Bleep This!

Howard Stern, rule-breaker, heads for the land of no rules

Stern's flip-flopping over to Sirius is a fascinating choice that boosts its profile even more than its enthusiastic self-promotion (it sends out reams of e-mails about its promo events—this from a service that doesn't believe in commercials); its knack for giving shows to everyone imaginable who might have any kind of following, from Mitch Albom to Big Pussy; and its game sexual inclusion. (Sirius's gay channel, OutQ, is the kind of ultra-now feature its rival, XM, simply can't boast. XM, by the way, is backed by Clear Channel. End of story.)

Stern may even end up helping Sirius soar—i.e., lose fewer hundreds of millions a year—especially since it won't have to pay penalty fines every two weeks. Insiders tell me that some consumers have already responded to the massive publicity around the Stern shift by immediately subscribing to the service, giving it a lovely bump while affording themselves extra time to figure out how to do that friggin' hookup.

But Sterno won't subscribe, and not just because of the monthly fine, I mean fee. "Howard's show is gonna lose something," he gripes. "I like that he was a rebel working against the grain. Now, if he can say it, it's no fun. It's like if they legalized heroin!" That may be true—in fact, I know sexaholics who, the second they land in Bangkok or Amsterdam, suddenly can't get a hard-on.

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    Oh, and who wants to be the one to tell our flatulent hero that Sirius is launching a hip-hop channel with Eminem, thereby making Howie only its second most offensive personality? I think I hear a lot of fucks coming—which are perfectly allowed, by the way. Start giggling, Robin.

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