Howard Stern: "I don't think I'm going to be re-signing" - Orbitcast

Howard Stern: "I don't think I'm going to be re-signing"

| 78 Comments
Howard Stern's Contract Negotiations BeginAnd so begins the public relations tit-for-tat.

Last week Sirius XM Radio Inc. CEO Mel Karmazin said this would happen, and almost immediately doubt has been cast about whether Howard Stern will renew with contract on satellite radio, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Welcome to the game of pre-negotiation.
"I don't think I'm going to be re-signing," said Howard Stern on the air last month. "I know exactly what I want to do here," he said, referencing the desire for a less time-consuming schedule, "and I don't know if it would interest [Sirius XM Radio]."

Karmazin told reporters last week at the Reuters Summit that this would happen - starting first with Stern complaining that he's doing too many shows, and Sirius XM complaining that he's being paid too much.

"It is my strong desire that we keep Howard in satellite radio on terms that are in the best interest of our shareholders," said Karmazin in the interview with WSJ, but he didn't go as far as to say what those terms might be.

During the same show where he expressed the he might not be re-signing, Stern also said his current gig on satellite radio is "the best job in radio I've ever had."

But without Stern, would Sirius XM Radio go under? David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, doesn't think so. Bank asked, "you might lose subscribers, but would you lose profitability?"

"I think they would be willing to let him go."

[via Wall Street Journal]
Thanks Bob!

78 Comments

If Howard doesn't renew his contract, where will Sirius find a person willing to work for a staggering 10 months out of the year? Work for a measly $100,000,000 per year? And spend 3 to 4 hours per show complaining about everything?

Who?

Tell me, who is willing to make this sacrifice?


Is that a quote from 1986?

As the article says, this is just part of the poker game. I'd would not expect any real negotiations to take place until late in the eleventh hour, probably after one or both sides have declared "unequivocally" that Stern won't be back.

SatRad has bigger issues than Stern to deal with. He has brought attention to the company but either he wants to stay or go. Like Mel stated before, he can do less shows (I guess Stern can at least do three shows a week) but give him less money. If not then time to MOVE ON!

Finally - drop that financial burden!

For what he brings to the table & what will be realistically lost if he leaves in subscribers: buh-bye. Thanks for coming. Let's start redirecting funds into the company & start developing again.

Half a billion for p*ssy jokes & unoriginal content that was cutting edge over 15 years ago?!?! Why is this even considered?

Will some subs drop? Yes. Probably looking at a 5% churn increase blip for ONE quarter compared to a $500,000,000.00 contract for a guy who is looking at retirement & MAYBE shows up 3 to 4 shows per week??

It's called a "no brainer" people.

I hope this doesn't drag out all year. It will be such a distraction. That goes for Howard, Bubba and Ferrell. Both Howard and Bubba's deals are up at the end of the year. Not sure about Scotty Ferrell.


"you might lose subscribers, but would you lose profitability?"

This is a good quote... Sirius payed Howard a whole lot of money. What they loose in revenue they could makeup by not paying Howard. Of course the same could be said for the insane amounts of money they're paying non-radio types - Oprah, Martha, etc.

- Follow up point to previous post -

If Howard is such a massive draw: why has the XM offering of Best of Sirius been such a massive bust?

Signups for the extended programming featuring primarily Stern have been "spectacularly lack luster".

But what do I know? Numbers always lie. Right?

PAy stern in an all stock deal no cash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I only see this going up to the 10th hour, not necessarily the 11th. I don't think the company will want to go into the holiday shopping season a year from now not knowing if their marquee talent is going to be part of the mix just weeks later... If they're going to spend the money to keep him, they'll want to promote him when people are out buying radios...

This is terribly out of context. Howard has said no less then 5 times in the last week (if they actually listened to his show they would know that) that he wants to stick around. Its almost like the wall st journal either listened to one show or this was submitted as a tip off press release by Howards management team. Anyone who is a regular listener knows that he flip flops live on air on almost a daily basis when it comes to this.

He'll re-sign. Howard has too good a relationship - and loyalty to Mel - for this not to happen. The more drama, the better. Celebrities + drama + news coverage + a society obsessed with controversy & gossip = higher profile story = more interest = more subs = even Sirius/XM's moron management realizes all this = Howard re-signs.

Now if they would just get rid of Oprah, Mad Dog, and some of the other absurd contracts, AND PUT SOME MONEY INTO IMPROVING THE SHIT PROGRAMMING.... then the day that Sirius/XM can finally proclaim, "Hey everybody - we just earned our first penny of profit!" will come to pass while some of us are still alive.

So long, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Really ..........

