Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Les Moonves Says Joel Hollander Doesn't Know How to Pick a Morning Show


Don't make this man angry; you wouldn't like him when he's angry. (image via ejeanlive)

Oh, it's on: It's on like Gray Poupon! If you listen closely you can clearly hear the cloying, cloven-hoof-against-marble sound of Vanity Fair and New York Magazine writers hauling ass to pursue the Moonves-Stern lawsuit for an upcoming issue. Be sure, though, to give a shout out to Page Six, who broke this story.

It all seemed so neat -- too neat -- in the closing days of Howard Stern on terrestial radio. (The Corsair sparks up a Cubano Robusto). Even Les Moonves managed to show up on-air in those last days (remember, always: Les is a grat Actor; Les is More), complimenting Howard, wishing him luck in his future media endeavors. Sure, there were those ubiquitous Roth ads running during the last month of Stern on KRock; and, yes, there was that disasterous lunch-shoutfest with Joel Hollander; the bewildering suspension; but, still, it all seemed like water under the corporate media bridge.

That was then, this is now. Roth has turned out to be a corporate embarrasment (The Corsair could have told you that). He is unlistenable radio. The fucking worst. And, worse, apparently Les Moonves turned to Joel Hollander, who heads the radio division, and -- in front of Howard Stern -- told him he doesn't know how to pick a Morning show.

Ouch. Stern made the Infinity Radio division boatloads of cash which no doubt Les Moonves misses. Seeing that legacy pass and the Roth radio legacy about to evaporate, things have gotten intense. According to those intrepid Page Sixxies:

"CBS/Infinity chairman Les Moonves is about to launch a $500 million lawsuit against his departed superstar Howard Stern, claiming Stern breached his contract by failing to disclose the details of his new deal with Sirius Satellite Radio while still employed by Infinity. 'When you mention the name Howard Stern to Les, his face turns red and his rage becomes uncontrollable,' said a CBS insider."

"'And Les has a bunch of Washington, D.C., lawyers who hate Howard almost as much as he does.'

"Three years ago, Stern called Moonves 'a snake in the grass and a guy you can't trust. You could just see it with the fake capped teeth and the phony hairdo and everything else.' Yesterday, on his Sirius show, Stern said, 'I showed them a way to make money . . . I syndicated the show . . . I set record high profits for them. I did everything in this world that they never could have accomplished on their own . . . But me they obsess on. And me they go after . . . So when somebody tells you that it's not personal, it's personal. All hell is breaking loose over there.'"

The hell would be: 1) the Giselle Bundchen nudie photo that David Lee Roth has hung up has become a flashpoint at the station. Other on-air talent regard it as, at the very least, sexist to hang something like that up in the workplace. "It's just low-rent ... tacky .. classless," is how Chris Booker described it.

And, 2) David Lee Roth's quixotic vacation. He's only been on since January 2 and he needs a break? WTF! Roth is upset that the station is programming orginal shows in his place. What does he expect? Repeats of his abysmal first few months on the air? But, of course, it looks -- to him, and to me -- as if the foundation is being set for a replacement.

According to Marksfriggin:

"Howard said that Joel Hollander and Les Moonves are preparing to sue him for talking about SIRIUS while he was on the air. He said that it's so ridiculous because they allowed him to do that ... He said he had a meeting with Les and Joel the other day but he won't talk about that yet. This is so unbelievable to him because Joel and Les came on the air and congratulated him for his move to SIRIUS. They even said that they had both purchased SIRIUS radios!

"Howard said that Mel Karmazin went to Les and asked him why he let him talk about it on the air the whole time. Les allegedly told Mel that he knew that he could sue Howard afterward so he let him go on the air and do it. Howard said that Les has never gone after anyone except for Dan Rather and another reporter for screwing up something about the President.

"Howard said that Les is doing this to get the attention off of himself because he's going to screw up the radio division. He said that his lawyer has told him that this case is ridiculous and won't go anywhere. Howard said that Les once told him that he had to learn about his move to satellite on his birthday. He also said that this case will just bring him even more publicity so it will probably be good for him. He said that this whole case is laughable.

"Howard said that he got teary at the meeting he had with Joel and Les but it's because he spent so many years there and they let him go on the air and refer to SIRIUS as ''Eh, eh, ehhh.'' He said that Joel even said that he liked it when he referred to it as that. He thought it was funny. Howard said that all of that stuff drove up the ratings and also the revenue for the company. He did the opposite of screwing them over, he brought them even more money than they would have made if he didn't talk about that stuff.

"Howard said that Les wouldn't defend his show against the FCC or sue Clear Channel when they canceled his show and didn't pay off his contracts... but they will sue him for talking about his future job. Howard said that Les even put him on ''60 Minutes'' and David Letterman's show because he brings in the ratings.

"Howard said that the meeting he had with Les told him that he has damage because they're not making money now. Howard said that's not his fault, he's allowed to leave the company. Les also said that Howard got a bonus payment for selling radios. Howard said that his deal was in the papers so he didn't need to talk about it on the air. He also said that they sold record amounts of advertising on his radio show and made a lot of money in that last year there.

"Howard said that Les is now saying that he basically hijacked his radio stations for a year. Now it's going to show how this guy is going to run that company right into the ground. He's not a CEO and it will show.

"Howard said that there's an article in Talkers Magazine that shows he's the number one radio guy in the country even though eh's no longer on terrestrial radio. Howard went on to say that he's going to unleash on CBS radio now that they're suing him. He said he was keeping his mouth shut until this lawsuit came down. He said there has been some questionable practices over the years with those guys and he's going to investigate and expose that stuff to his fans.

"Howard said that Les probably won't be running the radio division much longer and Tom Freston will probably take over once Sumner Redstone realizes what's going on. Howard also said that Joel is no Mel Karmazin and that's very obvious. He said that someone should take a look at what Jack FM is doing and how Les is running that company right into the ground.

"Howard claims that Les turned to Joel during their meeting and told him he doesn't know how to pick a morning show. He did that right in front of Howard."

More here.

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