Howard Stern suing SiriusXM

From what I understand, Stern thinks that he should be credited with XM subscribers who have involuntarily joined Sirius. Here is one article.

It might simply be that his contract says that he should (which would be stupid on the part of Sirius executives), and this thread is pointless.

However, if it comes down to a judge determining the logic of this, then I can’t see how he has a case. I am an XM subscriber who never enjoyed Stern when he was on regular radio. In fact, I bought my XM radio specifically for another talk radio show that was on the same channel as Stern when I lived in Orlando, and I mainly only listen to this type of radio. (Not that I want to turn this into a “Stern sux/Stern rulz” thread. Just pointing out that he is in no way responsible for my monthly payments to SiriusXM.) How can he claim responsibility for the subscriptions of people who subscribed to Sirius’ competitor? If these people wanted to listen to his show, then they would have chosen Sirius over XM back before they merged.

I didn’t see any other threads about this. Also, I wasn’t sure whether to put this in Cafe society, GD or GQ.

I’m still confused about what the SirusXM merger actually means for subscribers. I listen to XM sometimes, and occasionally I hear an “ad” for some channel that will have two channel numbers listed: one for Sirius subscribers, and one for XM subscribers. Are Sirius and XM subscriptions still distinct services (except under the umbrella of one company), or are the channels fully interchangeable now?

If the former is the case then I’m not sure if Stern has much of a lawsuit (since people would still have to specifically subscribe to Sirius to listen to his show), but I’m probably mistaken about the whole thing anyway.

They are still distinct (they use different satellite technologies) but many channels have merged operations. So you’ll have one feed that broadcasts on XM channel XYZ and Sirius channel ABC.

He’s a F’ing pig in more ways than one. He had a five-year, $500 million - MILLION - contract and has re-upped for more (undisclosed) AND gotten a bonus for his shit show. WTF? How much can he possibly want??? Or use? It sounds like a publicity ploy, and if he wants my sympathy, he could publicly donate some of his millions to a good cause.

What’s wrong with trying to get paid more money?

You have factual information about how much money Stern donates to charity every year?

$500 million is the budget for his entire two channels for five years, including ALL staff salaries, including his own.

I have been a huge Stern fan for about 20 years, but I must agree with the OP. It’s misguided at best, and a catastrophe for the show at worst. He’s really just phoning it in since the renewal, and I wonder if he regrets re-signing…


Nothing, if it’s done in an ethical manner. The question is whether or not this is the case, which would depend on how his contract is worded.

Given how hard it is in general to identify any particular performer’s contribution to a network’s audience, it may be that the contract simply bases Stern’s bonus on the number of listeners, with no attempt to separate out special cases such as gains via merger. If so, the network agents who negotiated their end are a bunch of suckers (especially if their upper management was contemplating such a merger pending regulatory approval), but taking advantage of suckers whose professional job responsibilities begin with “don’t be suckers” doesn’t strike me as horribly unethical.

If he wins in court it sounds pretty ethical to me.

Both SirusXM and Stern have enough money for good lawyers. Neither of them can complain if they screwed up the contract.