By the grace of Mel go I to the Eye — that’s what shock jock Howard Stern told showbiz journos Tuesday in a teleconference call broadcast as part of his regular nationally syndicated radio show.
The conference call with 30 scribes from newspapers around the country ostensibly was held to promote Stern’s new syndie latenight show, which bows Saturday, but Stern spent almost as much time berating CBS execs as he did proclaiming himself the “king of all media.”
However, as loyal listeners well know, the one CBS honcho who commands Stern’s respect is prexy and chief operating officer Mel Karmazin, affectionately referred to by Stern as “Captain K” and “the man who I really wish was my father.”
By contrast, Stern railed against CBS’ Leslie Moonves, insisting that the Eye’s prexy and CEO was “embarrassed” by CBS’ association with Stern. Moonves did yuck it up with Stern last month, when the exec called in to dispel rumors that David Letterman was looking for a sidekick.
Competing with ‘SNL’
Stern’s latest TV entry, creatively titled “The Howard Stern Radio Show,” is technically a syndie skein, but it was originally developed for the CBS O&O group as a competitor to NBC’s long-dominant “Saturday Night Live.”
All but two of the 14 CBS O&Os will carry the show, which has been sold to non-CBS stations outside the Eye’s O&O markets.
“I don’t think Leslie believes in me,” Stern said. “I think Mel tells him to believe in me.”
As for the new show itself, Stern promised it would look something like ” ‘Ed Sullivan’ on acid,” mixing highlights of his weekday radio show with original field reportage and animated segs. Even though his weekday radio antics already are televised nightly on the E! cabler, Stern was confident the new version would cream the weekend latenight competition.
“When my show hits the airwaves this Saturday, people will flock to it like maggots on fresh road kill on a hot Texas day,” Stern predicted. “As we speak, Walter Cronkite is calling Dr. Kervorkian and making an appointment. He hates me. I am taking over his network.”