This has happened EVERY time his contract is up. This is the same crap he did when he was on terrestrial radio too. Fans of Stern have been down this road many times before.

I STRONGLY believe that if Howard leaves it will be a pretty heavy hit to Sirius/XM, but if they played their cards right they could recover. Even though I personally feel the quality of programming on the music channels has gone down considerably since the merger, I'd think few people would want to go back to commercial ridden FM. As many times I've contemplated cancelling my XM, it would take just a short amount of re-exposure to terrestrial radio to convince me otherwise.

Stern's departure would allow Sirius/XM to concentrate on things other than Howard. His obscene salary (and believe me I don't begrudge him that) has given him the power to put a strangle-hold on the company. It seems pretty obvious that Sirius/XM has to run certain things by him before green lighting. I wouldn't be surprised if Stern's agenda (powered by his fragile ego) is preventing some quality entertainment from being offered. I see that as a conflict of interest to subscribers, such as myself, that don't listen to Stern.

If Howard goes the company would be forced to reinvent itself or sink. They'd have to find new types of content to provide that would generate interest and excitement in a product that seems to have become creatively stunted and tired. I'd love to be as excited about satellite as I was when I first subscribed to XM five years ago.

I'd be happy if Howard took his "revolution" elsewhere. While he's at it he should take Karmazin with him. I think it would be interesting to see what Sirius/XM could come up with, without Stern.

Game over . O and A win .

I agree with you, ed. With or without Stern, this company needs to reprioritize. I'm beginning to get more of a thrill making toast, than I do when I turn on my Sportster Replay. I can't even refer to it as pay FM; some of the FM stations in my area are programmed a lot better than anything on Surius/XM. Not very many - because there aren't very many radio stations that I can get - but a couple, nonetheless. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has slowly gravitated - admittedly very marginally - back to what I still consider for the most part 99% crap.

I have been listening to Stern for a long time, but it annoys me that he is so self serving. I still think he will re-sign, but at some point you have to wonder if he cares about this company at all, or has any gratitude for the Kings Ransom that Sirius/XM dropped in his lap with the first deal. Like most filthy rich and spoiled rotten people, they forget how fortunate they are, and they live with a sense of entitlement that is really, for lack of a better word, DISGUSTING!

Karmazin has no vision and no passion for satellite radio. It's strictly business to him, and that attitude is reflected in the putrid, pathetic programming that he touts as being "world class." Hey Mel- I have a little poem for you... "World Class, My ASS!"

You really told it like it is, and clarified the situation precisely.

bye bye Howard. Now bring on the music !

Stands to reason if Howard goes that frees up a lot of capital to reinvest in talented programming people, lower subscription prices, and potential debt reduction. I listened to him when they gave XM subs a free weekend but I am not paying any more than I already do just to get his show. I wasn't that impressed. I like Howard, but someone at Sirius had their head up their ass when they decided on his salary the last time...

I can only wish that management at Sirius/XM notice that while Stern has a loyal following, fans are also annoyed with the progamming of late and demand more (as they SHOULD). Alot of good posts on this topic.

I,m a long time Howard listener but I think its time for his complaining ass to hit the road, move Bubba in and let Howard retire in the Hamptons like a little bitch with all the people he use to talk crap about. He has become a big phoney whinney fag.

Somehow I am sure that Howard gets resigned and somehow I am sure SiriusXM will give him a lot of money to stay while other programming will continue to suffer.

I find it interesting that this company thinks so highly of Howard, yet XM subscribers are forced to pay extra for the "Best of Sirius" package in order to listen to him. Has this been a success? I know I did not sign up for it. I won't pay extra for him or for any of SiriusXM's programming. I'll probably bail out on satellite radio after the new year begins. If they would improve their playlists I wouldn't feel this way but I don't see that happening.

It's sad. I used to really love XM. Now satellite radio just frustrates me.

Howard will re-sign. Sirius/XM needs to actually be a smart company and pay attention to their two big names: Howard and Opie and Anthony. Focus on those shows to make them better and stop paying out millions of dollars for all these stupid celebrity host shows that no one cares about.

How do I put this? I really want to know what the people who sub to Sirius think of Howard, and whether or not it would be an issue if he left. I could be making generalizations but I think we know how most XM people feel about Howard. Aka, if we wanted Howard we would have subed to Sirius in the first place.

Its hard for me to see things from a Sirius point of view when all of these years I have seen them through XM only.

I know that there are going to be those people who got XM with the best of Sirius because they love sports and it has nothing to do with Stern. And I think that one point that doesn't get brought up enough is that a lot of us sub because of the sports that SXM has. It just can't be beat by any other service.

