Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, July 01, 2021

With the merger of XM and Sirius expected shortly, the analysts expect the resultant economies of scale to manifest in deep cuts in programming costs.

Including for the most notable radio personality on the satellite waves:

One obvious target: Howard Stern’s $500 million package, which doesn’t include the roughly $200 million in Sirius stock he’s received for meeting subscriber targets. Depending on the health of the combined company, Stern and his agents may be in for a tough negotiation [after his contract expires in 2010].

“The question is, is there anyone out there who would pay him $701 million,” asks Scott Cleland, a Washington-based analysts with Precursor. “Good luck.”

Stern could go back to AM-FM radio, but even then it’s unlikely he’d pocket anywhere near his Sirius pay. Stern and his team took in an estimated $30 million a year when he was at Infinity Broadcasting, now known as CBS Radio.

So does Stern accept less compensation just to stay on a combined XM-Sirius roster, which (presumably) will be the only satellite radio game in town?

In a word, no. Because he’s already expressed severe frustration with settling for a much smaller audience, versus what he used to get on terrestrial radio. He simply doesn’t generate the same buzz that he did when he was on the truly mass medium of FM radio. The trade-off is the greater creative freedom (read: no FCC censorship) and the dollars; but take away the payday, and I doubt Stern will tolerate the inherently limited universe that is satellite radio. He’s not obliged to go along with the industry’s new economics.

So if XM-Sirius lowball Stern in two years time, look for him to bolt back to his old stomping grounds (not necessarily CBS, but somewhere on the over-the-air dial). He’ll garner plenty of marketing cache via hype of his “triumphant return”, which will more than make up for any reduction in pay.

And satellite? Such a high-profile defection would sting, and combined with overall declining growth, paint a less-than-rosy picture for the industry. However, so much more of radio programming is essentially independent of personality (really, Stern is the only true difference-maker there), that it wouldn’t severely derail the offerings.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/01/2021 09:25:23 PM
Category: Radio
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3 Feedbacks »

    Here’s another reason why Howard Stern won’t be making less money after his satellite radio deal expires: His industry colleague Rush Limbaugh just agreed to an eight-year, $400-million-plus extension with Clear Channel to stay on the air. Limbaugh’…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 07/03/2021 @ 09:26:04 PM

  2. what is with you guys the reason he got away from the FCC so he can run his show his way… Yes he is worth the money hes is paid cause he can bring it to the table better then anyone else.. there is no ill go back to fcc either he resigns or hes retireing from radio.. where is the compations their is non you cant put anyone up again him.. or their will be a funeral another lost radio station gone… STERN RULES

    Comment by james — 07/04/2021 @ 08:50:13 AM

  3. Hey last NOTE… Have you ask HOWARD about the 3 Major Radio stations that have ask him to come back..and are willing to Pay him his money NOPE YOUR unwilling to hear the TRUTH that they are asking him to come back..

    DON’T ASSUME or Think you know HIM

    Comment by james — 07/04/2021 @ 10:15:14 AM

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