He has Gilbert on in the 7:00 hour just so he can get him in and out BEFORE the news. Gilbert and Howard riffing during the news is one of the all time best bits on the Stern Show. Can't he stay one time a year (since that is all that Gilbert is on these days) and do a longer news and have some fun? Or at worst, start the news at 7 or 7:30 and go for an hour and a half. He just has to get out at 9:00, no matter what. Old howard would have stayed on until the bit was over, no matter what. Those days are gone, I guess.