American Idol producers want Howard Stern to replace Simon Cowell on the show’s judging panel. The self-proclaimed King of All Media mentioned on-air recently that his Sirius XM Radio deal expires next January and that he is exploring other offers.

Stern is paid $100 million per year at Sirius, double Simon’s $50 million salary. Simon announced last month that he would be leaving the Idol to launch X Factor, his own reality competition on Fox. The producers think that Howard could be even meaner than Simon and believe that he would clash with other judges, like the newly installed Ellen DeGeneres, in a way that would help the show’s ratings.

Stern hasn’t expressed interest yet, though this is thought to be a negotiating ploy. “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," he told his audience last week. "I’m not even sure if I want to be working. I’m waiting to see what happens.” –NATASHA ALLOWAY


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