America's Got Talent has transformed Howard Stern
Howard Stern is one of the most polarizing figures of our time. Loved and adored for years by his listeners and reviled as a sexual deviant by housewives everywhere. When NBC announced in early 2012 that Stern would replace Piers Morgan it sent shock waves across Middle America.
The move was derided by most Stern loyalists as well; afraid that their "King of all Media" was trying to sell out to the masses. This is after all the same Howard Stern who introduced bits such as "Lesbian Dial a Date" to the world. Stern's radio show seemingly has it's own ecosystem and a language unique to his audience. The term: Ba Ba Booey is an epithet worn as a badge of honor, by Stern's long suffering Executive Producer (and New York Times Best selling author) Gary Dell'Abte. His show has a cast of characters that call in whom Stern fans know and love such as: The King of all Blacks, Ham Hands Bill, Crackhead Bob, Jeff the Drunk, Beetlejuice, Speech Impediment Man, Sour Shoes, and of course Hanzi. Stern's legions of die hard fans simply has no equal and when he moved from terrestrial (free) radio to Sirius in 2006, most critics thought that would be his demise. After all who would pay a premium fee for the same product they used to get for decades free? The short answer is millions of people did and continue to do so.
So it was quite a shock to the system when he announced his intentions to become a judge on AGT. To see this man so revered by his fans and so loathed by his detractors, all of a sudden judging singers, comics, magicians, and ventriloquists; in prime time on NBC. The juxtaposition of the Howard Stern Show and America's Got Talent is a stark contrast, to say the least. The audiences for each are completely different as well; so when Howard Stern and NBC agreed to make this move it was a huge risk for both.
The move has paid huge dividends for both parties. AGT has been the dominant force in its time slot since 2012 and continues to own the ratings in the summer months. Howard Stern has seen a tremendous cross over appeal to Middle America and is now beloved by the young audience that are AGT loyalists. Yes the self proclaimed: "King of all Media" has propelled himself into "America's Judge" and those who have tried to write off Howard Stern in the past, cannot deny the transformative appeal that he now has. Just like with his move to satellite radio, Howard Stern continues to defy the odds and always get the last laugh.
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