Also, having read orbitcast.com for a couple of years I get the feeling that most people who read and comment on the site are mostly XM subs. I could be wrong, but every time a Howard article comes up its XM people saying that SXM should not sign him to a new deal, and I agree with that. But XM has made maligned signings and deals as Sirius made, ala, Oprah Radio 3 year, 55 million and 650 million dollars over 11 years for MLB on XM, (which I listen too) just to name two.

Most of us know all about this considering that we visit and comment on orbitcast.

I came for Stern but will stay for everything else.

I'm win-win either way.

Actually, 100 and 101 eat up a lot of bandwidth. If he doesn't resign, do the channels become obsolete and free up bandwidth or do they play replays?

What is the contingency plan?

Don't misunderstand what I am about to say.

I like Stern. But I hope he leaves.

Sirius needs a good kick in the ass. They need to lose Stern and all his loyal fans that are subscribing to the service just for him.

What that will leave Sirius is a taste of reality.

They will see that people aren't subscribing to their service for the music programming. I know I am not. I'm still subscribing because of Opie and Anthony. And every time I have tried to cancel my subscription they give me a huge discount to stay.

But getting back to my point...

Once Stern and all the subscribers who paid to listen to him leave the company will finally find that nobody is interested in listening to paid FM radio.

And, as always, Steve is very correct. The programming on my local FM channels is far better than the limited playlists that Sirius has in place. And, the DJs don't have diarhhea of the mouth.

Howard will re-sign, and before he does both sides will milk this for all the publicity they can get. Bottom line is he likes not dealing with the FCC bullshit on top of being loyal to Mel.

Then you have RonBLOW Epstein on here saying FM is "far better than" satellite radio? That statement of absolute stupidity really does show what a piece of shit he is. Hey Ron, are you going to threaten me will violence again and then run? You are a worthless cunt.

One thing everyone is missing in this little dance between the mongoose and the cobra: Howard and Mel have been joined at the hip for years.

Mel is Howard's conduit; he is everywhere Howard is, even if it's not in a public situation.

Mel brought Howard and his outrageous demands to satellite radio; the companies, now merged have suffered tremendously in order to dole out this $100 million salary...and for what?

Howard rolling in four days a week (or when he can find the time); his show is no different, except that he can swear now. It has not changed significantly.

Howard's ego needs the work, not the bank account. My guess is that he and Mel have already worked out an agreement, which they will sit on until the final hour...then they'll make a big splash with this earth-shaking announcement.

Howard, if he stays likely will want more money for doing less, or at least the same amount of money for say, three days a week, and three months off.

Essentially: Mel will make the deal, overrule any objections, and Stern will remain doing a subpar show with a subpar cast of minions (if Artie Lange does not drink himself to death first, Heaven forbid). His fans, just like the tools that accept Sirius/XM as it is will suck it up like a drug.

It's really non-news. He'll stay, and more money will be wasted.

We feel the same way. "It's sad. I used to really love XM. Now satellite radio just frustrates me."

NJRonbo,

I don't claim to be any more correct, or incorrect than anybody else. The whole thing is rather subjective, and anything worthwhile that I submit owes itself to the good fortune of having read the innumerable, diverse, amd insightful posts on Orbitcast, and other select sites. I do appreciate the support, man. It does wonders for my low self esteem! Some people think that you and I are the "Bash Brothers" around here; what they don't understand is that some people - you, and I, and some of our fellow dissenters are not as complacent... and willing to get screwed as they are. I don't claim to know much, but I do know when I am being lied to, when I am taken advantage of, and when I'm thoroughly pissed off. It's called being true to your feelings. Anybody who trusts this company for a second, does so at their own risk. If all of us tolerate the bullshit that Sirius/XM is trying to force feed us, then there is no hope, no chance that anything will ever change for the better. Anybody who is satisfied with the programming either has very low standards, or looks at Sirius/XM as a charity, and doesn't mind donating their hard earned money on a monthly basis. I have news for them; they are squandering your offerings, and like the Jerry Lewis Telethon - there ain't no cure in sight!

I am a long time Stern listener, but he isn't the only reason I switched to satellite. Mel recently said that talent cost a lot, and that he would rather pay for it than have to compete against it. That is the very attitude that practically bankrupted this company, and still might. There are plenty of other ways to get your music these days. I prefer to listen to music via radio, but only if it is programmed well, and the content is diverse and doesn't insult the listener. Turning satellite radio into a Pay Top 40 Countdown is an insult.

