Host, “The Howard Stern Show”
If money is power, then Stern has been promoted from King of All Media to King of the World. His absence was blamed for CBS Radio’s 6 percent decline in first-quarter revenue. Even though Stern’s audience on Sirius is a sliver of his “terrestrial” listener numbers, he’s already raking in about $100 million a year.
Luis Jimenez and Ramon “Moonshadow” Broussard
Hosts, “El Vacilón de la Mañana”
Wildly popular Spanish-speaking shock jocks with proven political power—the “El Vacilón” team mobilized thousands of listeners to last month’s City Hall immigration-bill protest. Post–Howard Stern, Jimenez and Broussard are New York radio’s top dogs, ensconced atop the wake-up-radio ratings heap with nearly a million weekly listeners on La Mega (97.9 FM). Critics say the raunchy twosome get away with murder because the FCC doesn’t speak Spanish. Their views are not doctrinaire. Unlike some of their more militant West Coast radio counterparts, they oppose singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish and urged fans to ignore last Monday’s nationwide May Day boycott, saying it would “cripple too many businesses.”
Moonves Vs. Freston
Modern-day Solomon Sumner Redstone split his Viacom empire in January, giving half to Les Moonves’s CBS and half to Tom Freston’s Viacom. The CEOs say it’s not a competition (sure), but both have made big moves to try to jolt their stock prices.
January 3: The race begins. Will everybody love Les?
Starting price: $25.60
January 24: Moonves merges its money-losing UPN with Time Warner’s money-losing WB.
“It will clearly be greater than the sum of its parts,” says Moonves.
↑ 90 cents
January 26: Moonves announces plans to sell the Paramount theme parks, saying they don’t fit with CBS’s content-driven business.
↑ 26 cents
February 28: CBS sues Howard Stern for breach of contract.
“I’m the one who kept you on the air, and I knew I could
sue you afterwards,” Moonves told Stern (according to Stern).
↓ 20 cents
April 5: CBS hires Katie Couric
to anchor its evening
newscast. “I’m personally so
excited,” says Moonves.
↑ 3 cents
Current Price: $25.75
↑ 15 cents since the split
January 3: Can the MTV king pump up his stock price?
Starting price: $41.12
February 1: Paramount
buys DreamWorks for $1.6 billion. “We couldn’t be
more excited,” Freston says.
↑ 76 cents
March 1: Freston says Viacom will launch a social-networking Website to compete with MySpace. “We don’t believe the game is over,” he says.
↑ 93 cents
March 17: Freston sells DreamWorks’ film library
for $900 million. Now,
Freston writes in a memo, “we can focus solely on
our most important work.”
↑ 49 cents
April 24: Freston buys online gaming community Xfire for $102 million in cash. “It’s a bull’s-eye against our young audiences,” he says.
↑ 26 cents
Current price: $39.01
↓ $2.11 since the split