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Howard Stern’s Defense for Not Going on Conan: Sirius Didn’t Ask

Shock jock says he would have gone if executives at satellite radio company had wanted him to

Howard Stern said Tuesday that he declined an offer from the “Tonight Show” to appear this week, likely Conan O’Brien’s last as host. His reason? He didn’t want to fly to L.A.

On Wednesday, Stern responded to criticism that he should have for the publicity it would have generated for Sirius, the struggling satellite radio network.

“I kind of put it out there that I would fly out to L.A. maybe, but no one from management picked up on it and said that they wanted me to go do this,” the shock jock told his satellite audience. “If they had said they wanted me to do it, I would have."

“If [SIRIUS XM president] Scott Greenstein said to me, ‘Go. I don’t care, I want you on the Tonight Show for the final one’ I would have done it,” Stern added. “But he didn’t say it and I respect that. He pays me. And the fact is I am paid to be here. And not out in California running around, carrying on on other people’s shows."

It will be interesting to see if Stern’s decision has any bearing on his upcoming contract negotiations with Sirius.

Stern’s five-year, $500 million deal with Sirius is up at the end of 2010, and it’s doubtful that the King of All Media will command the same kind of money this time around.

Sirius, which has 18.8 million subscribers, was nearly forced to declare bankruptcy in 2009. However, chief Mel Karmazin said this week that the fourth quarter proved to be a bright spot, and the company is poised for a better 2010.

More to read:

Howard Stern Says He’s Not Going on Conan
A Sneak Peek Into Sirius’ Howard Stern Negotiations