It's uncanny how everything the merger opponents predicted has come to pass. Mel told all of us that the merger would benefit the subscribers. Mel lied, plain and simple. Nothing good usually happens as a result of lying, or so I was taught. Brace yourself, Mel. KARMA (4 ur) SINS is gonna getcha. Maybe not right away, but eventually. Life is more than about money. Life is about helping, and caring about someone other than yourself. Stop trying to be so slick, and try following some of the golden rules that people of honor, and success, have used since the dawn of time. Golden Rule number 1: Be nice to the subscribers, and treat them with respect. Golden Rule number 2: Take that shit programming, blow it up, and start with a clean slate. Instead of treating the music as an afterthought, why not make it the cornerstone, the foundation of all the programming. Make it the envy of every competitor out there. Make it something you can be proud of. At the very least, make it better than terrestrial radio! Is that really asking for too much?

Let him go and bring back XM, bring back the XM channels, the music channels.

Don't be crazy. Stern re-signs.

However, since he has nowhere to go now, his new deal isn't as sweet as the last one. The money isn't what it was before. He does three shows a week max, maybe even moves to afternoons.

Bubba goes away. Scotty might stay, or move to a sports channel. Howard's two channels might become only one. This would actually be good for the programming, since it would be only the best stuff from both channels.

By the time Howard's contract is up, the XM and Sirius programming lineups should be nearly identical. I don't see the "best of" packages remaining when they could just raise the price and send the same signal to everyone. It'll happen.

Also, Jason Ellis moves to the Virus, immediately following Ron and Fez. Makes sense to me.

Sounds like the rebirth of testical radio and the revival of advertising dollars pouring into whomever lands him. I'd rather listen for free anyway.

Let him go. That will let me and Anthony rule the sat rad world just like we did before him. We will take satrad to a new level just like we took our radio empire to new heights after Stern left KROCK.

Give it all to us Mel we can do it. With more marketing dollars behind the O n A juggernaut we can double our listenership and that of satrad. We are the best!

Oh, can you maybe slide ron n fez some more money? They really need it as I don't think anyone knows about them and I heard Ron Diaz has more listeners in Tampa.

Looking forward to becoming the NEW KINGS

It's a good point that's brought up in many posts - just what percentage of satellite radio listeners listen to Howard Stern.

There's some data available. Based on the last satellite radio ratings I can find, Stern had something over 2 million listeners a day. It might be a little higher now due to Best of Sirius, so maybe 2.5 - 3 million. Taking the highest figure, 3 million listeners at an average of $100 a year (allowing for discounted family-plan radios, free introductory subscriptions, etc.) generates $300 million in gross for the company. There's ad revenue too, but there are also other costs -- additional personnel on the show, etc. So, given Stern's salary, it would seem he is modestly, but not wildly, profitable for the company.

You also have to look at how many of these people actually would leave if Stern were to go. Not all of them, certainly, but a percentage. The other issue is, what growth potential is there with Stern? How many big fans haven't yet figured out that he's on satellite radio? Not many.

Further limiting growth is the fact that most satellite radio listeners are, for practical purposes, still locked into the service that's on their OEM car radio. So if you buy GM, you get XM, and if you buy a Ford or Chrysler, you get Sirius. Given this, how many people -- even among those who listen to Stern -- actually got satellite radio expressly to do so? It would seem you could argue that the answer is, "not all that many."

This is why I believe if Sirius XM is to keep Stern, and I think they would want to do that if nothing else from a public relations and image perspective, they need to figure out how to get some growth out of him. As I've said before, one way I think they can do that is to share him on a limited basis with terrestrial to get some buzz going about his show and generate some interest among people who aren't already listeners. As it is now, Stern's value diminishes with every passing day, and there's really no potential for increased revenue in the future.

can someone run the numbers as to how many subscribers would need to be lost to offset the $100mil being paid out to Stern?

500k?

500k times $15 times 12 mths = almost $100mil....

we easily lose that many if Stern leaves

yes?

How could he possibly have a LESS TIME CONSUMING schedule?!?!?!?! Hey Howard -- Go F yourself you greedy hooknosed asshole!! You are the single reason that satellite radio is in this mess to begin with! Because of your selfish demands!

I see this as a potential opportunity for Sirius XM. If you believe that Howard is still a draw, then Mel could renegotiate his contract to include XM and Internet Broadcasting. It could actually make the Internet Streaming Service more attractive. I could see Mel giving him a smaller contract that includes rights to XM and Internet. Let him broadcast from home. Everyone will be happy.

i will cancel sirius if howard doesn't stay. he's all i listen to on sirius. i dont care about music on sirius. when i want to listen to music, i listen to music that ive picked thru either my computer's mp3s or usb flash drive that i just plug into my car radio.

I wish Howard Sperm would go. He's the hetero version of OutQ -- of interest only to those who think life is all about the fetid stench of grinding crotches.
Save the 100 million a year, Mel; Let him go back to terrestrial radio and your company will finally make a profit.

