America’s Got Talent is the epitome of family entertainment on network television, and Howard Stern is a man famous for directing sexual remarks at naked women on his radio show. It’s not easy to see how they could possibly go together, and yet talks are under way to make it a reality.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Stern and NBC are in “serious negotiations” for him to take over the Piers Morgan slot on America’s Got Talent. The price that the 57-year-old radio host has set for assuming the judging chair is said to be $15 million a year. That’s less than Stern is making now on Sirius XM (a job he would keep), but it would be a phenomenal amount of money for a summer series. By way of example, Jennifer Lopez is set to make $20 million for this season of American Idol, but that show is #1 by a wide margin, its judges work more than do the AGT judges, and Lopez is a proven quantity.
But there’s a big potential upside for NBC too: Stern is catnip for a young male audience that has become harder and harder for the networks to reach. NBC may be assuming that he would attract many more new viewers than he would drive away. And Stern is surely enough of a pro that he wouldn’t do anything ridiculous on a live show – think of all the years he did live, non-satellite radio.