Without a lot of fanfare, I subscribed to Sirius satellite radio for the past year. My KIA Soul came with a free 3-month trial and I waited them out until the price came down to about $6 per month from $15.
There are dozens of Sirius radio channels. There’s one devoted to just blues, another for NASCAR and every other sport and music genre you can think of, including sub-categories of categories. All I really got it for was Howard Stern. I missed his in-depth interviews and over the past 12 months we’ve enjoyed 45-60 minute chats with Tina Fey, Roger Daltry, Dave Grohl, Bill Murray, Madonna (that was 2 hours) and many more. Things said to Stern often make national news. It was there that Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander recently explained why they killed off the character of Susan. (No one particularly liked, or had chemistry with the actress who played the role.) And when the show delved into porn or stupid whack-pack taunting sessions, I could pop over to Comedy Central and listen to some stand-up.
But over the past few months, the celebrity interviews have receded into a background of absences and whining. Stern is also a judge on America’s Got Talent and the show often takes him away from the radio for a few days at a time. Not long ago, he was needed in Los Angeles for a 10-day stretch and they played best-of shows in his stead. It was an opportunity to catch up on interviews I had missed. But then he came back and bitched about how tired he was, how much he hated LA and how the TV show was misusing him. Before he left, there were days of downer anticipation of the trip.
This is a multi-millionaire, bitching about the opportunities he has taken of his own free will! Oh wah!
I’m sick of it. So I called Sirius and said this first year would be my last. They were a little taken aback because there are so many channels. Surely I could find something else worth staying for? After some back and forth I finally said, “Look, I work in terrestrial radio. This subscription was a lark at best. I just want out, please.” There’s no scripted response for that. Today is the last day I’ll get the signal. Good riddance.
Howard Stern is credited with being the best interviewer in the free world. 1. His research staff are excellent. 2. The show’s format allows him to go so long, that even when there’s bullshit, it’s forgivable. 3. But when he says, “Look at you!” every time a guest is brought into his studio, I want to hit him with a whiffle bat.
Stern is threatening to quit radio and just do TV, and warning his radio staff regularly that they’ll be out of work. When he pulls this crap it’s just mean. He’s the guy in power. There’s nothing amusing about the guy at the top brow-beating his minions in public but his long-time fans are used to it. I’ve listened to him on and off for a long time but now you can consider me off for good.