Howard Stern Show fans got their latest dose of contract negotiation anxiety Tuesday when a newly released report featured Sirius XM CEO stating that no deal was in place to keep Stern with the company when his contract expires at the end of the year.
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“There’s no deal,” said Karmazin to Bloomberg.com. “The only announcement will be when there is a deal, or there’s not a deal. And I’m hopeful there will be a deal.”
Karmazin previously stated he hoped to have news about Stern’s future with Sirius XM by September’s quarterly report, but the date came and went without even a hint of HSS news.
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Stern snickered as he read the Bloomberg report aloud to his audience Tuesday, clearly taunting satellite radio executives trying to put up a brave front in the face of a potential Howard Stern walk out.
“I think they should start another Raw Dog Channel,” snorted Stern. “Or maybe a Sweden channel.”
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Karmazin actually told Bloomberg.com he thought that Sirius XM could retain many of Stern’s listeners with Raw Dog Comedy and the Playboy channels. Karmazin estimated that Sirius XM had about 20 million subscribers, attributing only two million to the Howard Stern crew.
“I don’t know why they don’t get rid of us anyway. They’ll save SO much MONEY,” wisecracked Stern. Karmazin bragged to Bloomberg that the loss of Howard Stern would save the company $100 million a year.
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“And I think the service will be just as exciting,” said Stern sarcastically. “All that music? Forget about it. You can’t get that anywhere.”
Stern read from the article on Bloomberg.com that the Howard Stern Show was responsible for about 2 million subscribers. “I wonder how they get that number. I’ve heard a different number. I’ve heard about 60% of the people listening to Sirius listen to our channels, but I don’t know. I could be wrong. You know, it’s funny. When we first came over here we immediately brought over 2 million listeners. They think those are the only ones? Yeah, the new people who got it in their car and are subscribing, there here for some OTHER reason.”
And so goes Stern’s slow and methodical game of chess with business executives who seem to think they’re dealing with an unranked amateur.
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