Tuesday, October 03, 2006

a satellite visit

Today's brush with greatness - or near greatness actually - took the form of a short interview I had with the news organization at the Howard Stern Show.

Stern reporter Steve Langford called to discuss Sunday's Morning Call column on Howard Stern and the relentlessly bad press he's received of late - most of it courtesy of one particular reporter. The column I wrote did little more than point out the questions all of us should ask regularly about what we read and what the agenda behind it may be. Yes, the column discussed Howard and his current leadership position on satellite radio but the larger question is this: how do we filter the information we get and why do we tend to believe what we see in print?

It's hard to know who tells the truth and who has a spin that twists the facts of the story just the slightest bit. I write an opinion column; I'm not remotely an investigative journalist. But even with opinion writing, I take the time to make sure I'm being as accurate as possible so I don't mislead readers about the "truth" that prompted my response.

I'm kind of stunned that a rumor - with just one published column in the New York Post- could then become a "report" that created an illusion of fact but I watched just that unfold with the Stern story. If I weren't already skeptical of what gets reported as "news" these days, this little incident would encourage that skepticism. It shoud do the same for you.

If you missed the original piece, it's online at www.mcall.com in the opinion writers section.

Talk soon -


Anonymous said...

Yes, the column discussed Howard and his current leadership position on satellite radio

Prove it. Exactly why do you think Howard's position is a "leadership position"? Your story makes the stupid assumption that all Sirius subs are because of Howard. If that were true why would Sirius spend any ca$h hiring other talent? Furthermore if your assumption is correct then you can make a similar claim about all of XM's subs being attributed to Opie & Anthony. If THAT is true then O&A are the leaders of satellite radio since XM still has more subscribers than Sirius.

Your one-sided piece peppered with anecdotal data gathered through personal experience smells a bit fishy. It seems like you may have a bright future at Fox.

1-9-06 Show me the revolution!

Anonymous said...

To anon: You mean all 30,000 O & A subscriptions. Nice try, or even still, all 200,000 that have signed up since O&A started compared to the millions that followed Stern. Kiss off and swallow it, it's the truth and in the following years you will see how wrong you were. Renee, excellent reporting! And it's about time some good press has leaked out. Keep doing your thing, I know how hard it is to deal with all of these idiots.

Anonymous said...

Here! Here! I wonder why XM had to resort to putting O&E back on terrestrial radio. Could it be that they needed the advertising revenue that they weren't getting from increased satellite subscription fees. Nice job Renee! Keep up the fair and objective reporting.

renee said...

I'm not exactly sure how to "prove" Howard's leadership position, nor is that really the point, right? The point of the original article - that apparently I made rather badly at least to the first poster - is that we should always be wary of the stuff we read - the facts that are little more than speculation at best and lies at their worst.

Regardless, the satellite wars will continue and they should - competition makes everyone try harder. Suffice to say, Howard is by no means everyone's cup of tea - which is exactly why Sirius hires a diverse group of entertainers for their channels, as does XM.

Believe me, I could do a lot worse than having a bright future at Fox....

Thanks to the group for the posts -all feedback is graciously accepted here...R

Anonymous said...

#2 - where do you get your numbers? I looked at the SEC 10-Q filings for XM and what they clearly state is that XM had 2.516 Mil subs as of 30 Sep 2004 and they now have 7.185 (as of 30 Sep 2006). Simple math shows that they have added 4.669 Mil subs since O&A joined XM. Since Stern joined Sirius they added similar numbers (4.5 Mil) in half the time. Who knows if that trend will continue?

Your childish response is unfortunately typical of Stern fans. No big deal I guess as long as you're willing to part with your hard earned cash. Howard is just the guy to suck those pennies out of your wallet. Good luck bro!