It looks like Howard Stern isn't the only member of his team movin' on up to bigger and better things.
With the notorious shock jock making no secret of how desperate he is to shuffle his New York-based morning radio show to a new, unregulated home at Sirius Satellite Radio in January 2006, long-time Stern sidekick Robin Quivers has signed a deal to launch a new TV talk show of her own.
The former Air Force nurse, who began her radio career in 1980, finalized a deal with Sony Pictures Television to create a daily daytime gabfest that could hit the tube as early as fall 2005.
And while Quivers will remain on air with Stern while the new TV talker is in development, her future with the self-proclaimed King of All Media beyond that is up in the air.
Calls to Quivers' reps weren't returned Tuesday, but speculation is that, if her TV show makes it to the air, she will leave her post with bawdy boss and concentrate on the boob-tube project.
The format for Quivers' solo foray into the talk show arena hasn't been decided, but it will almost certainly be less controversial than her 23-year stint with Stern.
Quivers joined the Stern show in 1981 in Washington, D.C., and, as immortalized in the 1997 Stern biopic Private Parts, has been with her boss as they weathered many FCC fines, a pair of high-profile firings from radio stations in D.C. and New York and on-air antics that have included poking fun at a fatal airplane crash, warring with former WNBC boss "Pig Virus," and innumerable raunchy stunts involving porn actresses.
The radio queen, who rose to the position of captain during her Air Force days, has gotten her own share of the spotlight on the show with her cackling laugh, sharing tales of her love life and pushing the "Master Cleanser" beverage, a peppery lemonade concoction she says helped her shed weight.
Stern, meanwhile, is hankering to get his satellite freak on. Along with a publicity stunt in which he passed out hundreds of free satellite radios and subscriptions to fans in New York's Union Square last week, Stern has also indicated that he has hopes of joining Sirius even earlier than 2006.
Citing increasing scrutiny from the FCC in the wake of Janet Jackson's Boobgate--which has included massive fines and being dropped by Clear Channel radio stations--Stern has intimated on his radio show that Sirius, which signed Stern to a $500 million deal, may be willing to shell out even more cash to get him an early buyout of his contract with current employer Infinity Broadcasting. Infinity could be eager to unload Stern, especially after its corporate parent, Viacom, agreed to fork over $3.5 million in FCC to resolve indecency allegations involving Stern and other shock jocks.
As for Sirius, the satellite company is making things as cushy as possible for Stern, having just hired his former radio boss and long-time supporter, Mel Karmazin, as CEO.
And with Quivers and Stern nabbing headlines with their new broadcast opportunities, not to mention former sidekick "Stuttering" John Melendez jumping ship to become The Tonight Show announcer earlier this year, Stern fans may be wondering whether a Baba Booey reality series might be far behind.