The New Stuff

Howard Stern Rejects Pay Cut Idea


NEW YORK, N.Y. ---Radio pioneer and star Howard Stern criticized Sirius XM Chief Financial Officer David Frear for suggesting he accept less than his $100 million-a-year salary.

Frear said Monday at an investor’s conference in New York that the company is looking for cheaper content now that it is leading the U.S. satellite-radio business. He went on to say Stern might have to accept lower pay if he is to stay on Sirius XM after his contract expires Dec. 31, The Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday.

In most people’s opinions, Sirius XM climbed to the top of the heap due in large part to Stern and his morning radio show and channels that bear his name.

During Tuesday’s radio broadcast, Stern was less than complimentary when the notion of taking a pay cut was suggested.

"I am not taking a fucking pay cut," Stern said, "Who is this guy to say this in public?"

"I am calling my agent today that I want more fucking money. I don't want it perceived that I took a pay cut," Stern railed, disclosing that Frear got a raise in 2008, putting his annual salary at $3.3 million. "Where's your pay cut, David?"

"I know what I have done in this company" he said. "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."

Stern invited Frear to come on the show and tell him in person he's no longer worth $100 million a year when 60 percent of Sirius subscribers listen to his show, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

Rumors had been circulating that Stern is set to take his show to the internet if negotiations with Sirius XM fail.

The loss of Howard Stern and his radio show could be very detrimental to the satellite radio company whose merge with XM radio in 2008 brought the company a total of 18.5 million subscribers most of which listen to Stern’s weekly morning radio broadcast. 

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