July 8, 2005
Report — David Lee Roth to replace Howard Stern
By Chuck Taylor and Paul Heine
NEW YORK (Billboard) - Infinity Broadcasting isn't
commenting on an online report penned by a former Howard Stern
Show regular that suggests David Lee Roth will be one of the
personalities that ultimately replaces the ribald DJ on the
Chaunce Hayden, a gossip and celebrity writer for New
York/New Jersey entertainment guide SteppinOutMagazine.com,
writes that "an Infinity source has confirmed the signing."
In February, the Securities and Exchange Commission
reportedly questioned Hayden about possible insider trading of
shares in Sirius Satellite Radio. Hayden was in Stern's studio
Oct. 6, 2004, the day Stern announced his plans to move to
Sirius in January 2006. The news drove up Sirius shares by 16%
at the close of that day's trading.
What is certain is that Roth is among many entertainers
that Infinity has auditioned on-air since Stern's bombshell
announcement last year. Infinity executives have repeatedly
made it clear that they are not looking for a singular
personality to succeed Stern.
In April, Infinity president of programing Rob Barnett told
Billboard Radio Monitor he was working with Roth in Boston at
classic rock station WZLX. "The station has kind of turned the
town on its ear with cab drivers, waiters and waitresses and
employees of Barnes & Noble talking about this amazing guy on
the radio," Barnett said. "It's an example of just being able
to surprise and entertain your listeners without necessarily
giving them the exact same menu every day." In Boston, Stern is
heard on Infinity modern rock station WBCN.
The Diamond Dave-as-morning-man idea actually sprung from
an Infinity station 3,000 miles away. VP of FM talk Jack Silver
put Roth on the air for three hours earlier this year at KLSX
Los Angeles, which Silver programs. "We were so taken by that
performance that we created a stunt here in Boston to give
classic rock listeners the opportunity to hear him all week
long," Barnett said in April.
Infinity chairman and CEO Joel Hollander said in February,
"One thing you should expect not to happen, is one person to be
dropped in to replace (Stern) at 27 radio stations."
While Stern's contract is set to end Dec. 31, 2005, Hayden
says that Roth will hit the airwaves in early September. Asked
to comment on the Roth rumor, an Infinity spokesperson said,
"We are looking at a number of personalities to replace Howard
Stern, however there are no imminent announcements at this
Roth has two summer concerts on his schedule: July 15 in
Sarnia, Ontario, and July 29 in Redding, Calif.