Stern has long denied that he wants to return to terrestrial radio. But it's no secret that his celebrity power has dwindled somewhat since he moved to satellite radio. The last two years alone, he finished on Talkers' "Heavy Hundred" list in, what, 31st place?
Actually, I think the time might be about right for Sterns to return to terrestrial radio.
I believe with how things are evolving in radio at big companies like CBS and Clear Channel, you could soon see entire radio stations simulcast from LA or New York. Not just voice tracking, but the entire stations being simulcast.
For example Clear Channel takes 102.7 Kiss-FM in LA and brands itself simply as "Kiss-FM". They move their top talent from all their stations across the country to LA and create one Kiss-FM super station - and fire everyone else. Then they simulcast that station in every single market they own a top 40 station 24 hours a day. The only local content is the top of the hour ID and maybe a local news and weather news break. Most of the commercials become national spots, but they have a break for a few local spots the way local TV stations operate in prime time. So then the local staff might becomes a local ad sales rep and somebody to do news/weather. That could be it!
And these conglomerate companies set up one super stations for each radio format - "Channel X" for alternative, "Mix FM" for Hot AC - you get the picture. Not too dissimilar to what Clear Channel is currently doing on XM. There's really no alternative for these companies. There just isn't enough revenue in local radio to support having a large staff these days and that isn't likely to change. You KNOW it's coming!
The point being that Sterns might be the perfect morning talent for CBS's rock format. And he'd immediately be back on in a bunch of markets overnight. And his show would certainly draw national advertisers.