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Howard Stern staying put at Sirius XM

Howard Stern Howard Stern, the king of all media, will continue his reign with Sirius XM.

Ending speculation that he was going to take his show to the next frontier -- whatever that might be -- radio personality Howard Stern said on his morning show Thursday that he had signed a new deal that will keep him with satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM for five more years.

Stern, who turns 57 next month, did not reveal details of the new pact but word that he was staying put was enough for investors to drive Sirius XM stock up about 20% in early-morning trading.

Stern joined Sirius XM in 2006 in a five-year deal valued at $100 million annually. That price tag was for the show, meaning that it also covered costs of Stern's morning program and salaries for his team. Still, Stern himself was likely taking home over $40 million a year. Over time, Stern has decreased his workload a little. He now does his show four days a week, and some analysts suspect that, down the road, he may cut back to three days under this new deal. 

With almost 20 million subscribers, Sirius XM has grown tremendously since Stern made the jump from FM radio. At that point, the company had about 600,000 subscribers. Of course, much of that growth came from the merger between Sirius and XM. Still, Stern has a rabid following and probably north of 1 million faithful listeners.

The challenge for Sirius XM was keeping Stern without breaking the bank. The company, which was teetering on the verge of bankruptcy just a few years ago until Liberty Media made a huge investment in it, has wanted to rein in some of its programming costs. At the same time, Stern provides a huge promotional platform for the service and signing him was groundbreaking for the company, leading to its recruiment of  other big talent.

There was lots of talk about Stern going elsewhere, but it would have been tough for him to get the kind of coin Sirius was going to pay him even if the company did pay him less (in return for a lighter schedule). Although he has the brand to launch his own Internet radio operation, it would have been costly and  faced with technological hurdles for Stern in terms of being able to reach his core audience of morning commuters.

A return to broadcast radio also was unlikely. Among the reasons Stern left FM was the Federal Communications Commission's scrutiny and fines. On Sirius XM, he gets to say what he wants.

--  Joe Flint

Related post: Howard Stern and Derek Jeter have a lot in common.

Photo: Howard Stern on Dec. 1, 2010, in New York. Credit:  Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (43)

Whether you love him or hate him, it's pretty ridiculous what one man can do, check it out: http://www.reputationroulette.com/2010/12/one-man-show/
It's crazy.

"Probably" north of 1 million subscribers? Gimmie a break. Don't be a 'player hater.'

Bababooey to y'all.

satellite radio is dying, as more vehicles and smart-phones can receive music, radio and talk from all over the world... can anyone in the biz, really justify this kind of money for stern, and his shrinking 15 year old male base? how is satellite making any money? now they sign laura whats her face to a contract? the guys at their board room have their heads in a place where the sun dont shine...

This is the best news for Dr. Laura!

The King of All Media continues his reign! Bababooey to you all.

I haven't listened to Stern for 5 years and it's so refreshing

woo hoo!!! Baba Booey!!!!!!

Congrats Howard!

Babbabooey to you all!

Who is this guy again and how is he relevant?

Howard Stern has way more than 1 million faithful listeners. How did you arrive at this number?

babba booeyy! babba booey! babba booey!

Way to go Howard! Love listening to you everyday!!!

Glad I just cancelled my subscription!

Howard's show has gotten old and tired.

babba booey babba booey babba booey

with internet radio now available even on 3g phones why bother to spend any money to listen to radio?
Howard Stern was at the peak in the early to mid 90's, since then, pretty much nobody listen to him anymore...

Yet another reason why Sirius continues to lose money (but the shareholders just made a quick profit).

Wow what a shock, Howard is staying....

Big fan back in the day.

Howard has been mailing it in for the past 4 years.

Dont care what he has to say anymore

No thanks!

All is once again good in the world. Howard rules!

Baba booey to ya'll!

My oldest sister went to Berkeley in the early 70s. It was great fun watching her go to war with our parents over their rules. She is still fighting them. But now she is 55 and they are 90. They don't care anymore and her general "question authority" shtick is pathetic to anyone who has to listen.

Point is, Howard's battles with the FCC were what made it fun. Free to rant unregulated, he's like my sister. The shtick is old and pathetic and no one cares anymore.

Lets prank Sal :-p, babbooey to you all!!!!

Thank you Sirius for resigning Howard Stern. LOVE YOU.

Howard is the best. He is so intertaining. The show has evolved and I am loving every minute of it. I am a listner since the 80's

Howard Stern is the reason why I will never pay for radio, he is just too full of himelf.

Howard is the only radio personality i will listen to....Sports radio is absolutely awful, & I'll never, ever listen to right wing radio...

Had Stern left, i would have bought a clock/CD player for work and play CD's all day as regular radio is terrible....

". . . reign in some of its programming costs?" Come on, Mr. Professional Journalist, it's "rein in," as in the using the reins on a horse to control or slow it down. Amazing.

 
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