Howard Stern is coming to most of the CBS-owned stations - but he isn't coming to KUTV-Ch. 2.
The local CBS-owned station is one of just two (out of 14) that won't be airing the radio shock jock's new late-night series. "The Howard Stern Show," which is scheduled to debut this summer, will air opposite NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and will feature "Stern's own brand of humor and social commentary."In other words, it will be rude and crude.
Like his show on the E! cable network, this one will feature Stern in his radio studio, along with "original content developed specifically for the program" - skits and animation.
" `Saturday Night Live' has ceased being funny . . . and maybe it's time to have an alternative," Stern said at a news conference, according to the Associated Press. And he isn't planning to clean up his raunchy act to appear on the same broadcast stations that take such pride in their family fare, like "Touched by an Angel."
"CBS is the Tiffany Network but I sat down and thought about it, and you know what? Tiffany is a stripper's name," Stern said. "Television is ready for someone like me."
Actually, Stern won't be appearing on the network. His is a syndication deal with the CBS-owned stations, and the show will be marketed to other stations nationally.
Perhaps even here in Utah, where Ch. 2 won't be airing it.
"We have contractual obligations to other programming in that time period," said Dave Phillips, KUTV's vice president and general manager.
Which is a pretty convenient excuse. Phillips is smart enough to know that he'd be setting his station up for a huge amount of criticism if he aired "The Howard Stern Show," and it just isn't worth it.
This is, after all, a TV market where there's been hardly a peep about the fact that NBC-affiliated KSL-Ch. 5 doesn't carry that network's "Saturday Night Live."
And, much to the CBS Stations Group's credit, they aren't dictating to anyone in Salt Lake City.
"It's really a general manager's choice," Phillips said.
IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING: The cities where CBS-owned stations will carry "The Howard Stern Show" are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
And the site of the second tasteful CBS-owned station (in addition to KUTV in Salt Lake City) is Green Bay, Wisc.
JUST CALM DOWN: Apparently, the folks at E! aren't exactly thrilled over the newest "Howard Stern Show." The cable network's senior vice president of programming, Fran Shea, was in a veritable snit, if we are to judge by the statement faxed to TV critics.
"E! will continue, as it has for the past five years, as Howard Stern's cable television home," it read. "Through our long-term deal with Howard, E! will remain the only place people can get a complete, inside look at Howard's provocative radio show, six nights a week."
This is how low TV can go - fighting over who really owns Howard Stern.