Is Howard Stern’s Satellite Radio Ride Coming to an End?


The satellite radio giant might lose $240 million a year in revenue if the King of All Media departs.

by Felix Gillette,           December 14, 2015

Is Howard Stern’s Satellite Radio Ride Coming to an End?

Someday, inevitably, given the nature of entertainment, gravity and age, Howard Stern’s magical satellite radio ride will end. It could even happen this week. We’ll know soon.

On the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 16, Stern will host his final show under a five-year contract with SiriusXM. What he will do next remains a mystery. He could walk away from the medium, as he once did from broadcast, to try his hand at, say, Internet radio. Or he could retire. Or he could sign a new contract with SiriusXM. During his show last week, Stern told listeners he hasn’t made up his mind. If past is precedent, he will probably reveal his next move on the air in the coming days. There’s a lot of money riding on the decision.

Stern, who will turn 62 in January, remains one of the top rainmakers in American radio, and SiriusXM—which is flush, thanks to its large, growing subscriber base—would like to keep him. But these are tumultuous times for the industry, and any number of companies jockeying for market share in the emerging world of Internet radio could benefit immensely from luring Stern and his rabid fan base away from SiriusXM.

Over the past year, Stern has claimed to have at least one tempting offer, though he declined to name the suitor. In the meantime, his fans provided plenty of ideas on what he should do next. Clearly, he should join Apple, some insisted, or Google or Pandora or Spotify. Along the way, Stern suggested he’s open to almost any scenario—except podcasting.

“If you want to be in radio, forget a podcast,” Stern told his audience earlier this year. “Podcasts are for losers.”




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