Nice to know we have a program director and an expert in Smitey.

With Stern either stepping down or cutting way back, your boyz o n a should step up and take up the slack and make satrad the premiere entertainment medium. Maybe the Virus becomes number one. Though I highly doubt it. Jason Ellis will probably overtake o n a on the virus and actually make something out of that lame channel.

Again, Stern two or three times a week regardless of the time is far better than 24/7 virus and will still continue to generate more dollars and subscribers than your boyz.

C'mon, tell us how you REALLY feel ........

X-Country, your posts are consistently well written and insightful. When I am checking out stories that interest me on Orbitcast, the first thing I do is scroll through the comments to see if you've posted. You have a way of communicating your points intelligently without dumping on the opinions of others. Instead you interject your view while keeping an open mind to what others have to say.

It's so easy to fall into the trap of posting comments riddled with profanity and name calling. I've been guilty of that when I've felt passionately about a point I was making. All that ends up doing is taking away from the legitimacy of the point one is trying to make.

Nice work Sir. Ryan you offer you a job a writer for this site.

I'm starting to not give a damn whether he stays or leaves, and I'm a long time listener. A lot of us are scraping just to get by; I don't have a lot of sympathy for a multimillionaire who wants more, more, more - for "working" less. I say do what's best for the company. If Howard wants to jeopardize this companies future, just so he can add to his personal fortune, then I say cut the cord. I can't stand selfish people. He is set for many, many lifetimes, and so is his family. It's time for him to give back something, and I don't just mean monetarily. Like maybe getting off his heinous, boney ass, and promoting Sirius/XM. Make some appearances on television, or do a commercial. Christ... he could easily pay for the commercial himself, and then reap the rewards later as a result of hitting higher sub counts. The guy is good at what he does, but he needs to show some loyalty to satellite radio, and his incredibly faithful fans. I would be embarrassed if I was him.

PS - If my adams apple was bigger than my penis, I sure as hell would stay away from a camera. Looks like a scene from Alien! Freaking gross.

Get it straight, kids:

There's no terrestrial radio to go BACK to. And it's not because Howard left it...it was falling apart long before he went away.

He either re-signs with Sirius or he retires, period.

Personally, I'd like him to stay. I've made it clear that I'm not the Stern hater that I used to be. I listen to everyone now, and there's room for all of them on satellite. Except for Bubba.

How about taking some of that Stern money and bringing back LUNA (latin jazz). Even AOL radio has a Latin jazz but not SatRad?

http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/4298951-1.html


Sirius estimates that Stern only would need to generate approximately one million subscribers in order to cover the costs of the deal. Total production and operating costs for the Stern show, including compensation of the show cast and staff, overhead, construction costs for a dedicated studio, and a budget for the development of additional programming and marketing concepts, is estimated to be approximately $100 million per year.

They boast about having such fabulous programming; out of 130 channels - or however the hell many there are - there is the grand total of ONE legitamate (not smooth) jazz channel. ONE ! When the geniuses took the hatchet to the programming right after the merger, they chopped at least one jazz channel from the line up. Evidently two was major overkill as far as their feeble minds were concerned. All I know is that these assholes pissed me off with that little move, which of course was just the tip of the iceberg considering the mass slaughter they performed on some of the most cherished channels. By the way, those were OUR CHANNELS! This isn't terrestrial radio, where the listener is not part of the equation. This is a pay service, and there should be some inalienable rights commensurate with those that are paying the freight. The utter gall, the audacity of Sirius/XM's management is mind-boggling. Without consulting wlth a single, solitary subscriber, these insolent imbecils of indignation decided to randomly ravage OUR music. Maybe they dont give a shit about music, but I'm pretty sure some of the 18 million subs.... er... accounts, that is, consider music to be something quite special. Something more than a product, or a commodity. Sirius/XM's attitude that music is merely merchandise, like cheap crap that you can find in any dollar store, has caused significant damage to satellite radio, and has alienated listeners more than they will ever know. The music is like a magnet that attracts people to the radio. To want to turn it on, and listen to it. Remove enough good content from the programming, and eventually that magnet starts to lose some of its pull. This is what this company has done; they have taken away the dynamic element that had the power to attract, and pull the listeners to their service.

It's hard for me to believe that Mel and his cronies can be this stupid. It's hard to believe that they could have so little common sense. Like Tritan28 said, something very sinister is going on. Major scheming by people with diabolical minds has to be taking place. I realize the stock is being manipulated, and I realize that many people in this corrupt country of ours are still intent on destroying satellite radio - including the SEC. They are the ones who are supposed to enforce rules and regulations, and maintain a level playing field for investors, and the companies that depend on them. Our government is so completely disfunctional, and so fraudulant, that nothing can even be investigated. The investigators are more corrupt than the criminals! Is this a great country, or what?

