Howard Stern spoke out this morning on his radio show about his pending lawsuit against Sirius/XM. The suit alleges that Sirius hasn’t delivered on their promises to grant him stock when they reached a certain number of subscribers. “It’s true that I am suing Sirius,” Stern told a caller early in the show, adding that he was very reluctant to talk publicly about it. “I have never, ever gotten on the air and discussed my financial situation… I’m an honest guy who believes in fairness. I believe that I’ve been dealt with unfairly.”
Stern was clearly uncomfortable talking about the subject. “It causes me great pain to sue the company I work for,” he said. “Nevertheless, I had to do it. Suffice it to say, there’s a dispute and I believe I haven’t been given what is mine. There’s obviously a disagreement here and it will be settled in a court… I have encountered things that are disturbing before [in my career], but never like this. It’s a business argument and that’s that.”
Robin Quivers asked if his association with the company would continue, and Stern quickly said that it would and that the show would carry on as normal.
The caller then asked Stern if he’d had any contact with Sirus/XM management since the suit was filed. “I have not,” Stern said. “This couldn’t have been handled any other way. It’s a weird position. I’m out there promoting Sirius, and suing them also. It’s pretty apparent what’s going on if you read the article. I’d love to discuss the details, but I’m trying to use my head.”
Papers filed in court spell out Stern’s disagreement with the company. “World-renowned radio personality Howard Stern put Sirius on the map,” the suit says. “But, with the exception of a stock award that Sirius paid for the initial year of Stem’s contract, Sirius has refused to pay One Twelve [the production company for Stern’s show] the additional performance-based stock awards to which One Twelve is entitled.”
Late last year Stern signed a five-year contract with Sirius, and when Rolling Stone spoke with him just last month he had nothing but kind words to say about the company. “I believe in the product of Sirius so much,” he told writer Neil Strauss. “I think it’s such a good value. Not only for our channels, but for everything they provide. I’m a huge fan of the service. I don’t listen to terrestrial radio at all. I can’t. Now that I’m conditioned to this, I think for what they charge, they provide a tremendous amount of programming. The sad part in it for me is that not everyone has Sirius. That’s why I got excited about our new app. All of a sudden, now it’s like when the transistor radio came out. For a long time people couldn’t travel with us. Thank God for this technology.”