As if things couldn’t get worse for Sirius XM (SIRI). Now the satellite radio company’s biggest star, Howard Stern, is telling his fans he won’t re-up his contract.
From the howardstern.com recap of yesterday’s show:
IS THE END IN SIGHT?
Howard took a call from someone who asked if Howard planned on re-signing his contract with Sirius when it ends in two years. Howard explained he was pleased to do the best radio of his life, but thought he would be done at the contract’s conclusion: “This is my swan song.” Howard added that he looked forward to just spending his days with Beth and believed she felt the same way.
Gary came in to ask if Howard was being real, and Howard confirmed he was: “I feel strongly about it. If I could work out a deal with Sirius where I work on my own terms, I’d think about it.” Howard said he’d recently received a lot of other offers, but they don’t interest him: “If I wasn’t with this group, I’m done. If this is done, I’m done.”
Take Howard’s words with a giant lick of salt: From the beginning of his career, Howard has played up his fights with his bosses, which makes for a great show. And sometimes Howard gets needy, threatening to walk off so he can bask in the attention of people begging him not to go. Or Howard could just be trying to bully more pay out of his boss Mel Karmazin.
But if Howard really does go, it would be a disaster for Sirius. The company is already teetering on the edge, and it’s fair to assume that if Howard goes, so will a lot of Sirius subscribers.