As everyone expected, that CBS vs Howard Stern lawsuit officially ended today. Now the clock’s ticking: how long before Howard does a deal to get himself back on FM as well as Sirius satellite radio? God, how I miss him in Los Angeles. For seemingly forever, we’d heard about him here. Occasionally, we’d see him – that tall gawky guy with the Prince Valiant hair and the Prince of Darkness face, showing up as a guest on David Letterman (circa NBC’s Late Night) and proclaiming how he was the world’s best entertainer — yet demonstrating no visible talent beyond self-love. But, most of all, those of us who lived outside of New York didn’t get Howard Stern: not on our radios, not as an iconic figure. Sure, we were curious to hear just how dirty and despicable his act supposedly was. But if Howard Stern was the Frank Zappa of modern radio, then Los Angeles was stuck with white-bread Michael Bublé in the form of KIIS-FM’s Rick Dees, Pirate Radio’s Scott Shannon and KLOS-FM’s Mark and Brian.

That is, until Howard came to town at KLSX-FM (97.1). I know exactly when I became a Howard addict: during the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings when Anita Hill’s testimony rocked Capitol Hill and beyond. I remember staying up until 3 a.m. the next Monday because I couldn’t wait to hear Howard’s take on it. From the moment his mike was turned on, Stern let loose; I even recall what he said, “Of COURSE, he did it. My God, LOOK at her. She’s GORGEOUS!” He had summed up in a dozen words what it had taken TV analysts a million and more to spew. So look what we’re stuck with now: Adam Carolla, that unwitty slow-talker who’s not just a panderer but also a punishment to listeners in LA (and also KIFR-FM San Francisco, KPLN-FM San Diego, KZON-FM Phoenix, KUFO-FM Portland and KXTE-FM Las Vegas). We have ABC’s lame late night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel to damn for Carolla’s presence: Mr. Smug is not just the show’s creative consultant but he’s also the “advisor” — and I use that term loosely — to develop new talent and show ideas for Infinity (and make guest appearances on Carolla’s program). So I’m told that, as long as Kimmel’s contract is ironclad, Carolla stays put. And that dickwad Ryan Seacrest at KIIS-FM racks up more of Howard’s former free radio audience. Life sucks.