Howard Stern Thursday shot back at a family television advocacy group that has been urging advertisers to boycott NBC's "America's Got Talent," which added him as a judge this season. "It is a family show," said Stern, adding, "If I tried to turn it into 'The Howard Stern Show,' people would hate it. I would hate it."
Speaking to the entertainment media Thursday in Manhattan, Stern slammed the group -- the Parents Television Council -- saying, "I don't think there are more than 25 people in this thing -- it's a money-raising racket."
He added, "I invite them to see whether I'm subversive or whatever it is they imagine me to be. I've been a guest on many late-night shows, prime time shows. I know the rules."
A statement Thursday from Dan Isett, director of public policy for the Parents Television Council, read in part: "Our goal is to warn advertisers of Mr. Stern's long and tawdry track record of explicit sexual commentary and sexist remarks . . . If Mr. Stern comports himself in a way consistent with what he himself called a 'family show' this morning, that will be a major departure for Stern, and a win for parents and families."
While Stern Thursday promised a kinder, gentler Stern on "AGT," he also said he won't "lose his edge."
In other remarks, Stern said that "at first I wasn't going to do the show," which returns for season seven on Monday. "There were a lot of obstacles," notably the West Coast production locale. But NBC made it easier for Stern by moving production to Newark.
Stern also said the various reports that surfaced last year claiming he might join "American Idol" were not true.