There might have been some rot in the olive branch Howard Stern reportedly extended to KQ92’s Tom Barnard.

Last month I unearthed Barnard’s hostility for Stern while interviewing Tom in the office suite where he records his podcast (

When asked if Stern — since they are both dominant broadcasting stars — was one of his friends, Barnard said, “No.”

“I do think if I ever meet Howard Stern, I would probably punch him right in the face.”

In the 1990s, before poor ratings sent him packing, Stern was briefly in this market in an unsuccessful ploy to undercut Barnard’s dominance.

Stern tried to localize his NYC-based radio show by talking about the Twin Cities and taking shots at Barnard’s family.

“I never heard any of it, but when he was in this market, he used to attack my wife and children,” Barnard said. “I was on at the same time, so I never heard what he said about them. But then I was told by some people what he’d said. That’s how you have to win? Really? That’s how you win [ratings]?”

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.”

Barnard sent me the e-mail with the note: “Apparently Howard reads your column.”

I’ve been sitting on this waiting for movement, but there had been none as of Monday.

“Tim Sabean is the guy. He’s from Minneapolis. I left him my cellphone number. But I haven’t heard a word,” Barnard said.

So far, this isn’t sounding like Stern’s most sincere attempt to date at addressing past transgressions.

Said Barnard: “I think, dear, that this is unusual. But in radio, a lot of people are full of ...”

We shared a good laugh about the word Barnard actually said, and I told him that earlier in the day, when I talked to his wife and podcast guest booker, Kathryn Brandt, she had sounded wary.

Brandt told me she cannot imagine that Tom would “want to get into anything with Howard Stern. I doubt very much that would work out to Tom’s advantage. I wouldn’t trust Howard Stern as far as I could throw him, which is probably an inch.”

Sounds like the Stern charm offensive needs work.

Wedding bells

“Mad Men” star Vincent Kartheiser was a cagey man in love in July when he was here for a private Minnesota Film Board event.

At the time, the Minnesota native declined to confirm rumors about whom he was dating.

“I can’t talk about it. If you weren’t press I could,” said Kartheiser with a sly smile.

In the wake of last week’s announcement that Kartheiser is engaged to Alexis Bledel, over the weekend I reviewed the raw video of my interview with him. I edited that unused footage into a 1 minute, 30 second video for this item.

Asked if he was dating that same young lady, Kartheiser — who’s a thoroughly decent human being — slipped into the persona of that Pete Campbell cad that Vincent plays on TV.

“Which one?” he asked.

The one who’s on your show, I asked. That’s when I was told that were I not media we could talk. Surrrrrrre.

Bledel’s publicist confirmed the news of the engagement to the media.

Bledel, of “Gilmore Girls” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” fame, played the woman with whom Kartheiser’s “Mad Men” character had an extramarital affair in a guest-starring role on the AMC drama.



C.J. can be reached at and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.