Is Howard Stern Still Relevant?
If Howard Stern goes on vacation and no one knows about it -- did it happen? Stern is on vacation this week from his Sirius-XM satellite show, but from the overwhelming lack of interest online (*sound of crickets*) the question arises: Does Howard Stern matter anymore? Let's take Twitter as more or less a cultural barometer for relevance in a changing digital media universe. Everyone from Shaq (652,208 Followers) to E!'s Giuliania Rancic (265,679 Followers) to Diddy (530,319 Followers) to Britney Spears (930,631 Followers)Tweets.
The Howard Stern show, at posting time, has 27,074 Followers. Granted, Stern and crew began Twittering last week on April 9th. Still, for a show that boasts 5-6 million listeners (down from 12 million in his heyday on terrestrial radio) that is a sad little number. In addition, Stern, the $500 million man -- $80 million of that a year in cash -- will almost certainly not be getting the same amount after his contract ends next year.
This goes beyond Twitter. The quality of guests -- an indicator of influence -- has also been less than A-List. Whereas at the height of their popularity on terrestrial radio Arnold Schwarzenegger and Demi Moore might call in to the Stern show, nowadays there are more comedians and porn stars and misfits coming on. This all leads to the question: Is Howard Stern still relevant? Clearly his cultural relevance has diminished ("The last time I heard anyone mentioning the Howard Stern Show it was on a blog .."). But does he still move the conversation -- beyond the conversation in writers rooms on the late night shows and on movie sets?