Anyway, I think what they did to the programming has come back to haunt them. I question the integrity of the entire managerial staff, and I have to turn the channel because they are playing the same song I heard three hours ago.

Thanks for the kind comments, Ed. I think, like you and the other thoughtful people on here, I take some "ownership" of satellite radio, and I really want it to be good, even though I've never owned stock in it and don't have any financial interest other than what I spend to subscribe.

I do not take issue with those numbers, and Stern probably has generated a million subscribers. But the question now is not how many people signed up for him, but how many would leave if he did, and that's why I say the numbers are pretty tight. If he's got 3 million regular listeners and half would leave if Stern left, that's a 1.5 million difference. Based on the assertion that a million listeners cover the costs, that means the marginal profit is equal to the proceeds of 500,000 subscriptions. On the face of it, it seems as if they could make up that loss pretty easily by adding other appealing but less costly programming. Looking at the quarter-by-quarter subscription results, they've seemingly been willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of subscribers for far more paltry savings than what would result from not paying Howard Stern.

But, as I said before, I think keeping Stern is desirable from a prestige and image standpoint as long as they're not actually losing money on him, and they're probably not. However, if they did lose him, I don't think it would be as big a problem as some suggest.

Please give Howard a raise so he can buy better wigs.

Holly crap look at that pic.

If Howard goes, so does the company. You people who want him to leave are crazy. If Howard goes, he will make a deal with the cash strapped NASA or Russia and launch his own satellite into orbit. As his satellite goes up, Sirius/XM will crash to the Earth! If you don't like paying for Howard now, how will you like paying HOWARD for satellite radio when he OWNS it. Lord knows he can afford it!

Wherever he goes, he will take millions of loyal listeners with him. Don't think for a minute that people won't follow him into the coffers of HBO, Showtime or maybe he will get serious about his own Howard TV on Comcast or Verizon.

Whether you like him or not, he is the cornerstone to why everyone listens to non-terrestrial radio. Freedom. None of you bitchers will ever be able to go back to commercial laiden FM.

They are losing money on him today and they've lost money on him every day since before he went on the air.

If he stays it will be with a massive pay cut -- probably to 50M/y or less. Which is what XM would have paid him way back when (actually, about 30-35). Because that is what he was actually worth.

Stern was to have turned Sirius into a contender. Not what happened. At a cost of nearly 3/4 billion dollars, it made profitability absolutely impossible during the term of Stern's contract. While it enabled Sirius to merge on favorable terms with a scared, spineless XM management, it "kicked the can" five years down the road to a time when things are far more competitive.

I've not looked at the financials in months, I admit. But I'd still wager it is hard to see how this company ever makes any real money. Cutting Stern loose would be a very positive first step toward taking control of the business.

He'll never let them make a nickel off him. He's the King of All Media (LOL) and he wants the money from his "status".

I miss Joe Clayton, the true GOD of Satellite Radio. You all should bow before his alter and do obeisance to the only true Deity of this industry. PRAISE THE LORD!

If that showed up at my door on Halloween, I would have handed out extra candy for being "most frightful, horrific mask of the night." I can't believe Beth doesn't double bag that mug before having mercy sex with him! He still looks better than Kenny Rogers.

SatRad was around before Howard; it will certainly be around after Howard.

Albeit, it may not be the same exact experience but I strongly believe SatRad appeals to a certain market. If that market exists, consumers will purchase the product.

Did Howard bring a strong following to Sirius? Sure, no doubt about that - hell, include me in that. But figure I no longer listen to Howard and enjoy more and more of the other programming. I even acquired an XMp3 XM radio.

I think of SatRad as an evolving medium. Right now the programming is in flucuation and not in the best of shape. But since I have confidence in the product (not necessarily the leadership), I think the product will continue to get better and better. I think I'm in it for the long haul, as they say.

Actually, No. Howard did not bring a following to satellite..satellite is for people and yuppies who are dumb enough to pay for it. Most of his audience was blue collar and worked hard for the little pay they get. AND NOW the economy. Premium channels, Pay radio and any other extraneous money-eating services are the first to go when cutting back.

The very people that helped Howard climb were the ones left behind when he left the public airwaves.

The one way to NOT be heard..is to go to a PRIVATE system.

Then you are really just doing yourself a disservice..because what you say doesn't mean crapola..unless someone hears you.

it's the age old question...if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it..does it make a sound?

