Howard Stern to Sirius: 'I am not taking a f--ing pay-cut.'

Howard Stern, whose half-billion dollar contract with Sirius XM ends Dec. 31, lashed out at his boss during this morning’s show following reports that Sirius XM executive David Frear had suggested a paycut was in order. “I am not taking a f—ing pay-cut,” Stern said, according to The Wrap. “Why would I have to take a pay-cut? … Who is this guy to say this in public?” Stern went on to say, “I know what I have done in this company. I am more important than Oprah, in this company anyway. Oprah’s out getting the Kennedy Center honor and I’ve got the CFO announcing to Wall Street that I have to take a pay-cut.”

Sirius XM did not respond to requests for comment. Stern’s last show is scheduled for Dec. 16.

Update: On Wednesday morning’s radio show, Stern explained that he’d investigated Frear’s speech and concluded that The Hollywood Reporter had misinterpreted the CFO’s words when it concluded that he’d said Stern would need to take a pay cut. “David Frear is okay with me,” said Stern, who reportedly conceded that the financial landscape had changed since Sirius merged with XM.

Read more:
Howard Stern says he might leave Sirius XM
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Howard Stern slams Jay Leno


Comments (143 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    And a baba booey to you, too!

    • Candacetx

      Howie 143!

  • Jenn

    I miss the old Howard. Hampton Howie isn’t as good.

    • Big Walt

      Do people still actually listen to Howard Stern? I think it was a mistake to go to Sirius. Obviously not financially but other than the loyal superfans who followed him he’s become completely irrelevant now. Other than a story like this one 3 or 4 times a year I never even hear about him.

  • Menchy

    I mean he’s right. He kinda put Sirius on the map. It’s like telling Bill Gates to take a paycut.

    • Jay

      Not really the same, not even close.

      Howard’s an employee, not the creator/CEO of the company. They signed him to an initial contract, expecting that it would pay off. It didn’t. They’re paying him way too much money, and he’s not bringing in the subscriptions/advertising to pay for it, so they need to resign him for less cash. It’s just math.

      He’s just too proud to admit that Sirius screwed up when they gave him that deal.

      • Booey

        Not paying off? He brought in over 4 million subscribers, they only have 21 million total.

      • Fa Fa Fooey

        When Sirius signed Howard in October 2005, they had about 600,000 subscribers, while XM had over 1 million. By the time Howard started on Sirius in January 2006, Sirius had 3.5 Million subscribers, while XM had about 4.5 Million. Sirius grew so much faster than XM that they over took them in subscribers. Without Howard, Sirius would have failed. Economically; however, it didn’t make sense to have 2 pay radio services so Sirius and XM merged. Now combined, they have over 15 million subscribers, with the majority now subscribed to Sirius. At $14 per month, times 12 months in a year, times 15 million people, that’s about 2.52 BILLION dollars per year in revenue. I think they can afford to pay $100 million per year for his show (of which Howard makes about $25-30 million with the rest going to his staff, studio, and production costs.) Yes, economics are different now, but I think his show has more than paid for itself.

      • etm

        Jay, you are so off.

      • Joe

        wow jay you clearly don’t know now anything. When howard signed on to sirius they were no where near xm in terms of subscribers, there were only 600,000 at that time. This coming monday they are celebrating their 20 millionth subscribers not to mention sirius took over xm recently. 60% of that 20 million listen to howard exclusively (no other sirius channels) so the fact that howard didn’t “pay off” for sirius is completely false… without howard they would have caved to xm LONG ago. So 12 million people listen to howard daily, that’s twice as many americans that watch popular tv shows. Not to mention that generates almost 180 million a month in revenue alone to sirius, or 2.2 billion a year in revenue… that’s solid math for you…

    • rerun

      I wonder how much the subscriber base will drop if Howard leaves. 30% seems like a realistic drop to me. I’m not sure if I will keep on subscribing at that point. I can just use my IPod for commercial-free music.

      • doasis

        lets do the math and say he only has 2 mil subscribers
        thats 12 months x 12.99x 2million=$311,760,00
        seems worth the money to me.

