Shock jock Howard Stern likely gave Sirius XM executives a shock on Feb. 8, when he told his radio listeners that he is considering leaving Sirius to become a judge on ‘American Idol’ when his lucrative Sirius contract expires at the end of the year.
A few weeks ago, Stern also said he’d been approached by terrestrial radio executives who want him to work for them. Radio giant Clear Channel recently told Bloomberg BusinessWeek it might be interested in hiring Stern.
By disclosing these negotiations, Stern may be trying to up the pressure on Sirius to offer him another lucrative deal. Sirius currently pays Stern, his agent and his staff $100 million a year to air Stern’s radio show on Sirius exclusively. But in the years since that contract came into effect, Sirius’s growth has slowed. And its renewed focus on financial performance may forbid writing another large check.
So, if he wants to make as much money in the future, Stern may, indeed, have to look elsewhere. ‘American Idol’ would certainly offer a lot of money — and tons of exposure.