There was talk of revolution in Manhattan’s Union Square Park on Thursday. Because Howard Stern was doing the talking, there were women with halter-tops on, too.
A crowd of hundreds of Stern fans gathered in the park for a rally-cum-promotional event for Sirius, the satellite radio service where Stern will be heard starting in 2006 (unless he breaks his contract with Viacom to start earlier).
As a mostly male, mainly white crowd crammed around speakers blaring a predictable hard-rock playlist, Stern handed out free Sirius radios in front of a set of dancing, well-endowed women. He cast his switch from one media company to another in the language of revolt.
“This is big. Sirius will rule,” Stern said. “This will be the dominant medium because there’s no government interference.”
The event reached its surreal height when a group of counter “activists” supporting rival XM satellite radio showed up waving signs for Opie & Anthony, the on-air duo that went to satellite after being kicked off WNEW following their broadcast of a couple having sex at St. Peter’s. Adding to the festive air was a passing Mexico tourism truck featuring three dancing girls. “The warmth of our people makes it possible to enjoy an endless summer,” the truck’s sign read.
“I think this is the death of regular radio, I really do,” Stern said. The crowd roared in agreement. Stern told everyone to watch him on Letterman that evening. Then, people began heading back to work.