Tom Barnard vs. Howard Stern: The Origin of the Feud

National radio personality Howard Stern has been a rather prominent footnote in the tale of Tom Barnard's meltdown last week.

After several bizarre Twitter diatribes, Barnard took to his airwaves Friday morning to announce that he is seeking treatment for substance abuse and anger issues.

But yesterday, on Easter Sunday of all days, Barnard returned to Twitter to make clear that turning over a new leaf didn't mean turning the other cheek when it came to his long-running feud with Stern.
So why does Barnard hate Stern so much? The answer can be found in the archives of, a website maintained by an obsessive Stern fan who kept a contemporaneous record of the show as he was listening. Starting in April 1997 when he announced his show would be syndicated in the Twin Cities, Stern waged a relentless campaign of harassment against Barnard. Here's the timeline: 

4/16/97 Another New Market: Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota
Another station joins the Stern family. WBOB 100.3 is the latest lucky station. Howard spent about 45 minutes yelling about the guy he'll be competing against there in Minneapolis/St.Paul. This guy Tom Barnard has huge ratings out there but Howard thinks he can cut them in half within the year.

Melrose Larry was deployed to Minneapolis to taunt Tom Barnard on Howard Stern's behalf.
4/16/97 Melrose Larry Green Comes In Again
Howard wants to send Melrose out to Minneapolis to walk around with his giant signs like he does out in California. Howard told Melrose to make up some signs about this guy Tom Barnard and hang out in front of his radio station. 

4/18/97 Melrose Larry In Minneapolis/St. Paul
Melrose Larry Green flew out to Minneapolis/St. Paul yesterday to do some Stern rallying on his own. He called in about 5 different times this morning to give his progress report. He started off at some function where Tom Barnard was appearing. Melrose got himself kicked out of that thing pretty quickly. He was yelling out Howard's name and calling Barnard a fraud.

4/21/97 More From Melrose Larry
Melrose also brought in some disc Tom B. sells of his greatest and most requested bits, all for charity. Howard played the bits. They sucked. Not funny at all with no potential of being funny. Howard said he'll be #1 in Minneapolis in 1 more day after listening to these stupid bits. Howard said it's a really bad sign when a DJ doesn't put his own picture on the CD and thinks Barnard should start to send him royalty checks! Howard was especially enchanted with the song parody that goes "How is your"

4/22/97 More About Tom Barnard's Album
Yesterday Howard was goofing on the album put out by this guy Tom Barnard out in Minneapolis/St. Paul. It turns out that the song he was goofing on yesterday, ''How's Your Whole...Family'' wasn't even written by them. It was ripped off from a guy by the name of Red Peters! The worst part about it was that Red didn't know the song was on the album. Red was on the phone with Howard to talk about it. Red said that he was driving his car yesterday when he heard Howard goofing on his song. He called his agent and told him to find out what was going on. They found out that the song was on the album and that they sold 10,000 copies of it. The money went to charity but Red didn't have any say in where the money would go. Now he's pissed and they're going to sue those phonies out in Minneapolis.

5/22/97 Red Peters Calls In
Howard Stern's first exposure to Red Peters was on a Tom Barnard Greatest Hits album.
Red Peters is the guy who sings that ''How's Your Whole...Family'' that Howard discovered on Tom Barnard's Greatest Hits album. Red Peters didn't know his song was on that album so now he's suing Tom Barnard. He called Howard this morning to give him the good news. The papers have been served and it looks like Tom Barnard and his morning crew may settle out of court. All because Howard was goofing on the song and Red heard it.

7/16/97 The Guy Who Has Calls In
This guy has had a negative Tom Barnard (Howard's competition in Minneapolis MN) web site up and running for a few months now. He called in to tell Howard that Barnard's people have been sending him e-mail telling him that he obtained the domain name illegally. They're full of crap because anyone can get the rights to the name if they have the $100 registration fee. Howard told the guy that he should turn the web site over to him so Barnard's people have to ask him for the domain name rights. Howard wants to turn it into a really negative site so Barnard's (and Howard's) fans can see what a fraud he is.

12/5/97 The Crazy Cabbie From Minneapolis Calls In
Crazy Cabby briefly became a Stern Show regular after getting fired from KQ for a bit on Barnard's show.
This guy was working for Howard's competition in Minneapolis/St. Paul until recently. He was kind of like Stuttering John. He would get celebrity interviews for the Barnard show but some of them were fake interviews. He was fired after doing a phony interview with someone pretending to be Brett Farve's mistress or something like that. Even though Tom Barnard knew that some of the Crazy Cabbie's interviews were faked he fired Crazy for the Brett Farve interview. The Crazy Cabbie just wanted to tell Howard about the situation so everyone would know what a phony Tom Barnard really is.

In August 1999, after years of Stern failing to gain traction, Rock 100 dropped him from the station. Beating back the King of All Media became part of Barnard's legend, often among the first things mentioned by fawning admirers.

Flash forward to February 2013, when Barnard invited Star Tribune gossip columnist C.J. onto his podcast (see the video here). Apparently unaware of Barnard's history with Stern, C.J. asked if the two radio hosts were friends. To which Barnard replied, "I do think if I ever met Howard Stern, I would probably punch him in the face."

Tim Sabean tried to broker peace between Tom Barnard and Howard Stern.
That got the attention of Tim Sabean, a Minnesota-bred radio industry vet who works with Stern at Sirius Satellite radio. As C.J. revealed last Monday, just four days before Barnard's surprise morning confession:

A few days after my February interview was printed, a colleague of Barnard's sent him an e-mail stating that Tim Sabean, SVP of the Howard Stern Channels on Sirius­XM in New York, had sent word that " ... apparently Stern would like to reach out to you regarding his past sins."

C.J. dismisses the gesture as insincere. But age -- and abundant therapy -- have mellowed Stern. Gone is the wild man of old who planned funerals for radio rivals. He has expressed contrition to other old foes, and may be feeling genuine guilt at how aggressively he went after Barnard.

Despite his Easter tweet, Barnard may want to think about taking Stern up on his offer. After all, making amends is one of the 12 Steps.

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