Court turns down Howard Stern’s Sirius XM appeal


Howard SternHoward Stern lost a bid to revive his pay lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio after a New York state appeals court found he wasn’t entitled to additional compensation.

Stern’s production company, One Twelve Inc., and his agent, Don Buchwald, sued Sirius XM in 2011, claiming the company refused to pay $300 million in stock awards owed under an agreement that brought the legendary shock jock to the company.

Justice Barbara Kapnick of NY State Supreme Court dismissed the suit last April, rejecting the argument that subscribers to XM Satellite Radio, which merged with Sirius in 2008, should be counted when calculating the compensation. Stern believed himself to be a Sirius partner and that his participation in the company’s success put the company in a position to acquire XM.

The appeals court agreed with Kapnick, saying the plaintiffs aren’t entitled to additional performance- based compensation under Stern’s agreement with Sirius Satellite Radio.

“Looking solely to the plain language used by the parties within the four corners of the agreement, the disputed term ‘Sirius subscribers,’ by which plaintiffs’ performance-based compensation was measured, did not include subscribers to XM Radio, a wholly owned subsidiary which defendant acquired by merger, even though the merger had been anticipated within the agreement,” the appeals court said in the ruling.

RBR-TVBR observation: If XM had started carrying Stern as well (pre-merger) and that led to more popular subscribership on XM, he could have an argument.