Howard Stern went on a long, expletive-laced rant on his Sirius satellite radio show on Tuesday, slamming the company’s chief financial officer for saying the shock jock — whose five-year, $500 million contract is up at the end of the month — is not involved in contract negotiations and would have to take a pay cut to stay on the air.
"I am not taking a f—ing paycut," Stern said. “Why would I have to take a paycut? … Who is this guy to say this in public?"
"I know what I have done in this company," he said. "I am more important than Oprah, in this company anyway. Oprah's out getting the Kennedy Center honor and I've got the CFO announcing to Wall Street that I have to take a paycut."
"Nevermind getting respect from the industry,” Stern continued, “I want respect from the company."
David Frear, the Sirius/XM CFO, told a UBS investor conference in New York on Monday that while the company is “hopeful” its star will be back, he’d have to agree to return at significantly less money.
"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. […] The marketing aspects of these alignments don't have the same kind of value components to them today that they did several years ago. We go after each new negotiation as if it's the first time."
"He could decide that he doesn't want to get up that early in the morning,” Frear added. “That he'd like to do a shorter show. That he'd like to do it somewhere else. The Internet, whether it's through iTunes or something else, is always a possibility."
Frear did not exactly endear himself to Stern.
"I am calling my agent today that want more f—ing money. I don't want it perceived that I took a paycut," Stern railed, disclosing that Frear got a raise in 2008, putting his annual salary at $3.3 million. "Where's your paycut, David?"
Late last week, a wild rumor circulated that Stern was close to signing a three-year, $600 million contract with Apple to take his show to iTunes – but there are so many reasons why that story is bogus, it’s hard to know where to start (Apple’s prudish nature, iTunes' general lack of streaming, the idea of Steve Jobs signing off on strippers and midgets, etc.).
Stern’s last scheduled show on Sirius is Dec. 16.