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Report: 'American Idol' seeking Howard Stern to replace Simon Cowell


By Reality TV World staff, 02/05/2010 

While it would seem to be an odd pairing, American Idol is reportedly targeting controversial radio personality Howard Stern to replace departing judge Simon Cowell.

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"Idol bosses think he'd be even nastier than Simon," a source told the New York Post in a Friday report.  ""They know he would be great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants. Idol will do what it takes to sign him."

American Idol producers reportedly approached the radio show host after hearing his repeated on-air mentions that he is "open to other offers" once his current Sirius XM Radio deal expires in January 2011, however a second source told the Post that Stern is believed to just be using Idol as a negotiation tactic.

"Despite what he's been saying on-air, Howard isn't ready to leave radio and would like to stay on at Sirius," the source said. "We believe this is a ploy to make Sirius pay up and keep him on his huge contract. But if Sirius can't pay him the money he wants, he may negotiate to film Idol on the side."

In addition, the Post also noted that Idol's nationwide audition stops and Los Angeles production location would also be difficult for Stern, who lives in New York.

Earlier this week, Stern told his listeners that he had recently been approached with an unspecified television offer.

I was approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year -- and I did turn it down," Stern said during Wednesday's radio show broadcast, according to reports.  "Well, I didn't turn it down. I started to entertain it and think about it, and then I probably think my demands are pretty heavy and they were attempting to negotiate and I said 'You don't have to.'"

"I'm not even sure if I want to be working. I'm waiting to see what happens."

Cowell inked a deal with Fox last month that will have him leaving American Idol after its current season to focus on launching an American edition of his British The X Factor reality competition series for the network in Fall 2011.

While Fox and Idol have remained mum about who may replace Cowell, numerous names have surfaced since the The X Factor announcement, including America's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan, singer Elton John, music producer Tommy Mottola, Madonna business partner Guy Oseary, Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, and actor/singer Jamie Foxx. 

Morgan and John both subsequently denied they will be joining the judging panel.

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