Howard Stern + 'American Idol' = Bad Idea: Poll

Last week, TheStreet declared that Sirius XM should not bring back Howard Stern. Now those same readers say Stern should not join the judging panel of 'American Idol.'
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Publish date:

(Howard Stern-'American Idol' article updated with comments from analyst regarding the impact Stern's departure from Sirius XM would have on the company)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Based on the majority vote of

TheStreet

users, it seems that

Howard Stern's

quest to keep or find another $100 million-a-year job when his contract with

Sirius XM

(SIRI) - Get Report

is up this year might well be going nowhere.

In fact, Tuna Amobi of Standard & Poor's Equity Research says that he's not sure Sirius XM can offer Stern another mega deal, given that the company can't be encumbered by huge programming costs, and given positive free cash flow considerations. "That said, his value to the brand is not in doubt. They wanna keep him, and I sense he wants to stay, but there might be posturing going on his part," Amobi said.

In a previous poll,

TheStreet

users said Sirius XM shouldn't pay

"shock jock" Howard Stern this much money again to get him to stay because the company is strong enough to stand on its own through diverse programming.

And now, they're saying that

News Corp.'s

(NWSA) - Get Report

show

American Idol should not offer Stern a job

when Simon Cowell leaves to launch

The X Factor

-- despite the fact that Stern is reportedly already practicing for a role on the show.

Says his wife Beth Ostrosky, according to Page Six of the

New York Post

: "I am so fortunate that I get to sit next to Howard when he critiques

Idol

every week at home... Not only is it hysterical, he's so honest. I think he would be great."

The readers of "TheStreet" apparently believe anointing Howard Stern as an

American Idol

judge would alienate the show's core audience -- and be to the detriment of both Fox and News Corp. That view is shared by the Parents Television Council (PTC), which declared last week that Stern would spell the "immediate death" of the show.

The PTC, in a statement, cited Stern's recent comments about former

American Idol

winner Fantasia Barrino as an example of what family audiences should expect from him.

Editor's Note: We considered excerpting those comments in this story, but they were simply too vulgar for us to reproduce. Those who feel the need to read them can surely find them in less than five seconds through any number of search engines.

Regardless,

American Idol

executives reportedly had Stern in mind for his bluntness and controversy, but new

American Idol

judge Ellen DeGeneres reportedly dislikes the idea of having him on the show, according to the

Chicago Sun-Times.

Indeed, the daily reported that DeGeneres has been clear about quitting the show if Stern became a colleague. The paper also reported that a Fox executive close to

American Idol

said that "the Stern thing makes for good chatter, but is such a remote possibility, I can't see it ever happening -- at least in this life."

Meanwhile, the

New York Post

is reporting that a source close to the show said "producers are focused on the show right now, and no decision on a replacement will be announced soon. Howard is making a good case for himself as a judge." Stern's wife, Ostrosky didn't reveal whether Stern was in official talks with the show's executives. She only told the

New York Post

that "he's having fun with the idea."

The message conveyed by the

Chicago Sun-Times

source is a change of tone from a previous

New York Post

Page Six report saying that

Idol

executives would "do what it takes" to bring him on the show.

Perhaps the

American Idol

executives have had a change of heart after sending out feelers through media leaks. If that's what was indeed their strategy, one can only imagine that this trail balloon flew about as well as "Balloon Boy's" did last year.

Likewise, the consensus among

TheStreet

readers was fairly strong that Stern would alienate core audiences and be bad news for News Corp. shareholders. A full 74.1% of the voters felt that way. The remaining 25.9% believed, however, that Stern would be a windfall for Fox, News Corp. and

American Idol.

As one equity analyst tells

TheStreet

"I do feel as though he has fallen out of the public eye a bit over the last few years but it's hard to understate the importance he has in terms of subscribers he's gotten to the table."

An internal study conducted by the analyst, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the fact that the survey was never released, shows that it would cost Sirius XM more money not to have Stern around. Without the shock jock, the company will have more to lose in terms of cash flow and subscriber losses.

This analyst believes that the company will hammer out a deal with Stern.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

RELATED STORIES:

>>Would Sirius XM's Loss Be News Corp.'s Gain?

>>Sirius XM's Howard Stern: Bound for 'Idol'?

>>Sirius XM Fans Sound Off on Howard Stern

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>>Sirius XM: The Beginning of the End?

>> Howard Stern

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