Stern’s days numbered?

Feb 24, 2004 12:31 AM

What has been one of the Hard Rock’s most successful events ”” live broadcasts of the Howard Stern radio show from the hotel ”” may be in jeopardy. Stern was scheduled to return to the airwaves yesterday (Monday) following a week’s vacation during which Viacom president Mel Karmazin told the execs of all 180 Infinity radio stations that they would be fired if they violate the company’s new "zero tolerance" policy on obscenity.

Stern is known for testing the limits of on-the-air decency. My New York radio contacts have told me that Stern, a favorite target of the FCC, won’t tolerate censorship and could very easily end his radio days. I’m wondering if this is why "Stuttering" John Melendez, a longtime member of Stern’s morning antics, is leaving the show to become Jay Leno’s new announcer on "The Tonight Show."

Clint Holmes, Sheena Easton, Kelly Clinton and the "Vegas Live!" crew have a new on-air home: it’s KVVU-TV Fox 5. The show, which teetered and tottered for more than 60 shows on Cable One and 39, will begin airing at 10 a.m. daily starting in March, according Fox 5’s boss Susan Lucas, who made the announcement to her staff the same day that two "Vegas Live!" shows were suddenly canceled last week. The only problem that remains is a home base for the show.

With a professional look and, hopefully a veteran TV producer, the long-rumored shot at syndication can become reality. Making me a regular wouldn’t hurt!

Congratulations to the cast of Mama Mia! and Light at Bellagio on celebrating their first and second anniversary, respectively. Tina Walsh still stars in the Mandalay Bay production of Mamma Mia! and the show’s success is probably one reason that Paris is bringing the Queen musical to its stage.

The dream of every NASCAR fan can become reality at the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities auction on March 4 at Sam’s Town. Fanatic NASCAR fans will be able to bid on racing memorabilia and a chance to ride a lap with a driver prior to the March 6 race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last year’s event raised $145,000 with $200,000 this year’s goal.

Bill Medley’s long-awaited return to the boards takes place March 17-21 at The Orleans. His show ”” Bill Medley Celebrates the Music of the Righteous Brothers ”” was recently shown to cab drivers and I got an endless amount of calls telling me how great it was.

Caesars Entertainment, looking to increase its room occupancy, has signed with travel packager Orbitz. Caesars will provide the discounter a selection of rooms to enhance its Las Vegas packages.

The Bootlegger will host "Bernie Allen Helping the Homeless" tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 25) from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nelson Sardelli is coordinating the event to "keep Bernie’s passion of helping the homeless alive." Please bring blankets, clothing or canned food to help the less fortunate and to keep Bernie smiling from above.

The world’s largest motion picture industry convention ”” ShoWest ”” will be at Bally’s and Paris, March 22-25. I’ll be attending (auditioning?) and collecting business cards!

Steve Dacri’s "Extreme Close-Up Magic," hidden at Sazio’s Restaurant at the Orleans, has found a new home on The Strip. The exciting and dynamic close-up magic show is being performed Tuesday through Saturday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the O’Shea’s Comedy Theater. The show is dark Monday with performances on Sunday at 2, 4 and 7 p.m.

Hollywood’s biggest event, the Oscars, take place Sunday evening”¦ and I can’t wait. The red carpet festivities make me so jealous. So much of the world’s largest television audience will be curled up on a couch rooting for their personal selections and I’m predicting the following winners: Best picture: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"; best director: Peter Jackson for the same picture; best actor: Sean Penn, "Mystic River"; best actress: Charlize Theron, "Monster"; best supporting actor: Djimon Hounson, "In America"; best supporting actress: Patricia Clarkson, "Pieces of April."