88.3 FM: The Howard Stern Pirate Radio Station

While on my way home from work last night, I made an interesting discovery. Fumbling with my radio dial in search of National Public Radio, I came across the static-laden voice of Howard Stern at 88.3 FM. It was about 6:15 p.m., and I had just gotten off the 101 Freeway, with plans to head home over Coldwater Canyon. At first I thought it was some NPR affiliate’s broadcast of an interview with the King of All Media, but within 30 seconds of tuning in, I heard Howard use the words “shit” and “cunty.” Surely, language like this would make that short-haired minx Terry Gross Pump Up the Volumeblush, so I knew this was no NPR broadcast. No, I had stumbled across a pirate radio broadcast of Stern’s new Sirius Satellite Radio show. Last week the LA Times reported that Stern is miffed that people are putting his subscription-only show on the Internet for free consumption.

According to the Time story, some pirate radio stations in NY and Jersey have broadcasted Stern’s show on unused radio frequencies, and it appears this is what I was listening to in LA today. As I began making the drive up the canyon, the radio signal got much stronger. Though fuzzy, I could hear Howard mock Oprah Winfrey for her decision to sign on with XM Satellite Radio and provide that station with content. I haven’t listened to Stern in years, and I enjoyed his narcissistic rant as I made my way through the canyon. As I drove into the flats of Beverly Hills, the signal faded and I couldn’t hear anything but static.

Has anyone else heard Stern’s show in LA via some pirate radio broadcast? I imagine some secretive pirate radio broadcaster beaming us the Stern signal from a secret compound in the hills. So furtive, so filthy. I wonder whether this pirate will still be broadcasting come Monday…