Howard Stern comments on reported $120M payday

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Shock jock Howard Stern told listeners on Wednesday that he’s not close to a new contract with SiriusXM but would be if he were getting paid a reported $120 million a year.

“I have seen no contract, I have heard nothing about this money,” Stern said on his SiriusXM show after Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the satellite radio company was close to inking a new contract that would pay its biggest star about $120 million a year.

“I’m ready to take that deal if I can get it,” the shock jock quipped on air. “It sounded awesome.” Stern’s previous five-year contracts have paid him between $80 million and $100 million a year.

Stern told listeners that he called his agent after spotting reports on his new contract. “We were both kind of baffled by it.”

“I am telling you with my hand over my heart, I don’t have anywhere near a deal,” Stern said.

Laughing with co-host Robin Quivers, Stern added, “I’m telling Sirius now, ‘Whatever I read, I want. I’ll take that, right now.’ I’m a bad negotiator. I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll take it, I’m in, let’s do it.’”

Stern’s current contact lapses at the end of 2020, which has created months of speculation that the shock jock could retire or seek to move to a rival like Spotify, which recently shelled out close to $200 million for Bill Simmon’s sports podcast firm “The Ringer,” and more than $100 million for the exclusive rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience’’ podcast.

Bloomberg on Tuesday reported that Stern’s team had “preliminary talks” with Spotify, which didn’t get very far. And sources close to Spotify confirm that the Swedish streaming giant is not in a bidding war for Stern and has no plans to poach him.

“There was never a serious pursuit of Stern by Spotify,” said a source familiar with Spotify’s strategy.

Reps for Stern didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Spotify declined to comment.

Sirius CEO Jim Meyer, who plans to retire at the end of the year, has been candid about his desire to keep Stern at Sirius, which reported net profits of $243 million in the second quarter on revenues of $1.9 billion.

I’ve been clear,” Meyer said in July, “I want Howard Stern to work at SiriusXM for as long as Howard Stern wants to work.”

In August he added: “I can tell you that we understand the economics very, very well, for instance, of content like Howard Stern, and I can look every investor in the eye and tell them that is a good investment for Sirius XM.”

Investors agreed. They sent Sirius’s stock price up more than 7 percent in premarket trading before paring the gains to 4.6 percent to close at $5.82.

“Sirius’ value is linked to Howard,” said Lightshed Partners analyst Brandon Ross.

It also behooves Stern, 66, to stay at Sirius, noted an industry source who asked to remain unnamed.

“If you are Howard Stern, why would you take the risk at this stage to go elsewhere?,” the source said. “He knows the culture. He’s basically allowed to do whatever he wants and he has his own fiefdom at Sirius.”

Sirius declined to comment.

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