NYPost: Howard Stern To Replace Jimmy Fallon?

NBC is reportedly planning to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon in 2014 after Jays contract expires. So, who would take over Late Night? According to The New York Post, Howard Stern. NY Post says that NBC is grooming SiriusXM host and America’s Got Talent judge:

You probably wake up to Howard Stern — but do you want to go to sleep with him, too?

Over the weekend, word broke that Jay Leno is being pushed out to make room for the younger Jimmy Fallon — but sources close to the radio man tell The Post that Stern, in turn, is being “groomed” by NBC as the new Fallon.

Sure, Stern loves the judging gig on “America’s Got Talent,” but even Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne could take just so much of extreme cyclists and dog acts. I never figured it was really about that for Stern — it was about creating a Howard that was palatable for TV.

Howard has been trying to show TV suits for years that he’s the whole package — as opposed to the one he talks about on the radio. He’s shown — on “AGT,” one of the most popular family shows on TV — that he can act like a grown-up and play well with others, if the money’s right.

And, according to a source who knows him well, the suits at NBC have gotten the message.

But why, then, would NBC hire a guy — Stern — who is not only just three years younger than Leno but is too old in TV years to even appeal to himself?

howard rolling stoneStern’s hot, younger wife (she’s 40, he’s 59), Beth Ostrosky Stern, told The Post’s Sean Daly that, “We were in a hotel and all these little kids recognize him now as the judge from ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Usually it’s their dads. But now it is screaming little kids. People are now seeing him for who he really is.”

So now that he’s acceptable for prime time, is he ready for late night?

“I always say that to him! He is one of the best interviewers out there,” Beth said.

So can she talk him into trying his hand at staying up late? “I am going to!” she said.

Handicapping Howard (NYPost)

Sirius XM Radio CEO Mel Karmazin has shock jock Howard Stern right where he wants him.

Conventional wisdom suggests that with Stern’s contract coming up for renewal at the end of the year, the King of All Media has Karmazin cornered. Karmazin, the thinking goes, will have to sign Stern to a contract on par with his five-year, $500 million deal or risk losing him — and potentially, hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

However, in recent weeks there’s been growing sentiment on Wall Street that it is Karmazin who has the upper hand, thanks to Sirius XM’s improving financial health.

The company said last month it added 257,028 net subscribers in the fourth quarter, for a total of 18.8 million.
It also said it expects last year’s cash flow to total more than $100 million when it reports earnings later this month.

Sirius XM’s stock, which closed trading yesterday at $1.13, is up 87 percent since Jan. 1 and has steadily increased since last year at this time when it was saved from bankruptcy by John Malone’s Liberty Media.
Analysts see those numbers as a sign that Sirius not only can survive without Stern but might even be better off letting him go.

“Sirius XM wouldn’t disintegrate without Stern,” said Barrington Research analyst James Goss.
“Half of the company’s subscribers are from XM; they don’t get Stern and they still subscribe. Presumably, some of the people who subscribed because of Stern have found other things they like that justify the subscription costs.”

Added RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank, Stern’s $100 million annual salary would drop straight to Sirius XM’s bottom line if he left.
“The question used to be that without Stern, would subscribers leave Sirius for XM? But since the merger, the question now is if Stern left would subscribers leave satellite radio?” said Bank. “That’s certainly possible and it is a risk, but it’s less of a risk than one might think.”
Karmazin could argue in contract talks that Stern has reached the point of diminishing returns in terms of attracting new subscribers and that protecting the company’s balance sheet is more important than doling out insanely expensive contracts.

Stern, on the other hand, is playing up rumors of potentially replacing Simon Cowell on “American Idol” to get leverage by making it seem that he has options. Such a posture could backfire on him, though, with Karmazin’s position improving every time an avenue for Stern to exit shuts down.
Analysts handicapping the standoff predict it will end in compromise, with Stern getting less money for less work.

“That way, they get to keep the Stern franchise and he doesn’t have to work as much because they can use his old stuff,” Bank said.