Between his radio show and serving as a judge on “America’s Got Talent,” Howard Stern’s plate is full.
However, after NY Post columnist Linda Stasi suggested the shock jock could be the cure for an ailing CNN in a recent article, Access Hollywood caught up with Beth Stern, Howard’s wife, to find out if the radio personality-turned-reality TV judge would ever consider making the move to the network.
Howard is the one who can save CNN, not Ann Curry. So, CNN wants to hire Ann Curry to take Anderson Cooper’s spot. I have a better idea: How about Howard Stern instead?
Look, we all know that CNN needs a makeover as badly as a fat girl without a date for the prom. That’s why they hired Jeff Zucker. Zucker is the guy who bombed as head of NBC. (Remember Jay Leno at 10 p.m., and giving Conan the “Tonight” show?)
But Zucker is also the man who helped create “Katie,” Katie Couric’s afternoon talk fest that is not just a hit, but a great antidote for still-grieving “Oprah” fans. Howard Stern has the humor that Larry King had back in the day. Now he’s got to redo the network that looks like a bad video game.
Word is that Coop will likely be flying the, er, coop, next year to (we hear) become the top dog at “60 Minutes,” so CNN needs a big name. While I love the idea that hot-mess CNN will be going back to its roots as a serious news station by hiring Curry, I don’t think she belongs in that time slot.
Yes, Curry is a great reporter — but what she isn’t is a great, big personality. And that’s what TV news suits look for, not just in the morning top slot, but in that prime time evening news spot, as well. Stern is a big personality, who could be a great TV personality if he can get out of his own way.
Think about it. One of the things that made the old CNN so damned watchable back in the day was Larry King. Right in the middle of all that serious news, there he was with his insane 1950s microphone, beige hair and giant glasses. Between marriages, King brought the good, the bad the silly. It was entertaining, newsy talk.
Newsy talk ain’t Curry. She should be a top CNN news anchor. In fact, in her farewell from“Today” she talked only about the dangerous spots she’d been and the things she did to bring us the stories.
Primetime talk needs a lighter touch.
Meantime, Stern, like Piers Morgan, began his big-time American TV career on “America’s Got Talent.” After a cringe-worthy, very rocky and overbearing start on “AGT,” Howard learned to play well with others. By mid-season, he began to let the easier, not-overbearing side of himself come out. By the end of the season, he was, yes, seasoned.
Yes, Stern definitely has a face for radio, but it’s not like King or Dr. Phil McGraw could pass for George Clooney, either. Stern’s got that rare way of talking to people while laughing at them and at himself at the same time. Of course, the new Howard would have to pack away all those two-dollar strippers, freaks, fanastics and farters from his roster of regulars.
He’d have to actually talk to people his regular fan-base doesn’t care about — politicians, journalists and even fully dressed female movie stars with less than double-D’s. I’m not saying the president would come on so fast or that you’d want Stern’s take on national disasters, but not everyone is capable of being everything to everyone.
That job is best left to God and morning show TV hosts.