After months of speculation about his future plans, Howard Stern announced this morning on his Sirius XM show that he would re-sign with the satellite radio network for another five years. “I kept thinking I’d like to stay here,” Stern said this morning. “Because more than anything, I think what we’ve built here hasn’t been finished yet.”
Details of the deal weren’t announced, but Stern said that his schedule would be “flexible.” Stern currently works Monday through Thursday mornings. “For now it’s four days a week,” Stern said. “But at some point it’s going to change.” In recent months Stern has discussed the possibility of working three days a week, starting the show an hour later at 7:00 a.m. or taping the show in the evening — all ideas that were met with intense fan backlash, leading Stern to reconsider them.
Throughout the negotiations Stern kept very quiet about offers from outside companies. Today he said that two terrestrial radio companies had made him an offer, and he had even been talking to his alma mater Boston University about returning to the school as a professor. “I told [Sirius XM CEO] Mel [Karmazin] that I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue working,” Stern said. “I had thoughts about retiring, going out on top. I feel we’ve done an amazing here at Sirius and when history looks back on us it will say we gave birth to a new form or radio.”
In 2005 Stern signed a five-year, $500 million contract with Sirius. It’s unclear how much he will be paid over the next five years, but earlier this week he became furious when he read quotes in the press from Sirius XM CFO David Frear saying he might have to take a paycut. “I know what I have done in this company,” Stern screamed. “I am not taking a fucking paycut!”
Stern will be sixty-one years old when his new contract expires in five years. He’s repeatedly said that he’ll probably retire at that point. Near the end of the show he imagined that he’d have a stroke by the time his contract expires. He then proceeded to speak with the slurred speech of a stroke victim, much to the confusion of guest announcer George Takei.