CBS Radio Fired David Lee Roth for Refusing to Play Nickelback

When notorious shock-jock Howard Stern left terrestrial radio to begin broadcasting on Sirius XM back in 2005, the brains behind CBS Radio thought they had the perfect replacement in former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. But Roth's tenure as Stern's replacement lasted a mere four months because he refused to play Nickelback and other white rock bands that CBS wanted to hear on his show.

"I got fired for playing too much ethnic music," Roth told Joe Rogan recently. But Roth insists that he was just trying to play the sort of music tgat white people crank up when they want to enjoy the good times.  

"White people listen to Bob Marley when we're on vacation. And when we celebrate things, we listen to Kool & the Gang. And I would play those, and ratings were going up, and they were pissing off management. They said, 'We feel that Lynyrd Skynyrd and Nickelback are more appropriate for your audience.'"

But their new DJ wouldn't give up his preferred playlist.

"You couldn't rein me in," added Roth, who wasn't surprised when he got fired shortly afterward. But he vindicated himself years later when he got the chance to book the opening act for Van Halen's reunion tour in 2012.

"Keep in mind, I hired Kool & the Gang to open for Van Halen on the tour before last. You have never seen so many people dancing in one place. Cause that's the sound of every wedding, Bar Mitzvah, prom, bachelor party."

But music wasn't the only thing that CBS and Roth disagreed on. They also sparred over on-air endorsements, special guests and Roth's sense of humor. Check out the video below for more.


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