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Howard Stern Probably Not American Idol’s New Simon

Surely this can't be right. Today's Post reports that producers of American Idol — popular platform for wholesome talents like David Archuleta and Adam Lambert — are pursuing smutty radio D.J. (and Sanjaya backer) Howard Stern to replace outgoing judge Simon Cowell. According to an "insider," he's their "top choice," even. Says a "source connected to Idol": "It's one of the few shows that could compete with Stern's $100 million-a-year Sirius contract, and Idol bosses think he'd be even nastier than Simon ... Idol will do what it takes to sign him."

According to another anonymous person, though, this is all probably just maneuvering by Stern to renegotiate his Sirius contract, which expires next January: "Despite what he's been saying on-air, Howard isn't ready to leave radio and would like to stay on at Sirius ... But if Sirius can't pay him the money he wants, he may negotiate to film Idol on the side." Given that Stern could probably scare away Idol's elderly audience faster than Conan did The Tonight Show's, we doubt that. But at this point, we all know better than to underestimate television executives' capacity to do ridiculous things, so stay tuned.

'Idol' producers want Howard Stern to replace Cowell [NYP]

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