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Robin Quivers Has Issues

Best-known as the feisty sidekick of radio shock-jock Howard Stern,
Robin Ophelia Quivers is ready for her close-up. After a quarter-century with
Stern, Quivers, 52, is embarking on a new challenge. She is set to host
Sony's The Robin Quivers Show, one of four
new chat shows syndicators are pitching for next season. The plan calls for her
to keep her daily gig with Stern, then walk a few New York City blocks to a
television studio. There, she will film her new show in front of a live
audience. Quivers, a former Air Force nurse who rose to the rank of captain,
began in radio in 1980. A year later, she hooked up with Stern and has been in
the business ever since. Quivers spoke with B&C's Jim Finkle about how she hopes to click
with female viewers, what she has learned from radio's king of all bad boys
and her desire to make a difference.

What is your new show

It's a multi-topic strip. In-studio guests will discuss issues that
are relevant to women: family, current events. It's time to have some fun in
daytime, without necessarily poking fun at people.

That is a broader mix than your typical
daytime talk show.

When I'm out with my girlfriends, we talk about real stuff. How our
relationships are going, what it's like raising our children, what are the
real issues facing the nation today. I want to talk about all of those issues.
I don't see any show out there that's doing it.

Will you have people from dysfunctional
families airing their dirty laundry?

If I have to have an expert in my house telling me how to do something,
then I'm not going to do it well. But if I see somebody like me, with a
similar problem, who figured out how to [solve it], then maybe I can get off my
butt and do something about it, too. I don't think you learn anything by
watching people who don't do things right.

What about the tone of the show?

I want to have a lot of fun. There is this attitude that life is a
struggle and that women have a tough time. I want to shift away from that. I
want to celebrate the advances we've made as women and the wide-open future
there is for us. We're women, and we have a lot to celebrate. We have a lot
to rejoice in.

Many women complain that The Howard
Stern Show is misogynistic.

That is coming from an old mind-set. Whatever is happening to women,
then women are being used and exploited. The women who participate in our show
have asked to participate. They want to do it. We can't all do the same
things and have the same experiences. There are women who want to celebrate
their sexuality in a fun and wacky way. And that's what they're doing.

Will there be celebrities on your

There could be. I don't want to just do the “I'm out promoting a
movie” interview. Those can be OK, as long as you get the person to talk
about something else. I also want to discover new people, to find the people
who are going to be tomorrow's stars.

What kind of

All kinds. Finding young fashion designers, musicians, comedians,
artists. People from all walks of life.

How are stations reacting to the show?
Is it selling?

I'm leaving the selling to somebody else. I'm the person involved in
the programming. I think Sony wouldn't be in business with me if they thought
I was a person who couldn't be sold.

There must be a lot of pressure to make
this a success.

What you do is: you put out the best product possible. I talk to people
every day, and I talk to them personally. I think I'm a fun person to be
around. I'm entertaining, and people like to hang out with me. That's what
you need to make a successful TV show.

What does Howard say about

He's all for it. He's excited for me, and he's chomping at the bit
to see how it goes.

If this takes off, will you eventually
quit radio?

As long as I'm having fun, I don't see any need to stop. In fact, I
also want to do other things, like acting.

Are you worried about censorship and the
content that got Howard Stern in trouble with the

I'm an entertainer. All we've been attempting to do is entertain
people as they head to work. People can listen to whatever they want. But when
people investigate the situation, they find out there's only one or two
complaints. When people get to know me, they'll find themselves very
comfortable with me. Also, we're going to another format. You're talking
about The Robin Quivers Show. That's a
completely different animal, so I don't think it will be an issue, unless we
get to the point where no topics can be discussed under any circumstances.

Can you give some specific examples of
topics you'll cover on the show?

It will be about things that hit really close to home. I've found that
many new mothers don't have the support of an extended family that once
existed. When you bring home that first baby, it's a completely frightening
experience. We will have segments where we educate people about the different
markers of childhood—from infancy to the child going off to school. I also
want to take people through the first year of marriage. To bring people
together to talk about what relationships are like, the kinds of issues you
face. Then there are the everyday news stories. We are going to talk about
current events and pop culture.

What do you want station managers to
know about you? What will you tell them at the Las Vegas NATPE show Jan.

That I'm extremely excited, looking forward to the hard work of
pulling together the best possible product. We're committed to making it the
kind of show that people will find informative and fun. This has been a
lifelong dream. It's the reason I got into broadcasting. It just took me a
while to do it.