Howard Sternís production company suing Sirius XM
- The King of All Media is allegedly getting the royal shaft from Sirius XM Radio.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Howard Stern's production company and longtime agent charge the satellite radio company that Stern put on the map has been stiffing them out of big bucks, because they've "unilaterally decided that Stern has been paid enough."
The filing says that Sirius has failed to pay Stern's company, One Twelve, escalating stock awards for the past three years despite having exceeded their subscriber goals by several million subscribers.
The timing of the suit is surprising, because Stern just recently re-upped with the company he turned into a powerhouse, and was promoting Sirius's mobile applications on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" last week.
Stern agreed to sign with Sirius in 2004, when they "courted Stern aggressively, offering his production company, One Twelve, an incentive-laced deal that, among other things, promised Stern an opportunity to share in Sirius's success," the suit says.
The company paid Stern's company the bonus for for 2006 and 2007, but did not during 2008 and 2009, after it bought rival XM radio and was near bankruptcy from growing pains, the filing says.
"Stern and Buchwald decided not to demand payment while Sirius was struggling," because they "did not want to take any action that might cause the company further financial distress or impair its ability to attract financing," the suit says.
The company soon got back on solid financial footing, and by the end of 2010, had over 20 million subscribers - 8 million over the estimate it had told Stern it would pay the bonus on.
With the company rolling in money, Stern and Buchwald said they wanted their stock awards - but the company's vice-president told them "no such compensation was due."
Corporate told the pair they hadn't met the targeted subscriber goal because they were counting XM listeners in their total instead of just Sirius listeners. The suit says that under the terms of their deal, the XM listeners count, and Sirius has to pay up.
I listen to Howard probably daily for at least a little while on Sirius.
He still has his moments. However, he and Robin have completely "gone Hollywood."
Instead of mocking celebrities Howard kisses their asses and defends them to the death. He's even now best buddies with Regis (quite a change from the Private Parts book where he called Regis a deadbeat dad scumbag). The only celebrity he still feuds with is Leno (like nearly every comedian out there-really edgy, Howard). And, of course, he spends a lot of time bragging about marrying a model and taking her to celebrity fundraisers.
Robin, who was always a bit of a pompous scold, is now practically Kaballah-era Madonna. She goes on about Vegan diets, native American healers, her charities and her efforts to land a CNN talk show like Joy Behar's for herself.
I don't think he could go back to "regular" radio now if he wanted since he's completely shed that common man persona that his blue collar K-rock listeners identified with.