Is Stern Too Greedy?
Howard Stern sued Sirius XM Radio back in 2011 after he felt he was owed more than $300 million for helping the satellite radio company reach new subscribers. Unfortunately for Stern, a judge today thought he was completely wrong.
It might be a little awkward between Howard Stern and Sirius Radio today. Stern sued Sirius XM Radio Inc. in March 2011 when the company allegedly failed to pay out bonus stock options to Stern and his agent. Stern lost his lawsuit with Sirius today when a New York state court judge dismissed his case. Stern says he's "bummed" and plans to appeal.
According to the Huffington Post, Stern says Sirius agreed to the bonus if he "exceed[ed] subscriber growth targets." In 2003, the Huffington Post says Sirius had "around 230,000 subscribers to XM's 1.3 million at the end of 2003. As of the end of December  the combined company had 20.2 million."
And therein was the disagreement: Sirius acquired XM in 2008 and did not believe it was obligated to include those numbers in Stern's "subscriber growth targets." Lawyers for Stern thought otherwise.
Attorneys for Stern explained their position in the lawsuit filed back in March 2011. "When Sirius needed Stern, it promised him a share in any success that the company achieved," the suit said. "But now that Sirius has conquered its chief competitor and acquired more than 20 million subscribers, it has reneged on its commitment to Stern, unilaterally deciding that it has paid him enough."
Stern received $83 million in bonus stock in addition to his $500 million salary for 2004 to 2009. Entertainment Weekly reports Stern and Sirius agreed to another five-year-contract back in 2010 but the terms were not made public.
Sirius XM was obviously happy with the court's decision. "The court found the agreement unambiguous and that we had complied with all our obligations."
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