Despite having renewed his contract in December for five more years at Sirius XM, Howard Stern is now suing the satellite radio company for more compensation. The lawsuit filed by Stern’s production company was first reported by the celebrity scandal website TMZ.
According to TMZ, the lawsuit claims that Sirius (long before the merger with XM) recruited Stern to grow its business that he was promised a share “in any success that the company achieved.”
The TMZ report was unclear about just what was in dispute, but that seems to have been clarified by the Wall Street Journal. It reported that the dispute is over how to count subscribers, due to the merger of Sirius and XM.
Stern was paid stock bonuses totaling well over $100 million (in addition to his cash payments of $500 million over five years) for exceeding subscriber targets for 2006 and 2007. Stern’s lawsuit reportedly claims he was also due stock payments for 2008 and 2009, when the company claims targets were not met, because having Stern’s show enabled Sirius to pursue the merger
The lawsuit was filed in a New York state court but was not available online when RBR-TVBR checked on Tuesday.
(Photo: Howard Stern with Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin)
RBR-TVBR observation: Kind of reminds you of the NFL lockout, doesn’t it? A multi-multi-millionaire battling with a multi-billion-dollar company. At least they’re doing their part to keep the legal profession busy.