Howard Stern may have to take a paycut

Mon Dec 6, 2010 8:36pm EST
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By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Howard Stern could broadcast live on Sirius XM for the last time on December 16.

After that, he heads for his annual end-of-year vacation and there still is no decision as to whether he'll renew his contract, which expires on December 31 and sets Sirius XM back a hefty $100 million every year.

Speaking at a UBS investor conference in New York on Monday, Sirius XM CFO David Frear said he is "hopeful" that Stern sticks with the company, but hinted that if he does it would be for less money.

Frear also acknowledged that there could be other offers Stern is considering, maybe even one from Apple to do a show on iTunes.

"He could decide that he doesn't want to get up that early in the morning. That he'd like to do a shorter show. That he'd like to do it somewhere else," Frear said. "The Internet, whether it's through iTunes or something else, is always a possibility."

Apple did not respond to requests for a comment.

And it's not only Stern who is expected to take a pay cut, because since Sirius and XM merged there aren't two companies bidding against each other for content.

"At the time of the merger we were in many long-term contracts," Frear said. "As they come up for renewal, we'll have the opportunity to get more favorable economic terms there."   Continued...

<p>Radio personality Howard Stern speaks during a news conference in New York February 28, 2006. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>