LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Howard Stern might be part of the NBC family with his “America’s Got Talent” judging gig, but he certainly seems to be the black sheep among his new relatives.
Stern claimed on his radio show last Tuesday that an NBC executive made a “threatening kind of comment” to Stern after he blasted NBC late-night host Jay Leno as a “spineless maggot.”
Stern slammed Leno last Monday on his show, following reports that Leno had taken a pay cut to save staffers’ jobs after 20 employees were laid off from “The Tonight Show.” The next day, Stern claimed on his Sirius XM Radio show that his attack on Leno was met with a chilly reception by one network executive.
“I got sort of a threatening kind of comment from one of the executives,” Stern said. “I was done with Jay Leno, now I’m all fired up again.”
On last Monday’s radio show, Stern cast doubt on accounts that Leno was attempting to save staff members’ jobs, suggesting to the contrary that Leno had wanted the staff cuts, and was hiding behind NBC.
“It’s a smokescreen… Here’s what it really means, and you can take this to the bank: Jay Leno is a scumbag,” said Stern. “That’s what that means. He’s a spineless maggot. Jay wanted to cut staff. He’s embarrassed to do it. He didn’t want to come off as a bad guy.”
While Stern – who’s had harsh words for Leno in the past – declined to offer specifics about the alleged threat, he did assert that he won’t be swayed by intimidation.
“Take my job away from me – who cares?” Stern said. “I will never, ever, ever endorse Jay.”
Stern said that the executive accused him of not knowing anything about the “Tonight Show” budget cuts.
“Of course I don’t!” Stern admitted. “I have theories.”
Warning NBC not to threaten him, Stern continued, “I don’t answer to anybody, everyone knows that. That’s part of the game. And that’s why I’m a great judge – I would tell people if they sucked.”
Stern stressed, however, that it’s not all hard feelings – at least between him and NBC.
“I love my job on ‘AGT,’ I love working for the people at NBC, they’ve been nothing but wonderful,” Stern said.
“But please don’t tell me what to say. I’d rather leave than not talk about Jay Leno.”
Stern joined “America’s Got Talent” for its current seventh season, which premiered in May.