It seems that for Howard Stern, nearly one billion dollars isn't quite enough of a paycheck for his radio gig. The self-proclaimed King of All Media today sued his own radio company, Sirius XM, claiming he wasn't paid the performance-based stock awards he was promised.
If you remember, Stern jumped from broadcast radio to Sirius in a deal that began in 2006. His first five-year contract with Sirius was worth $500 million in cash and stock, and while he didn't disclose the terms of his contract renewal last December, at least one analyst estimates it was worth another $400 million.
Are you doing the math with me? Yet he's suing for MORE MONEY.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, claims that Stern was promised stock awards if he could boost the company’s subscriber levels. He alleges that he was entitled to stock grants based on subscriber levels for 2008 and 2009, but with the exception of a stock award Sirius paid for the first year of Stern’s contract, the rest of the awards weren't paid.
Apparently Stern and his agent didn’t press the matter beforehand, “while Sirius was struggling or reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy.”
For Sirius's part, the company has responded that they're "surprised and disappointed" by the legal action, and that they don't owe him any outstanding debts.
We have met all of our obligations under the terms of our 2004 agreement with Howard, his agent, and production company.
There's no way to know what's really going on here, but when we're talking about such enormous sums of money, it's really hard to muster any sympathy for Stern. Of course an employer should be held to the terms of their contract, no matter what level of compensation—but holy crap, we're talking MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars. What could Stern possibly do with the extra cash?
Actually, I probably don't even want to know. He probably has a thriving stable of miniature albino tigers implanted with 40-carat diamonds, or something.
What do you think about the lawsuit? Are you shocked to hear Stern is asking for more money?
Image via HowardStern.com