Howard Stern Changes Tune on Sirius CFO: ‘David Frear is OK With Me’

Day after rant, shock jock says exec’s paycut talk misinterpreted by the Hollywood Reporter

Howard Stern told his satellite radio listeners on Wednesday that after reviewing a transcript of the comments Sirius chief financial officer David Frear made to an investor conference earlier in the week, he has concluded they were misinterpreted by the Hollywood Reporter.

"David Frear is OK with me,” Stern said, claiming that according to the transcript, Frear never suggested a paycut for Stern.

That’s a dramatic change in tone from yesterday, when Stern unleashed a long, expletive-laden rant about Frear and Sirius after THR reported that the CFO told a UBS conference that Stern would have to take a paycut if he wants to return to Sirius/XM.

The shock jock’s five-year, $500 million contract with Sirius is up at the end of the month.

On Tuesday, Stern slammed Frear on his show.

"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.

"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?"

THR reported that Frear said Stern would have to agree to return at significantly less money. On Wednesday, Stern said that while Frear did say because of its merger with XM, Sirius does not have to shell out big money to on-air talent, he never mentioned Stern or a paycut.

"At the time of the merger we were in many long-term contracts," Frear said, according to THR. "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."