Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage; Kevin Winter/Getty
February 05, 2010 12:00 AM

American Idol may have found a new mean judge!

According to the New York Post, show producers are in talks to convince controversy lover Howard Stern to take the job of outgoing judge Simon Cowell.

Stern is FOX’s first choice to take over Cowell’s role, an insider tells the paper. “Idol bosses think he’d be even nastier than Simon,” a source says. “They know he would be great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants.”

But a second source says that the top-earning radio personality is having commitment issues, since an Idol deal would involve touring the country for auditions and being in Los Angeles for much of the year.

“Howard isn’t ready to leave radio and would like to stay on at Sirius,” the source says. “We believe this is a ploy to make Sirius pay up and keep him on his huge contract.”

Stern, who makes $100 million a year, has repeatedly said on air that his Sirius XM Radio deal ends next January and he’s considering other offers. –Catherine Donaldson-Evans

Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage; Kevin Winter/Getty

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