AP article on Howard's upcoming contract talks

Chob

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It's a few hours old, but I didn't see anything about it here.

Stern's threat to quit Sirius could be empty talk
By DEBORAH YAO (AP) – 2 hours ago

Howard Stern is threatening to leave Sirius XM Radio Inc. now that the shock jock and the satellite radio provider are getting set to enter contract talks in 2010.

That threat probably seems less daunting to Sirius than it once would have. Sirius originally wanted Stern so badly that it gave him the most lucrative radio contract ever, a five-year deal that started in 2006 and paid him $500 million in cash and stock.

Today, he doesn't have many places left to go — at least if he wants another huge payday.

Free radio stations are struggling with steep drops in advertising and high debt loads, and probably can't pay top dollar to get Stern back to the medium where he began. He also likely would chafe at being censored again after enjoying the freedom of satellite radio, where his racy banter hasn't been subject to federal restrictions on language and content.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091221/...d_stern_sirius
 

thekingofnicotine

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Aug 14, 2009
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I see Stern doing a simulcast. This way he'll save face and still be on Sirius and FM and get a good paycheck out of it.
 

TheScionicMan

Last non-Hating Stern Fan
Oct 11, 2008
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If he leaves Sirius/XM, I think it will be to do an internet radio show, podcast type deal. Bubba's already got a lot of the infrastructure in place. I believe Phil Hendrie said he was making 30 to 40K a month at a $6 sub.

And although testicle-less radio is hurting, they would totally give up lots of cash to get him back. And I would think Sirius has a good idea of what will happen to a large number of their subscribers if he leaves.

I don't think he's in such a bad spot.
 

Kryptonite

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Oct 21, 2008
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Free radio stations are struggling with steep drops in advertising and high debt loads, and probably can't pay top dollar to get Stern back to the medium where he began. He also likely would chafe at being censored again after enjoying the freedom of satellite radio, where his racy banter hasn't been subject to federal restrictions on language and content.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091221/...d_stern_sirius

I've bolded the interesting bit. And how did that all start (in a way?) Howard left, ratings dropped, advertising dollars left, etc.

Yeah, I know you kind of have to make a few jumps, but Howard's departure was felt across FM radio.
 

Spokker

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The morning shows that were more talk than music are dropping like flies these days. Program directors are clamping down, making their personalities play more music and do fewer bits.
 

Chob

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If he leaves Sirius/XM, I think it will be to do an internet radio show, podcast type deal. Bubba's already got a lot of the infrastructure in place. I believe Phil Hendrie said he was making 30 to 40K a month at a $6 sub.
You know there's one thing that stuck out to me in last week's Bubba shows that continues to make me think that sort of flew under the radar.

Bubba said his goal for the new year was to be moved into a new studio by this time next year. Now as anyone with any familiarity of the studio knows, they've got quite a place there. And I mentioned this to a few others, but why exactly would Bubba need a new studio when he has everything he could want in his current one including a gym?

There has to be something he wants to do that he doesn't have the current infrastructure for. Bubba doesn't just throw around cash for something like that unless he has something in mind.

To me two possible reasons come to mind. One would be a television show, and a studio like Howard's with built in robotic cameras and a control room. Now we all know Bubba has been talking to people about a TV show for a while. Plus with being Bubba Krabs like he tends to be, I have to imagine someone else may be putting up some cash for this facility as well. But if not, he is more than willing to invest in something for the future.

But I also wouldn't discount him talking with Phil and Howard about the three of them being the forces behind an internet radio network. Bubba said they should team up when they have Phil on air. And you know he's been e-mailing Howard and they've at least teased the idea of going to internet radio. Howard could easily move down to Florida, and Bubba could build him his own separate studio space.

Sure they could just be outgrowing their current surroundings, but Bubba is always planning for things way in advance. Hell, looking back we realize this whole new FM deal started when he went on Cowhead's show in 2007 and met several of the Cox people, and no one except Ryan at Orbitcast gave it a second look. :jj:

Either way, despite what naysayers insist on, the show has nowhere to go but up, regardless of the platform. Let's just hope Sirius XM can be one of the venues we hear the show in the future.
 

limegrass69

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Oct 12, 2008
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I've bolded the interesting bit. And how did that all start (in a way?) Howard left, ratings dropped, advertising dollars left, etc.

Yeah, I know you kind of have to make a few jumps, but Howard's departure was felt across FM radio.

