump 600,000 to more than 2.2 million in the year since Stern announced his move—and that number is expected to expand to three million by year’s end.
Stern’s seminal status has not exactly been a walk in the park over his career. He has butted heads with everyone from the government to his own station’s parent company, Clear Channel. But clearly his arch nemesis over the years has been the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has levied several fines upon Stern and Infinity Broadcasting in years past.