POSTING BY BIG ANGRY
A feud has been brewing for some time now between radio jock Howard Stern and his employer Sirius/XM over Stern’s belief that he has not been paid his due. Hence, a legal battle has ensued in which Stern was relatively silent on the details of the case on his radio show. Yesterday, a judge dismissed the case stating Sirius/XM have lived up to their end of the bargain, calling the wording of the contract “unambiguous.” With the resolution of the lawsuit, the details have been released.
Since day 1, Stern’s contract has included a clause that rewards him for bringing in new subscribers. Which, I might add, he did very well; propelling Sirius from 600,000 subscribers when the announcement was first made of his risky move to satellite to 3,000,000 subscribers shortly after airing in 2006. However, according to reports, Stern was seeking up to $300 million in rewards due to subscribers obtained when Sirius purchased XM. That’s right, he wants rewarded for subscribers that were already established.
Really? Are you effing kidding me?
Let’s face it, in the early days, Howard Stern saved Sirius from going belly up. Once the merger began to take shape, it was reported that Sirius would pay Stern $25 million once it was finalized. Which, in good faith, Sirius paid.
So let’s talk about these subscribers and rewards that Stern feels he’s entitled to. First, these subscribers were subscribers to XM prior to the merger. They were established and I highly doubt anyone signed up and thought, “Howard is on Sirius and I want to hear him, but I’ll sign up for XM anyway.” Secondly, even once the merger was complete, in order for an XM subscriber to even get Stern’s channels, they must fork over an additional fee each month as part of a package. So, in short, it doesn’t behoove someone who wants to hear Stern to sign up for XM.
Delusions of grandeur aside, Howard Stern’s radio show hasn’t been worth the price of a subscription for a couple of years now. The amount of time he is on the radio has steadily declined from 20 hours a week to as low as 8 hours a week. Complaints run rampant that the show is one long commercial for his new gig “America’s Got Talent” interspersed with live commercial reads and mostly useless Howard 100 News reports. The overly-coddled Stern is even no longer able to take the simplest of criticisms as demonstrated by the temer tantrum he threw recently after Judd Apatow said Stern talked about AGT on his morning show too often.
Personal ranting aside, it’s painfully obvious that Howard Stern’s main focus is on his new career as a game show host, collecting money he has not earned, and retiring. With the lawsuit with Sirius/XM behind him, Howard can now fully focus on the radio stunt he’s been doing best for the past two years: jumping the shark.