The answer: Yes..but only if there is a "receiver" of the sound...when waves are made..otherwise..you can blow farts all day..but if no one is there to hear or smell 'em...than what good is it?

If Howard..REALLY has something to say..He will come back to the PUBLIC OPTION..and let us all know..otherwise..I could give a crap about what he has to say. Just like I care about the tree falling somewhere else. Don't know..Don't care..and it has no effect or enhance my life.

This is planned. Free publicity until he signs. It will happen right before his contract is up. Until then, every gossip column will cover this and it will heat up going down to the wire. When he signs, there's no more story. Well played!

Um... what?

I've read your post about 6 or 7 times now and am having a very hard time extracting what your message is exactly.

Do you like O&A? Do you even have Sirius? Why are you blowing farts and smelling them and want other people to smell them?

And are you saying that people didn't bring a following to Sirius? Because I purchased Sirius to listen to Howard; so your statement doesn't hold any weight. And I'm pretty blue collar but I liked his show.

Again, I'm missing your point(s).

I think you're missing the point.

Howard is a smart man, he realizes that he doesn't really have a choice. He's trying to get the best deal he can from Sirius when he re-signs.

The public option? Little or none. Almost all of the stations that used to carry him have changed formats...not because he left, but because the marketplace has changed. Live DJs and talk hosts have been replaced by music because the companies can't afford to pay people. Leykis, Carolla, Mike O'Meara, and dozens of others...all gone, off the air.

What is going to go back TO? No one is going to pay him what he's making now. They can't afford it. He does not want to fight with the FCC or his affiliates like he did before, and things are much worse now than when he left.

He'll stay at Sirius, he's just not going to get a sweetheart deal like before. And he shouldn't, if he's not going to work as much.

you're an idiot. he is the best EVER as what he does and sirius wont survive without him. i would be happy for 3 afternoons a week and so would most of his fans. it has to make business sense but you pay him the maximum you can afford to, end of conversation.

Sounds logical to me. He has been throwing hissy fits lately, claiming that he is going to leave satellite radio. Of course, this is him playing the game - a ploy to put pressure on Mel. I don't know who he thinks he is fooling. People talk about him going back to terrestrial, but I have to believe that a large percentage of their listeners... don't listen anymore. To most young people, radio is a dinosaur. I know that here in upstate NY, where I live a lonely, miserable, socially vacuous existance in a climate that makes Siberia seem like Miami Beach - satellite radio still, after all these years, is considered a waste of time. All I ever hear these hillbillies around here say is "Howard Stern is a pig", or " I just can't see paying for radio", or "Everything I need is on regular radio." This is an area that is economically dead, 99.9% caucasion, and everybody drives a pickup truck and has a toothpick in their mouth. Not a hot bed for Surius/XM sales, I'm afraid. I hardly know anybody who has it, other than a couple of UPS drivers that had it on when they pulled up to the back woods shanty I "live" in. Believe me, this ain't no life. The women around here all look like Joe Torre, only hairier. Satellite radio is my only connection with the outside world; I guess that's why I still like it.

You're right - how could he go back to censorship, and the constant fines and controversy, after being at Sirius/XM. No matter what deal he gets, it will still be the equivalent of commandeering, and robbing, a convoy of Brinks trucks. If that isn't satifactory, then he should just go home and listen to Beth bitch at him all day. I'm more concerned about paying basic bills, and having something to eat. I don't have time for this bullshit anymore, to be honest with you. I'm a fan, and I still enjoy the show, but I have other things to concern myself with, other than whether a mutimillionaire becomes even more wealthy. All of them, from Mel and his overpaid cronies, to Howard, Oprah, Martha Stewart and the rest, should be sacrificing to help the company out. They never should have been paid such obscene amounts of money to begin with. The whole thing is asinine!

Caucasian, not caucasion. Whatever

I agree with much of what you have said, and I think there would still be a place for Howard Stern on terrestrial radio. With some 11,000 commercial stations in this country, Stern would have no problem putting together a very long list of markets for his show; he could be a "magic bullet" for a station with lousy AM drive ratings. I think in many markets, stations would bid for him.

Satellite radio does afford Stern much greater freedom, but it comes at a price -- practically no one hears him: As you said, not many people have satellite radio in the first place, and among those who do, a small percentage listen to Stern.

Big name people all but require terrestrial radio's ad revenue to justify what they make. If you make $20 million a year in ad revenue for a big market station, and you multiply that by a handful of big markets, plus a lot of smaller ones, a $100 million-a-year salary starts to make sense. With satellite radio, on the other hand, he's just a cost, and since any increase that he's given to Sirius's subscriber base has already been felt, it's a continuing cost that will see no added benefits over time.

