Howard Stern pledges to stir up "America's Got Talent"

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:21pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Controversial radio host Howard Stern, who was named on Thursday as a new judge on family TV show "America's Got Talent", said he would give honest opinions and warned "feelings are going to be hurt."

Stern, 57, will replace departing talk show host Piers Morgan on the panel when the talent show returns for a 7th season in the summer of 2012, broadcaster NBC said.

The shock jock, known for his sexually explicit interviews and foul language, will continue to host his daily radio program for SiriusXM and production of the television show will move to New York to accommodate Stern's radio schedule.

The naming of Stern drew sharp criticism from some groups and fans of the show. It was deemed "an act of desperation for a flailing network," by the Parents Television Council.

PTC president Tim Winter called Stern "a performer who is synonymous with shock, profanity and obscenity" who was not suitable for a prime-time network TV show watched by families.

Winter said NBC, which has languished for several years at the bottom of the four main U.S. TV networks, "risks losing millions in advertising dollars", suggesting the PTC would urge its members to pressure advertisers to pull their commercials.

A writer named slawson on People magazine's comment board posted: "AGT use to be my absolute favorite show. With Stern (YUCK!!!), I know I will no longer watch it. Wow...What was the network thinking. Taking a clean, fun, innocent show to have a "wannabe" porn king judging. Wow, just wow, seriously."

However, NBC reality programming chief Paul Telegdy said Stern's "larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to 'America's Got Talent'."   Continued...