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Last updated: April 09. 2013 11:30PM - 2115 Views
By Ralphie Aversa, Special to the Weekender



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“America's Got Talent” is moving across the Hudson River from Newark, N.J., to Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan. It's a change that judge Howard Stern pushed NBC to make.

“Radio City's going to be dynamic,” Stern told me Monday morning, when he and his cohorts from the TV show appeared in Rockefeller Plaza. “It's a glamorous venue. It's exciting to be in Manhattan.”

The new home to the program is also across from Stern's studios for his morning show on Sirius/XM. The “shock jock” lived up to his moniker towards the end of our chat.

“Yanno, about a year ago I suggested [NBC] get rid of Ann Curry,” Stern joked… we think. “The ratings weren't good. I called them up and I said, 'Get her out.' Everyone's blaming Matt, everyone's blaming NBC. I take the full hit for it.”

Not surprisingly, Stern went on to also take credit for the network announcing that Jimmy Fallon would replace Jay Leno next spring. The radio DJ and TV host have been at odds for years; Stern has accused Leno of ripping off jokes and bits from him and other comedians.

Back to “AGT,” – there are also personnel changes on that show as well. Sharon Osbourne will not return this year. Joining Stern and Howie Mandel at the judges' table will be singer Melanie Brown and model Heidi Klum.

“I've known Heidi for many years,” Brown told me. “She's a great person; very passionate, gorgeous. She's a mom, so, we have a lot in common.”

Like her fellow judges, Brown thinks Radio City will add a lot to the show.

“You can't pick a better place,” the artist once known as 'Scary Spice” said. “That is New York. I'm very excited.”

Brown also commented on Little Mix, a group of girls from the United Kingdom who won “The X-Factor” and are drawing comparisons to the Spice Girls.

“I think there's room for everybody,” she said. “I don't even think you need to compare. I think they're in their own lane and they're doing their thing. I've seen them perform and I think they're brilliant.”

Klum will talk about the show APril 11 on “The Ralphie Show.” Nick Cannon, who was at the media opportunity but offered a limited amount of interviews, will return to host the competition. The new season of “America's Got Talent” premieres June 4 on WBRE-TV.

- Listen to “The Ralphie Show” weeknights from 7 p.m.-12 a.m. on 97 BHT.


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