Howard Stern Stlll Feuding With Kevin Metheny
December 17, 2008 at 5:13 AM (PT)
HOWARD STERN dubbed him "PIG VIRUS" in his memoir "Private Parts." THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE writes new TRIBUNE News/Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO PD KEVIN METHENY will tell you, however, there are parts of his time with STERN at NEW YORK's WNBC-A in the 1980s even more private than that.
"HOWARD's not WILL and ARIEL DURANT (authors of "The Story of Civilization") or SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL writing 'A History of the English-Speaking Peoples,' " METHENY said TUESDAY, a day after being named to replace BOB SHOMPER. "He's an entertaining guy."
METHENY maintains a jarringly different take on their WNBC relationship than the account STERN gave of a martinet in his 1993 bestseller, ramped up even more through the whiny, fictionalized character of KENNY "PIG VOMIT" RUSHTON (played by PAUL GIAMATTI) in the 1997 film version of "Private Parts," and repeated on STERN's SIRIUS XM program TUESDAY.
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" PIG VIRUS landed on his feet again," STERN said of METHENY's hire by WGN. "I don't spend my day thinking about PIG VIRUS, but it is amazing how guys we know who are pretty unoriginal keep landing on their feet. PIG VIRUS really undermined everything I tried to do at NBC and hated me. And then after he got bounced from NBC and the other places he worked, he started programming radio stations and tried to replicate what I did on the radio."
METHENY concedes that there was a "miserable" first year until he figured out STERN knew what he was doing. "It was kind of a career-changing, 'aha' moment, that the way I'm going to be an advocate for the listener is by being an advocate for the talent," METHENY said.
METHENY, who oversaw the CLEAR CHANNEL/CLEVELAND cluster of stations until a few months ago, considers WGN "a national treasure," but that doesn't mean it's so precious it cannot be tinkered with. WGN boss TOM LANGMYER, in introducing him to station staff, noted METHENY's success in the 25-54 demographic with news-and-talk outlet WTAM-A. That's of interest because WGN tends to draw an older crowd when it's not airing CUBS games.
"We were going for an irreverent, laughing-and-scratching, somewhat sports-centric 'dawg pound' of the air as we boot-strapped [WTAM] on the back of CLEVELAND INDIANS baseball," METHENY said. "There are a lot of similarities between the two cities. Politics is a contact sport in both of these cities and they're both cities of phenomenal and, in many cases, long-suffering sports fans. But it really flowed from identifying the audience and identifying a need the audience has."