Howard Stern & Co. score $200M payout
Lump payment in stock comes as Sirius Satellite Radio exceeds subscriber targets.

NEW YORK ( - Radio personality Howard Stern is starting to cash in on the back of higher-than-expected subscriptions at his new home, Sirius Satellite Radio.

The company will issue Stern and his agent 34,375,000 shares of Sirius common stock on Jan. 9 as part of a previous agreement to issue the stock when the satellite radio provider exceeded certain subscriber targets, Sirius spokesman Patrick Reilly said.

Howard Stern
Howard Stern

Sirius (Research) shares closed at $6.36 Wednesday on Nasdaq, making the lump payout worth roughly $218,625,000.

Sirius didn't say how much would go to Stern and how much would go to his agent Don Buchwald.

Sirius said it added roughly 2.2 million subscribers in 2005, a 190 percent increase from 2004. The station now has 3,316,560 subscribers and hopes to exceed 6 million by the end of 2006, according to a company statement.

Reilly said Stern's payout does not represent an additional stock payout to his previously announced compensation package of roughly $100 million a year for five years.

He said Stern was always guaranteed the shares, but Stern could have had to wait until Dec. 2010 unless Sirius exceeded its subscriber targets in a given year.

But Reilly said Stern could receive additional shares in the future if subscriber targets continue to be surpassed.

Stern inked a deal with Sirius early in 2005 while he was at broadcaster Viacom (Research) and under fire from regulators for the content of his show, which some consider lewd.

But his contract with Sirius didn't start until Jan. 1, 2006, and Stern ran into trouble with Viacom throughout 2005 for promoting Sirius and his switch to satellite radio.

Stern is scheduled to appear on CNN's Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET Thursday night.


Howard's end, and beginning. What the switch means for Sirius and Viacom. Click here Top of page

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