      • Rush

        Where’s he gonna go, back to terrestrial radio? Not going to happen.

  • bubba’s mom

    Take a pay cut. Leave. Who cares either way, really? Shock jocks blow, and Howard blows twice as hard for making them so f#cking ubiquitous.

    Fart jokes, topless women (on radio), and ambushing people with awkward questions… brilliant.

    • BLM

      You obviously don’t listen to his show. He’s so much more than any of that. He’s a witty entertainer with the suberb interviewing skills. I will cancel my Sirius XM subscription when/if Howard leaves that company.

      • Kevin

        Hahahahaha! Your comment is (unintentionally) funnier than anything that’s been on Stern since the late 90s.

      • etm

        BLM is 100% right. It is so obvious who listens to the show and who doesn’t.

      • Elaine Connelly

        Howard Stern is not even remotely funny. He is crass, obscene and un-talented plus he is bu–ugly.

      • Trypdizzle

        It’s quite simple. Some ppl like him, some don’t. It’s not rocket science. I don’t like Rush, though some do. Howard says things like they are and speAks in a manner that most ppl do, even if only behind closed doors. And to pay a small fee for uncensored talk, commercial-free music, and tons of other programming that realistically can’t be gotten in the simple turn of the knob doesnt sound so bad. Imagine if a smoker was able to cut back on two packs of cigs a month, that pays for it. So does 2-3 less Starbucks visits a month. I’m debating on canceling my Sirius if/when Howard leaves. I have to think that they would at least want to buy the rights to play his content if he does go. I don’t think he will leave. Why would Sirius drop Howard, Bubba, Ferrell, and all the other regulars from the 2 channels when the majority of stern fans never change the channel from 100/101 at all except maybe on weekends? Sounds retarded to me and the worst business decision that could ever be made. And the fact that there are only a handful of shows left for the above stated talent and none of them “know what is going to happen”. Doesn’t seem smart to string us on like this, for fear that we may not renew, but the fact that none of the on-air talent seems to be freaking out or even that concerned about suddenly being unemployed tells me that there is ray of hope that we will still have Howard 100/101 in 2010. Nonetheless, we will still be able to hear Howard and family even if it’s podcast willy. I’m not stressing. Nor should the fans. How different is having to get his shows from the Internet or podcast than when we heard we would have to buy a radio and subscription 5 years ago? Us superfans adjust quite nicely. If all else fails, just call the show and ask to be put on hold for 4+ hours. Lol

      • Trypdizzle

        I meant 2011, of course.

    • Terri

      You said it well BLM. Much more diplomatic than I would have been. I will be cancelling my subscription as well when/if Howard leaves.

      • Sorry, it isn’t the 90’s anymore…

        Ya that will show’em…
        “So how are the numbers now that Stern is gone?”
        “Well we’ve lost a few thousand subscribers…”
        “DAMN IT! We’ve GOT to get him back!”

    • jon gosselin

      i love these people who assume that headlines and news reports is what makes a person. Listen to the show and write that again. In the words of the tradio host “Idiots.”

    • Zakry

      She has no idea what she’s talking about.

    • Narreman

      baba ..1. when did this conversation shift to pleope recording for their personal use? I have stated nothing about that subject. That decision was made long ago. You are now simply trying to shift the debate. Sorry .wont this, You may not re-skin, re-package, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble our Internet Radio Service, or construct a media player or interface that accesses our Internet Radio Service. In addition, your use of any products or services that access our Internet Radio Service and which are provided by third parties not authorized by us constitutes a violation of these Terms, even if you did not create such product or services and/or do not understand how they were created. Sirius XM has an enforceable right to protect their service.2. Pocket tunes is a not an authorized party. Therefore, it is a violation of the terms of service to use it.3. Pockettunes has reskinned/repackaged the service through an app. again, a violation of the terms of service.Wake up. Reply

  • jason Baker

    grow up howard

    • Fred’s Fader

      “grow up howard”

      How “grown up” would you be if your boss or his lackey went off talking about your next year salary and needing to cut it to the press for all to see before you? It was sophmoric at best of the CFO, a company officer, to do so & you need to grow up if you think CFO’s or CEOs who act like they’re the talent, that customers pay for, is any show of responsible leadership. Hint – Stern is an entertainer and love him or hate him subscribers CHOOSE/Have CHOOSEN based on such content.

