A day before Sirius XM shareholders met for their annual meeting, company star Howard Stern used his show Tuesday (5/24) to rail against management. Having sued for hundreds of millions in additional compensation under his previous five-year contract, Stern insisted that the contract was clear and the company just doesn’t want to pay him.
As detailed on the Mark’s Friggin’ website, which delivers a detailed daily review of Stern’s satellite radio show, Stern segued into his own situation after discussing Oprah Winfrey’s final shows and saying that Oprah deserves her billions and no one tries to deny her what she is due. He compared that to Sirius XM, where he said the bosses have short memories.
According to Stern, he had predicted that Sirius would eventually buy XM if he agreed to leave traditional radio for Sirius, but that everyone now forgets that he saved the company and made it possible to buy XM. Stern was quoted as saying TV is preferable to radio because “in radio they regret every penny they’re supposed to pay you.”
And while Mel Karmazin is now CEO of Sirius XM and a big promoter of satellite radio, Stern claimed that before he left CBS Radio, where Karmazin was his boss, Karmazin tried to talk him out of it, saying that satellite radio would never amount to anything. Of course, Stern did make the leap and Karmazin was later hired by Sirius and once again became Stern’s boss.
Stern complained that everyone seems to praise Liberty Media honcho John Malone for his investment that saved the satellite radio company from a bankruptcy filing – and investment which has made $5 billion for Liberty – but nobody wants to pay him what’s due under his contract. “Howard says they call him greedy but this guy John Malone has $5 billion,” said Mark’s Friggin’.
So, Howard is happy that Oprah has $3 billion. “She must have had better lawyers.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The saga of Howard and Mel is like an old married couple who is constantly arguing, but can’t live without each other. Someone should turn it into a movie.