I think it had a lot more to do with timing than it did Howard.
Yes, Howard's show was a huge revenue generator to the stations where he ran.
However, the costs were high to run his show. Stern's production company was paid handsomely...and rightfully so. The revenue numbers were off the charts. Howard had a huge audience that advertisers were willing to pay a premium for (desirable demographics and huge numbers). Nobody has been able to come close to delivering that.

Putting that to the side for a minute, there are two other major factors at play as a result of the current recession.

First, advertising is down significantly in all mediums (especially radio). Technology (like iPods and satellite radio) has caused overall radio listenership to decline. Advertisers are not willing to pay up (or advertise at all) in this economy...especially on radio where it is getting harder and harder to effectively reach the desired listeners.

Second, radio station ownership consolidation created a situation where owners took out enormous amounts of debt to finance their acquisitions. The debt was enabled by an easy credit/easy access to capital markets mentality. Once the credit markets dried up, the cost of debt rose significantly, or was totally unavailable. Many operators were or are being crushed by their enormous debt loads (Clear Channel, Citadel).

So, yes...Howard's departure did have an impact on the radio landscape. But I'm not sure it wouldn't have happened anyway. And, it's not like his presence at Sirius has turned Sirius stock into some sort of stock market superstar.

As in life, I think the reality is somewhere down the middle. You can't believe Howard who thinks terrestrial radio died because he left. And you can't believe radio station owners/programmers who tell you Howard meant nothing to them or their business.
 

beaniemac

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If he leaves Sirius/XM, I think it will be to do an internet radio show, podcast type deal. Bubba's already got a lot of the infrastructure in place. I believe Phil Hendrie said he was making 30 to 40K a month at a $6 sub.

And although testicle-less radio is hurting, they would totally give up lots of cash to get him back. And I would think Sirius has a good idea of what will happen to a large number of their subscribers if he leaves.

I don't think he's in such a bad spot.


in these economic times, no one is gonna pay howard anywhere near what he got for this current contract. esp knowing how much vacation and days off he wants. esp with sirius stock still under $1 a share and terrestrial radio hemorraging money. u think he can command 100 mil a year working 3 days a week with 10 plus weeks of vacations??? get real. howard will not go to podcast cuz he is not gonna front the money to produce his own show. he's not going to terrestrial, cuz that radio sucks. his ONLY choice is either sirius for less money or retire. and thats about it. hell for the price of howard, sirius could sign 20 shows @ 5 mil per year done by seasoned radio vets. they should learn from their last mistake with howard to not put all their eggs in one basket. it allows him to wield WAAAAYYYY too much power around there.
 

TheScionicMan

Last non-Hating Stern Fan
Oct 11, 2008
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Hendrie said he was making 30K a month at $6 a sub. That's like 7,000 subscribers. Considering the core listeners, if they could get a million subs to follow them, that's $6 Million a month!! That's nothing to sneeze at. And I think that's a conservative estimate of how many would follow him. 2 Million subs and we're talking over 140 million per year!!!

IMO, if Sirius is going to pay him less, then he will want to work less. That's not going to be good for any of us. Taking on the challenge of internet radio might be the spark he needs, kinda like how he'd like to take on the PPM.

Chob makes some good points about Bubba's studio plans. As much as I still enjoy Bubba's show, the old replays they've been running really make me miss the old days when they were running wild and (mostly) free...
 

Vargas

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Oct 16, 2008
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You know there's one thing that stuck out to me in last week's Bubba shows that continues to make me think that sort of flew under the radar.

Bubba said his goal for the new year was to be moved into a new studio by this time next year. Now as anyone with any familiarity of the studio knows, they've got quite a place there. And I mentioned this to a few others, but why exactly would Bubba need a new studio when he has everything he could want in his current one including a gym?

There has to be something he wants to do that he doesn't have the current infrastructure for. Bubba doesn't just throw around cash for something like that unless he has something in mind.

To me two possible reasons come to mind. One would be a television show, and a studio like Howard's with built in robotic cameras and a control room. Now we all know Bubba has been talking to people about a TV show for a while. Plus with being Bubba Krabs like he tends to be, I have to imagine someone else may be putting up some cash for this facility as well. But if not, he is more than willing to invest in something for the future.

But I also wouldn't discount him talking with Phil and Howard about the three of them being the forces behind an internet radio network. Bubba said they should team up when they have Phil on air. And you know he's been e-mailing Howard and they've at least teased the idea of going to internet radio. Howard could easily move down to Florida, and Bubba could build him his own separate studio space.