      And since when is a CFO of a lossy business worth >$3M for such high profile contract negotiation gaffes? If it’s sucha buyers market for Sirius seems like they’re top heavy in management and programming.

      • 56

        EVERYONE has taken pay cuts these days, I know guys who have taken a 25% pay cut, and they work much, MUCH harder then Ole 4 day Howie. He got his half a Billion plus the stock. If he was a decent man, he would take the pay cut, and keep all of his staff employed. It’s not all about him ! I hope he can see that !

      • Stern = Huge Douche

        Let me put it to you this way:

        HIS CONTRACT WAS FOR HALF A BILLION DOLLARS! The guy is SET FOR LIFE, hell, 10 lives! I honestly couldn’t care an ounce about Stern or his unfunny 90’s humor, but the fact that he cares so much about taking a paycut when he gets paid THAT MUCH infuriates me. Look at Adam Carolla: the station where he taped his show shut down so he started a now extremely popular podcast. The podcast is free. Carolla actually PAID to fund the show with HIS OWN MONEY at the beginning. He lost a job and he went and did something about it. Stern doesn’t get paid his half a billion dollar check to tell idiotic jokes and he throws a fit. Even Conan gave away his couple million that NBC gave him after leaving the Tonight Show to his staffers! Stern is just as good as Jay Leno in my book. What a douche…

      • K8

        Agree with you. 56 & Stern = you don’t get it in the context of what happened. He may have actually taken a cut but was annoyed that someone not directly dealing him was making inflamatory statements about the negotiations to outside parties. Of course he’s going to say he isn’t taking a pay cut now. Listen to what happened before commenting. Also why should he take a pay cut, he works in a luxury business supported by ad dollars and listeners if people are willing to pay it why shouldn’t he take it. Act like you wouldn’t.

    • Zakry

      Really Jason? Why don’t YOU take a pay cut.

  • God

    Right on scheduled, the month long BS or how he’s leaving radio for good… Same act for the past 10 years. Guy is funny as hell though.

    • Jay

      Heh, too true.

    • Zakry

      Not true. Howard is not negotiating on air, like you are implying. He’s said he doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Not even his staff knows, Robin doesn’t know. It sounds to me like Sirius and Howard are going down to the wire. Will it work? I don;t know.

  • Zilly

    Howard is the man! He’s the ONLY reason I have a subscription in the first place. He knows he gets no respect from outsiders or those who just think he’s a degernate. However, it is unforgivable for this exec to stand in front of shareholders and disrespect the guy that put them on the map! He forgets, Howard started this exodus from terrestrial radio.

    My biggest condern is he ticked Howard off so bad he’s going to take his show elsewhere.

    • Michelle

      Howard’s right – this guy has no right to discuss his pay in public. If Howard doesn’t resign, and Sirius loses a LOT of subscribers (which it will) HE’LL be the one taking the pay cut.

  • buddymoore

    Looking at this from an outsider’s perspective, it seems like Howard is just being irrational and difficult because even a pay cut will still have him making in the tens of millions annually. However, that really isn’t the case. I don’t think he really cares about the money, it’s the fact that he is responsible for turning Sirius into what it is today and they seem to be putting him on the backburner. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like him or listen to him, it’s still the truth, he made Sirius.

  • Aprilcot26

    The words Howard Stern and Kennedy Center honor shouldn’t even be in the same paragraph.

    • Al

      Neither should Oprah. The Kennedy Center honors are meant to be for performing arts, not broadcasting. Are they honoring her for a bit part in “The Color Purple”?

      • lava

        Broadcasters are performing artists. Especially one as spontanieous, dynamic and emotionally flexible as Oprah. She’s fabulous.

  • K8

    If you are large reason for a company going from 600,000 subscribers to 20 million, I could see where ego would take over. But much like every media report that comes out, I wonder the actual context in which his words were said.

    • 56

      He didnt get them 19 plus Million subs !!!! Have you listen to terr radio these days ?? It’s awful! Terr radio is responsible for all them subs !

