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It's official: Carolla gets the Stern slot

Infinity Broadcasting confirms that key West Coast cities will hear the comedian's show, while Eastern markets get David Lee Roth.

October 26, 2005|Martin Miller | Times Staff Writer

Infinity Broadcasting finally confirmed Tuesday what the company's shock jock and long-time cash cow Howard Stern had been saying for months -- that ex-Van Halen rocker David Lee Roth and comedian Adam Carolla will take over his morning radio slots in key East and West Coast markets, respectively.

Carolla, already with a late-night talk show on Comedy Central and a home improvement one on cable's TLC, will assume Stern's drive-time duties at KSLX-FM (97.1) in Los Angeles, and at Infinity stations in San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Portland, Ore. No official start date was given for "The Adam Carolla Show," but it's expected to debut early next year. Longtime Carolla friend Jimmy Kimmel, star of his own late-night talk show on ABC, has been hired as a creative consultant for the new radio program, and as an advisor for Infinity as well.

"When we set out to find a replacement for Howard Stern, we took the opportunity to cultivate a wide array of talent, from both in and out of the radio industry," said Joel Hollander, chairman of Infinity, a Viacom-owned company. "Adam's depth of entertainment experience is unmatched in radio. And Jimmy has a proven track record of creating winning shows for both radio and television."

In July, Stern told listeners that Carolla and Roth would eventually take his place in some markets, as part of an overall strategy by Infinity to find multiple personalities and programs to replace him.

Stern's last live broadcast is slated for Dec. 16. In January, Stern will jump from terrestrial radio -- and the threat of further fines from the Federal Communications Commission -- to his new home on Sirius Satellite Radio. Last year, Stern signed a five-year agreement worth an estimated $500 million and became the first high-profile radio personality to switch to subscription-only satellite radio.

Stern is currently broadcast on 27 Infinity stations across the country. While some will get Carolla and some will get Roth, others will go in different directions. Some Infinity stations in smaller cities such as Sacramento and Fresno will switch to the "Jack" oldies format -- huge music playlists with no disc jockeys -- while others will switch to talk radio and news formats.

Roth, who goes by the nickname "Diamond Dave," will begin broadcasting Jan. 3 in New York City, Dallas, Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and West Palm Beach, Fla. Roth, who recently became a certified emergency medical technician, lives in New York City.

Stern's imminent departure has caused his ratings to slip in some major markets such as Washington, D.C. But in Los Angeles, Stern was No. 1 again during morning drive time among adults 25 to 54, according to the latest Arbitron ratings released earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Penn Jillette, the talking half of the comedy-magic duo Penn & Teller, will host a one-hour daily talk show for Infinity that will air initially in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

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