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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Buzz Brindle

The Surprise or "You Never Know What's Gonna Happen Next" Factor was a big reason for Howard Stern's success. Back in the 80s & 90s, his discussions about sexual behavior & other topics which were not discussed by polite society were shocking & titillating (aka surprising). On today's morning shows, it's de rigeur and dull (been there, done that). What topics or ideas could on-air personalities address which would be as surprising & engaging for today's listeners?
At the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais was true to his brand (at least, for the 1st hour of the show). He may have offended a lot of people but I'd bet that he also gained a significant number of followers.


Yes, that was a major element for Stern, and why he's been such a hard act to follow. While the Hollywood Foreign Press might some 'splaining to do to some of the offended celebs, from a viewer standpoint, it was anything but dull. Like the BBC version of "The Office," there were times when it was awkward to the point of being uncomfortable. But it was never run of the mill.

The ratings were flattish, but the social media impact was huge. And hey, WE'RE still talking about it.

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