This is why I say, keep him on satellite, but share him with terrestrial. It's the only way the numbers can work.

I'm all for distributing the Stern Show through whatever viable avenues there are. Are you suggesting that he do a completely seperate PG 13 version of the show, or take a hatchet to it and remove the filth, and then send it out? Anything to maximise revenue from him and the show makes sense; just wondering about the logistics of the whole thing.

The more people that hear him, the more buzz that is created. There is no buzz as it is - barely a whimper! Maybe a larger audience would inspire him to get his old mojo back, although I still think he is entertaining and a unique talent still. Keep the ideas coming, xcountry!

maximize, that is

I think the details could vary depending on Stern's willingness to do this, the demands of the terrestrial market and other factors I'm sure I haven't considered. But, I think either approach you suggest could work -- either a separate "PG-13" version, or an edited version of the Sirius XM show. As you said, terrestrial exposure would create buzz for the show, which is something sorely lacking now, and set up the satellite version of the show as a "premium" edition that Stern fans who begin listening on terrestrial could gravitate toward for more daily hours and an uncensored show.

This would make Stern a familiar name again, put him back in the mainstream, and start introducing him to new fans. It would also create a new revenue stream for Sirius XM in the form of ad revenue on the terrestrial show, and trigger an influx of new subscriptions from people who hear Stern on terrestrial and want more.

haha - you're so repressed. it's so obvious. just sayin'...

Howard WAS the best ever. Not no more. He's old, tired, cranky, irritable, and does nothing but complain. For a half-a-billion dollars, I'd expect a little more than this.

FM-radio can have him!

If Howard did both terrestrial and satellite it would make sense, but he's certainly not going to work MORE. I would think you'd get a severly edited and delayed version of the Sirius show.

The nice thing about such a show would be that stations could play it at any time, even though it would mostly end up in morning drive. It would have to be a condition of the new contract, since Mel doesn't want to share Sirius' exclusive content at present.

Howard would also get a lot of attention for being the first radio host to ever do both satellite and terrestrial, even though O&A and Bubba had already done it years before...

Amen the preacher, I miss Clayton. He's the only reason why Stern is here in the first place. He's the reason why Sirius won the satellite radio war.

Ditto. Mel The Radio Guy was not the one to create something new called Satelite Radio, but the Street thought 'there's "radio" right there in the name' and wanted a radio salesman to run the company, hence Mel. XM was clearly too good to last in the world of consultant-tested market-researched commercial radio that Mel came from.

Howard isn't bringing in anymore new subs so if he stays fine if not fine. I can't imagine mass cancellations if Howard leaves. Now I see why Sirius wanted this merger so badly, XM subscribers didn't care about Howard one way or the other so if there is a mass exodus there are still the XM'ers.Also think about the dumb asses who don't subscribe just because Howard is on and just may replace those sternbots when Howard leaves.

This being the 72nd post, Howard is even outreaching to Orbitcast. I bet the title KOAM didn't include the internet originally.

One has to give credit where credit is due.

Howard hasn't brought crap to Sirius XM. While he brought two million listeners, estimated at most, before the merger, the better money spent was buying up XM. If he wants to go, fine with me. They can put more money into real programming. And besides where the hell else is he going to get paid $100 million a year. NOWHERE! Sirius has not made a dime of profit off Stern. He is a novelty that's worn off, along with all of his other cohorts. I just wish Sirius XM would quit getting awe-struck with so called big named talent.

Sure 1/2 a billion in credit.

Howard will get a paycut plus a bigger piece of the action in the form of options and grants. That will probably turn out to be worth more than $100mil a year in the long run...

"Howard would also get a lot of attention for being the first radio host to ever do both satellite and terrestrial, even though O&A and Bubba had already done it years before..." How does that make any sense? O&A and Bubba both did the terrestrial and Satellite shows BEFORE Howard (O&A were only off terrestrial less than a year BTW) so Howie wont be the FIRST he would be the THIRD. He might try to spin it as being the first but then again that would be just another "Howie-truths" Sadly satellite is really the only place for Howard, terrestrial is on kind of life support, no one will pay him the $$$$ he's going to demand. I admit I'm not a big Howard fan, but it seems to me he only really has two choices 1) stay with satellite (for possibly less money because they are struggling with downturned economy) or 2) early retirement (which I don't think would be an option for him).

this guy should have hung up his wig a decade ago. it's over johnny, it over.

Actually, Howard would be the fourth to do both satellite and terrestrial. Ron and Fez were doing afternoons on XM and evenings on Krock. Not to mention the many shows that were being simulcast by Clear Channel on XM. So yeah...Howard would be way behind on that one.