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PTC to NBC: Don't Hire Howard Stern for 'America's Got Talent'

Howard Stern
Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect

The TV watchdog group says the move "smacks of desperation" by the "once-proud" network.

The Parents Television Council (PTC) is urging NBC not to "abandon and offend its family audience" by hiring Howard Stern as an America's Got Talent judge.

Stern is in talks with the network to replace Piers Morgan, who announced his departure last week.

PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement Monday, “If the rumors are true that NBC is considering the addition of radio shock-jock Howard Stern to the America’s Got Talent judges table, the result will be the alienation of millions of families, and with it the alienation of tens of millions of advertising dollars."

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Saying the move "smacks of desperation by the once-proud peacock network," Winter continued, "Any short-term buzz from Stern’s shock value will result in a longer-term decline as families abandon the show for more suitable programming."

Earlier this year, the TV watchdog group lobbied against NBC's Playboy Club, calling on its members and others to contact local NBC affiliates, and asking advertisers whether the Playboy brand aligns with their corporate image. When the show was canceled in Oct., the PTC said, "We’re pleased that NBC will no longer be airing a program so inherently linked to a pornographic brand that denigrates and sexualizes women."

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According to sources, Stern is a big fan of the talent competition and is eager to be involved in the show. He would share judging duties with Sharon Osbourne and relative newcomer Howie Mandel, who replaced David Hasselhoff in 2010.