Is Stern Replacing Cowell on ‘Idol’?

Could be ‘Idol’ gossip, but rumor is Fox wants to swap prickly Brit for King of All Media

Last Updated: February 8, 2010 @ 9:18 AM

UPDATE: Howard Stern Confirms ‘Idol’ Talks

Is "American Idol" eyeing Howard Stern to replace Simon Cowell?

That’s what the New York Post would like to have us believe. And the rumor that’s been swirling the internet like a tsunami.

As you might expect, Fox — which, like the Post, is owned by New Corp. — isn’t commenting.

At first glance, it would make sense for Fox: Take the meanest man in England and exchange him with the crudest man in either hemisphere. Could be an even swap.

And watching Stern’s opinionated, prickly personality rub up against Ellen DeGeneres’ oppressive niceness would be fun. It might even give the show the lift it desperately needs in a post-Simon, post-Paula world.

But would this work? Really?

It just seems like a marriage made in hell. Stern has a penchant for strippers and midgets, not Fantasia Barrino. The shock jock’s musical taste run more towards Megadeth than Adam Lambert. In fact, he routinely lampoons the kind of starry eyed ingenues that "Idol" unleashes on the American public on a weekly basis.

Plus, with Ellen already on board, Stern’s addition would mean that two out of the four judges would lack the necessary music bona fides. Mock "Straight Up" all you want, but Abdul still had some experience turning pop into gold.

That would leave Randy and Kara as the only ambassadors to the music industry.

And don’t even get me started on the advertising exodus that would ensue the minute Stern unleashes some blue assessment of a would-be diva’s performance.

Controversy might mean big ratings, but would Fox risk alienating much of Middle America and blue-chip sponsors like Coca-Cola just to have the King of All Media on board?

The rumors apparently originated with Stern’s on-air claims that he had been offered someone’s existing TV show should he decide to leave his home on Sirius radio. Stands to reason this might just be a negotiating ploy to try to get Sirius to sweeten its offer to the shock jock.

If Fox really wants a high-profile talent to take Cowell’s mantle, I hear Conan’s looking for a job. Leave the "Private Parts" scribe on the radio where he belongs, and bring Coco back to the boob tube.