Throughout the history of radio, its broadcasters and programs have maintained decent content that the whole family could enjoy. Then came "shock radio." "Shock radio" is a talk radio program featuring derogatory or offensive remarks, vulgar language, and/or crude humor. While the pioneer of this media was Don Imus, it was Howard Stern who took it too far; or did he? .
Howard Stern was born to Ben and Ray Stern on January 12, 1954, in Queens, New York. His family then moved to the predominantly black neighborhood of Roosevelt on Long Island (Stern, 1993). Since the age of five Stern knew that he wanted to be on the radio and he often entertained other children at neighborhood parties by putting on improvised puppet shows (Lackmann, 1996). He attended Boston University and worked as a radio DJ there until he was fired after his first broadcast. A few radio stations later, he ended up having a morning show in Washington, D.C. It was here that he began to establish an audience and a reputation as a "Shock Jock" (Douglas, 1999). He was eventually fired again and moved back to New York City where he was hired by WNBC-AM. He was once again fired and then signed by his current employer WXRK, or as it's better known, K-Rock. His often sexual, racist, or offensive humor gained him a large following of middle and lower class, blue-collar, white men, and by 1991 he was the number one radio host in New York City (http://www.biography.com). In 1986, Infinity (the owners of K-Rock) began syndicating their show nationally and The Howard Stern Show is now heard on 54 radio stations nation wide. (http://www.biography.com).
Howard Stern is often a recipient of hate mail, fines, and calls from sickened listeners who are struggling to comprehend the audacity of this charismatic man. He often crosses lines which dare not to be crossed by more weary, more cautious travelers. Yet, as much as America claims to hate this man, he still remains a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for more than a decade, a best selling-author, a television host, and an icon to devoted listeners.