Sure they could just be outgrowing their current surroundings, but Bubba is always planning for things way in advance. Hell, looking back we realize this whole new FM deal started when he went on Cowhead's show in 2007 and met several of the Cox people, and no one except Ryan at Orbitcast gave it a second look. :jj:

Either way, despite what naysayers insist on, the show has nowhere to go but up, regardless of the platform. Let's just hope Sirius XM can be one of the venues we hear the show in the future.

You make some good points but there is NO WAY howard is ever moving to Florida. NO WAY. he is a New Yorker. Plus, he just built a zillion dollar house in the Hamptons and spent zillions renovating his apartment.

A Howard, Bubba, Phil venture would be interesting and maybe even possible but no way about FLORIDA.
 

RDog

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I just have a hard time imagining a 55-56 year old Howard Stern understanding how to do an internet broadcast/podcast. He's surrounded by an "old school" crowd who barely know what's "hip" to begin with, so I'm not sure he'd take Bubba's recommendation on how to do things on such an unproven platform. I honestly think Howard is ALL about the $$$ and knows he's in a corner that isn't going to net him $100M/year, and doesn't want to deal with the embarassment of accepting less.

I don't see Howard moving to Florida, because a) it's away from his parents b) it's away from his daughters, and c) he wouldn't be able to get celebrity guests anymore.
 

Ifandorbut

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I just have a hard time imagining a 55-56 year old Howard Stern understanding how to do an internet broadcast/podcast. He's surrounded by an "old school" crowd who barely know what's "hip" to begin with, so I'm not sure he'd take Bubba's recommendation on how to do things on such an unproven platform. I honestly think Howard is ALL about the $$$ and knows he's in a corner that isn't going to net him $100M/year, and doesn't want to deal with the embarassment of accepting less.

I don't see Howard moving to Florida, because a) it's away from his parents b) it's away from his daughters, and c) he wouldn't be able to get celebrity guests anymore.

The podcast format is proven, millions of people download an unaccountable amount of podcasts every second of the day. How to make money...STERN money, well that is an entirely different monster all together.

Why would Stern ever do a podcast? He has nothing to stay, nothing to rail against. There's no chance he would go into podcasting because there isn't any money, at least not the type of money he is accustomed to getting.

If Stern can't be controversial or reverent on satellite where he can make anywhere from a comfortable living to an extravagant living, why would he ever do anything less? What has he done in the last decade that would lead you to believe this?

Again, he had a tremendous opportunity in going to satellite where he could take his career to a lofty and incredible position, but in the end his move turned out to be a money grab with four years of mildly amusing highlights surrounded by a multitude of apathy, sleep, agitation, spin and boredom.

Let him quit and be done with it. He should take five years off and play chess and live in his mansion. This is what he's wanted after all.
 

beaniemac

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you know what. I would have no problem with bubba doing podcast willie as long as sirius retains rights to broadcast those shows as well. as long as he's off terrestrial radio and still being carried on sirius, who gives a sh*t if he does podcast as well. which could be an option if sirius doesn't want to pay enough to carry him exclusively. one thing good about a podcast/sirius show would mean that he could still be dirty and curse. so I that would be a win/win for everyone!
 

North_of_Calgary

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Two things that Howard's said many times:
1) Most of his audience listens in their car
2) He likes to be current (i.e. when news breaks) and he doesn't even want to do an afternoon show as he thought that would turn off the people in their morning commutes that want to listen live

With a podcast he has the problem that most podcast content is heard after the fact. I listen to plenty of podcasts myself (as well as a lot of Stern of course). I usually download once per week so I'm listening to content that's one or two weeks old. Howard doesn't want that.

First of all there's the technical complexity of downloading and listening after the fact that may be seen as a hassle for a lot of his audience.

Then there's the issue that people will visit forums like this or SFN and find out what were the best segments and only listen to those, ruining it for say a sponsor who sponsors some contest that doesn't go over that well and hence is skipped by most.

Finally, it's far easier for people to distribute his show illegally when he's providing it via podcast even if it's DRM protected. It was trivially easy for me to strip the DRM off of itunes purchases (when they were DRM protected) than it was for me to capture Stern content using a SL2 and Audacity.

Bottom line: Podcasting isn't an easy road for Howard. Plus if everyone has to actually subscribe he may find out that his audience numbers aren't quite what he'd like to believe! He could end his career with a catastrophic failure and his legacy being that he finally got hard/proven numbers, not as many people actually listened to him than he or his advertisers would have liked to have believed.
 
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