Howard Stern, Piers Morgan Exchange Potshots

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Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/CNN

When Howard Stern went on Piers Morgan Tonight two weeks ago, it gave the show a ratings boost and put it into first place among the target news demographic. That was the only time in the show's short life that it's topped Fox News in the demo, something for which you think Morgan would be grateful to Stern. But, as it turns out, Morgan thinks it's the other way around. According to Howard Stern today, the America's Got Talent judge offered to give Stern a regular gig on his show in order to "save his career." "I was baffled by this conversation — like he’s doing me a favor because of my miserable career," Stern said on his radio show. "I have more listeners on Satellite than his 416,000 on CNN!" Stern said. "What the fuck help do I need? My career’s on fire!" Apparently realizing that he won't be continuing to get attention by having Stern on the show, Morgan has opted for the backup option: getting attention by having a public fight with the shock jock. "That hairy beast Howard Stern being a very naughty boy. Invite me on your show then, if you think you're hard enough," he tweeted this afternoon. "I think the only thing Howard really finds 'a little bit strange' about me is that I was clearly smarter than him during our TV interview."

Morgan contends that Stern is now worried that he, not the shock jock, will be "the King of All Media" now. But at this point, that's a pretty lofty boast. His ratings continue to slide: He's down by two-thirds viewership since his debut episode with Oprah, and his two debut weeks pulled in just slightly fewer viewers on average than Larry King drew at the same time last year. (Though they are better than how the nine o'clock hour was performing in the fourth quarter of last year.) Of course, there's been a lot going on in the world to distract news viewers from a bantery prime-time chat program. And CNN surely anticipated an initial slump from his big debut numbers. But to go right to the Picking Fights With Famous People place does seem a little bit desperate for this early in the game.

Howard Stern: Piers Morgan Is In “Full Blown Denial” To Think He’ll Be Competitive [Mediaite]
Earlier: Piers Morgan a Week In: Ratings Slipping, Confidence Climbing