      • K8

        Yeah bt alot of people bought it for him specifically and when the merger happened alot of 300k + subscribers also bought the best of package for him. He is a large reason for it regardless of terrestrial radio. Also I heard the soundbite and surrounding article yesterday, he was commenting on the fact that the CFO of the company was talking to a luncheon of investors and was never directly dealing with him on the negotiations and was mad this was said to strangers not him in the first place. Again context is everything.

  • BlaBlaBlooey

    Hurry up and make a decision! Finally got the kids on the school bus and out of the car. I’m gonna sign up for sirius for me and the wife for xmas, but for the sole reason of listening to HOWARD!!!

  • Kiki

    They should just fire him. Then he won’t have any pay, and the company will probably be in a much better financial situation without his bloated salary. He isn’t relevant anymore anyway.

    • steve

      kiki-His contract is up at the end of this year. He actually is pretty relevant. Last week he had two great interviews with Billy Joel and Jay Z. Howard is probably the best interviewer ever. he asks questions everybody wants to know which no other interviewer does. He manages to do this without shameless kissing the ass of his subjects or pandering to the politically correct.

      • robert levine


        I have to disagree with the Jay-Z comment, the old Howard would never be afraid to ask anyone anything, yet he clearly was told not to ask about Beyonce and he obeyed…. Howard has gone soft in his old age, he’s nowhere near as good as he used to be

      • steve


        He did ask Jay about Beyonce and Jay Z simply said he doesn’t like to talk about his personal life. Jay Z was not going to talk about it no matter what Howard liked.

        People love to say an entertainer, restaurant, etc went downhill. It seems to be the case all over the internet, people always look longingly at the past. Howard is different than he was when he was younger, but who isn’t.

      • 56

        I used to be a hard core Stern fan, and find his show lacking these days, and IMO O&A do a better interview

  • Dwayne

    If Sirius don’t sign him my sirius account will be cancelled when he announces he will not be signing with sirius again.

  • Emma

    The show died when Artie left :(

    • fgh

      No after Jackie left.

      • 56

        After Billy West left it was on life support, and Jackie pulled the plug when he left.

      • Buffy Freak

        Really? I think the show got much better after Hackie left.

    • JPX

      Artie added nothing but grief to the show. From his addictions, depression, and most likely borderline personality, he just dragged the show down. I’m glad he’s gone.

  • Freddy

    I enjoy the heck out of Howard, but his ego is hurting him. I think he wants to be the old combative Howard, but he isn’t. If he wants to cut his hours, days, etc then take less pay, but Sirius/XM throwing money at others who will not bring in the audience he did is insulting. I added Sirius to my XM when the merger happened, and hardly turn off of his channel. Not for any language or perverse topics, but because he is interesting and speaks his mind. I think sometimes he’s completely off on his ideas and from what I’ve heard in the past, he’s definitely not the same as he used to be, but he’s still more interesting than about any other personality on radio. It would actually be nice if there was some incentive plan on subscribers though, just to see Howard trying to prove someone wrong now might get him his edge back.

    • Cry me a RIVER.

      Well said. I absolutely hate the guy, but your comment was well written so I respect that.

      I just don’t understand how anyone could still stick with a guy who makes a huge deal when they threaten to reduce his pay from half a billion dollars. You just can’t do that. NO ONE should have the nerve to say that, especially in this economy. He just looks like a whiny baby. If he TRULY wanted to cause controversy and uproar he should leave Sirius, and start a podcast Ala Adam Carolla. That would make him cool in my book, otherwise he is just like Jay Leno: A whiny old man who is clinging on to any fame and adoration he once had. His fans will eventually turn on him because of this huge ego, just like Leno’s.

      • Lizelle

        Howards HOPES his fans will follow him. If he does leave, which i hope he doesn’t. His show will be on fire for about a month or so, then it will go back to the same show hes been doing the past 3 years. And I don’t want to pay any money just for his show. And the shows aruond it. There is no way he could make the same amount on satellite as he would doing Howard radio charging 5-7 dollars a month. There is no way that many people still listen Reply

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