Jugglers beware: Howard Stern is now a judge on “America’s Got Talent”

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After months of speculation, self-anointed King of all Media Howard Stern announced on his SiriusXM satellite-radio show this morning, to the displeasure of the Parents Television Council, that he will be replacing Piers Morgan as a judge for the seventh season of NBC's hit show, America's Got Talent. Though Stern has mellowed with the years, his outspoken reputation remains intact, and fourth-place NBC is hoping he and his loyal fan base will give the network a desperately-needed shot in the arm. 

Stern's agent Don Buchwald appeared on-air to present his client with the official contracts, and it is a bit ironic that Stern returns to the network where he battled WNBC radio execs like the infamous "Pig Virus" more than a quarter-century ago. In the falsely bombastic voice his fans are accustomed to, Stern announced:

"This nonsense of Howie and Sharon putting through less than talented people has got to stop. Under my administration there will be no Frank Sinatra impersonators winning for the year. If people think I'm the crazy man, I am not. I am the voice of reason. Goofy acts are not going through."

Stern hardly needs the money, but rumors of a $15 million salary would indicate a hard-to-refuse offer, though the show did tweet that he "didn't do it for the $$$." It was apparently a long-simmering desire of Stern's to pass judgment on amateur entertainers in an official capacity, and there had been speculation at one point that the fifty-seven-year-old Stern might wind up as a judge on American Idol.

Perhaps Stern was finally swayed to take the plunge after hearing positive feedback from Steven Tyler on his experience as an Idol judge, and the fact that he's already friendly with co-judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, as well as host Nick Cannon. He'll keep his radio gig, as production of AGT, which had been based in L.A., will be moving to New York, but Stern did say he'll travel around to tape audition episodes starting in February. Now I really feel sorry for those ventriloquists.