Howard Stern Gets Even Richer
Wed, 10 Jan 2007 16:18:04
Enjoying that holiday bonus? Chances are it will feel a little more like a lump of coal after you hear about Howard Stern's gift from his bosses at Sirius Satellite Radio: a stock bonus worth $82.9 million.
After inking Stern to a five-year contract worth $500 million, Sirius was projected by Wall Street to finish 2006 with 3.5 million subscribers. Instead, they wound up with over 6 million -- ten times the size of the base when Stern joined up in 2004. Despite the huge jump, Sirius -- like its primary competitor, XM Satellite Radio -- reported heavy losses throughout the year as they invested in programming and star talent like Stern, Martha Stewart, and Jimmy Buffett. Both companies, however, reported profits in the final quarter of the year.
Stern's agent, Don Buchwald, was also included in the windfall. Is the self-proclaimed King of All Media worth all the coin? Media analysts seem to think so.
"Howard Stern is getting paid a stupendous, phenomenal, astronomical amount of money," said analyst Craig Moffett. "But at the end of the day, Sirius will make money on the Howard Stern deal, and so will the shareholders."
The next step for Sirius: Striking more deals with automotive companies to install Sirius-ready radios in cars. Another major shift could take place if XM and Sirius merge -- a deal that some analysts say has a 75% probability of coming to fruition.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff