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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Howard Stern staying with Sirius/XM for another five years

Howard_SternHoward Stern will be staying at Sirius/XM for another five years in an agreement he announced this morning on his show.

The “will he or won’t he?” buzz has been building in recent weeks. His contract was set to run out at the end of this year.

Stern, known for frank, often outrageous talk segments with celebrities and wild sex-oriented stunts, has been a major draw for many of the Sirius/XM subscribers, which now exceed 20 million.

Five years ago, Stern left terrestrial radio in a huff to go to Sirius, citing his ability to be himself and outside the reach of the Federal Communications Commission, which fined him about $3 million over the years for politically incorrect gags. By moving to a subscription service, Stern lost a lot of listeners. On AM/FM radio, during his peak, he drew 12 million viewers a week on 62 stations nationwide (though never in Atlanta.)

But going to Sirius meant Atlantans could hear him. At the time he signed on in 2006 after announcing the move in 2004, he had helped bring in about 1.2 million new subscribers to the service, giving that company an edge over rival XM. It was a pricey contract, worth about $100 million a year. Both companies kept shedding money, forcing the pair to merge in 2008. This ending bidding wars on programming, which inflated costs. (The companies have a $30  million deal with Martha Stewart and a $55 million deal with Oprah Winfrey.)

Currently, Stern does four shows a week while taking 12 weeks of vacation a year. He said he will have more flexibility in his schedule. He didn’t say how much money he’s making this time around or if it’s a pay cut. He did say this could be his “final five years on radio.” He’d be 61 years old by the time January 1, 2016 rolls around.

His show will also be available on the iPhone and iPad for the first time for subscribers with the Internet service.

Satellite radio is no longer the “hot” product in a world packed with Androids and iPads.  And Internet radio is around the corner. But for now, Sirius/XM remains a viable option for many people who find AM/FM radio stultifying and can only listen to their own CDs or iPods for so long. About 60 percent of newly manufactured vehicles come with satellite radio access. People usually get three free months. This story says Sirius XM’s “conversion” rate has been 46 percent, fueling recent subscriber growth.

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By Rodney Ho, rho@ajc.com, AJCRadioTV blog

40 comments Add your comment

Matt

December 9th, 2010
9:57 am

Sirius has my business for another 5 years….

Oh, and Rodney…he gets 12 weeks a year off…

Chains

December 9th, 2010
10:03 am

my sirius just expired i was not going to re-new without Stern…….Looks like I’m calling in my renewal……Great news..

AlphG8r

December 9th, 2010
10:07 am

Hallelujah… Christmas has come early this year!

GSmooth

December 9th, 2010
10:12 am

They have my business for the next 5 years too. Thank god he’s staying!

Rodney Ho

December 9th, 2010
10:27 am

Thanks. A friend of mine just told me that, too. It does seem like he takes a week off every month. Good deal! 160 days of work a year!

rolltide

December 9th, 2010
10:35 am

those that listen to normal radio and have not used this service is missing out on a ton of great stuff. Stern is the Johnny Carson of our time! Great show.

BG33Brown

December 9th, 2010
10:35 am

man I couldn’t be happier. Never listened to him until he hit sirius and he makes my day.

John

December 9th, 2010
11:00 am

This is the only reason why I have Satellite radio and the only reason I do not cancel. They need to either get Artie back or make George Takei or David Arquette full time!

DC

December 9th, 2010
11:01 am

You are underestimating his worth to Sirius – where did you come up with the 1.2 million subscribers that he brought to satellite? Sirius had 600,000 subscribers when Howard signed on. Now five years later and after buying XM, they have 20 million total subscribers and 60% of them listen to the Howard channels. Give credit where credit is due – Howard built satellite radio. Nobody listens to the Oprah or Martha Stewart channels.

CF

December 9th, 2010
11:08 am

I’m so happy he decided to re-sign for another five. Now they just need to re-sign bubba and I will be happy.

Rodney Ho

December 9th, 2010
11:15 am

@DC That 1.2 million reference was at the time he signed on in 2006.

BlondeHoney

December 9th, 2010
11:18 am

WOO HOO looks like I’m staying with Sirius as well…I got Sirius specifically for Howard and haven’t listened to regular radio in the 5 years I’ve had Sirius. Totally agree with the poster who said Howard is the Johnny carson of our time.

Ron

December 9th, 2010
11:19 am

SiriusXM is totally worth the price.

Holden Magroyne

December 9th, 2010
11:25 am

I hardly ever listen to Atlanta radio since I got my Sirius.

Local Atlanta Radio in 2011 = Garbage

December 9th, 2010
11:26 am

Yay!

Another great reason to continuing the garbage known as “Local Atlanta Radio” for the next 5 years!

I tried SIRIUS for the first time when ClearChannel ran away Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson from WGST and shut down WPCH a few years back just as their annual Christmas (Yes, CHRISTMAS, not “Holiday”) music was about to begin.

I haven’t looked back since.

With my SIRIUS lifetime subscription, AM/FM has lost me permanently.

Good Riddance!

Local Atlanta Radio in 2011 = Garbage

December 9th, 2010
11:28 am

Now, more than ever, Atlanta needs Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson and Wayne (No Offense) back on the airwaves.

Go to Heck and Die, ClearClannel.

Come to SIRIUS-XM, KIMMER !!!!!!!

Local Atlanta Radio in 2011 = Garbage

December 9th, 2010
11:32 am

SORRY:

Yay!

Another great reason to continue AVOIDING the garbage known as “Local Atlanta Radio” for the next 5 years!

dano

December 9th, 2010
11:33 am

Howard…you are a putz-mensch…need you back on tv…

Fish Fry Party Punch a Nerd in the Face

December 9th, 2010
11:33 am

Maybe Steak Shapiro will jump off a bridge.

Section 303

December 9th, 2010
11:42 am

Great news! I was very happy when Howard announced the new deal on the show this morning.

We (SIRUS/XM subscribers) get to listen to the greatest radio personality in history for another 5-years. Very happy about that!

TC

December 9th, 2010
11:46 am

Any news on Artie’s return? The show is much better with him!

Nancy Grace rocks

December 9th, 2010
11:58 am

Paid radio will be dead before this contract ends!!!!!!

Tim

December 9th, 2010
12:23 pm

“Nancy Grace” they use to say that abt cable / sat tv. Come out of your cave and enjoy the absolutely beauty of Sirius Satellite Radio. AM/FM radio is like telling time with an egg timer.

TC

December 9th, 2010
12:31 pm

Tim-totally agree. Nancy-that’s what they said 5 years ago about Satellite radio and it’s had it’s downs but stock is rising and popularity growing little by little. What will be interesting is how internet radio impacts satellite. Could be huge.

Burdell

December 9th, 2010
1:01 pm

The announcement this morning made my day…I’ve been anxious to hear his decision. The prank on Sal this morning was a classic!

Long live SIRIUS/XM!!

itpdude

December 9th, 2010
1:03 pm

Howard brought notoriety to satrad, for sure, but he is not the reason for 20 million subs. That’s propaganda.

I’m happy about this news. I enjoy the show. If he left, I still would have kept with my Sirius sub. But he adds a lot to the content.

ILOVEHOWARD

December 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

I was THRILLED to hear the news this morning! I came into the office telling everyone the great news and the reaction was “how could you even listen to him? You are a woman!”

Why do people judge when they have no clue what the show is even about. Ignorant. HOWARD STERN RULES!

Kat

December 9th, 2010
1:13 pm

Rodney: How is this half sentence supposed to end – it makes no sense with the wording as it is? “Although satellite radio is no longer the “hot” product as people awaiting Internet radio in the car, “

Rodney Ho

December 9th, 2010
2:25 pm

@Kat I fixed that sentence. Sorry about that.

dan

December 9th, 2010
2:45 pm

Keith

December 9th, 2010
3:01 pm

I don’t understand why people say Internet radio will kill satellite radio. For one, because of bandwidth issues, data charges and other technical hurdles, I don’t see how Internet can ever be a viable widespread mode of delivery for entertainment, particularly mobile entertainment. But more than that, the draw for satellite radio is content, content, content that you can access virtually anywhere in this country. Just like you can’t get CNN from rabbit ears, there is so much content you’ll likely never be able to get from the Internet, at least reliably. Music is a very small part of what Sirius/XM offers. Jussayin’……

Damage Inc.

December 9th, 2010
3:04 pm

Opie and Anthony are alot better on the XM side. Uncle Paul is prety good too.

Craven Morehead

December 9th, 2010
3:10 pm

The best prank in a long time was them telling Sal that they were leaving…reduced him to s crying little puss….

Thank God for Howard, I haven’t listened to the nitwit radio in this pathetic city for the last 5 years – no need for the next 5.

Bababooey to y’all

Horsetoothedjackass

December 9th, 2010
3:14 pm

I figured that he would get re-signed, I just thought it would be sometime after the first of the year when SiriusXM started to panic about the millions of subscribers that canceled on them en masse once the History Of Howard Stern Act IV aired. This is very similar to the way in which O & A were signed to their new contract a few months back (I don’t listen to their show, but there are similarities in regards to how close to the end of the contract it took to get a new deal signed.).

At this point, I do not see Bubba The Love Sponge re-signing with SiriusXM. He’s got his “other situation” lined up to start in January on RadioIO, which is an online service his agent is involved in. He’s going to try to do for them what Howard did for Sirius. While SiriusXM has not been too kind to Bubba in regards to new deals (which is why his terrestrial show is replayed on SiriusXM and the fans had been getting a live show on Fridays [which in the last few months have become less and less]), he wouldn’t be where is today if Howard wouldn’t have tapped him to do an afternoon show on Howard 101. He would probably be living in a trailer somewhere in Hillsborough County longing for the days when he was on radio.

Getting his shows onto the smartphone and iPad apps will help them as well, as I feel that eventually the online service will be were the bulk of their business will come from, as I even see the units installed in vehicles to be more like an app included with the onboard audio systems and will be streamed to the cars via WiFi.

I guess this in some ways starts the death of regular Sirius and XM branded receivers as well.

SIRIUS or SIRIUS & XM ??

December 9th, 2010
3:19 pm

Rodney

Is this new contract just for the SIRIUS side of the company, or for both sides?

Currently, legacy XM subscribers have to pay a monthly premium to get Howard Stern content from SIRIUS where it is included in the basic subscription.

Matt

December 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

Fah Fah Flo Hi

Satellite radio dead

December 9th, 2010
11:35 pm

Internet radio will never kill off satellite radio. It is here to stay.

Remember when people said, “Television will put motion pictures out of business.” Look what happened, the two industries have complement one another. Some industry insiders would even suggest the television business saved many motion picture corporations from collapse. In the past, once a film completed its circulation in theaters, it was packed and stored in a vault – never to be seen again. But now, television has become the cash cow for the film industry. Old films are made new again.
Also, the advertising and marketing alliance formed by TV and film put people in the theater seats. What better way to get folks mindful of your film product than by advertising on television. The TV business makes money by broadcasting the latest flick ads while the film industry gets cash from the movie goers as well as syndication rights. It is a perfect match.

My point, the template for internet radio and satellite radio has been made. The two services will probably complement one another and form an alliance. The sky is the limit for both services.

Ba ba booey ! Fla Fla Flooey ! Pa Pa Pooey !

Besides, where else can Stern’s sardonic, sarcastic brand of humor survive if the FCC is breathing down your neck.

Eric the Midget

December 10th, 2010
8:55 pm

This is Great News, we get to listen wack pack Hate Man (Funny), Eric the Midget, Sal and Richard Christy’s Prank Calls (Hilarius), As Napkin Ed, Will the farter, High Pitch Eric, King of All Blacks, Beetlejuice, and Wendy the Retard. Good times for another 5 years with Howard 100 and Howard 101.

jarvis

December 11th, 2010
8:45 am

I have the Sirius/XM for my iPhone. Stern’s addition to the smaller lineup of stations will be welcomed.
By the way, the iPhone subscription is only $2 a month. If you’re paying more…you’re getting ripped off.

southside steve

December 12th, 2010
7:21 am