'Sirius' secrets, serious cash

January 10, 2006
Shock Jock Howard Stern

Shock Jock Howard Stern kicked off his first satellite radio show Monday morning, satisfying many of his fans with his intended segment and cliff-hanger "Revelations."

The segment that wasn't allowed to air by Infinity Broadcasting/CBS Radio would have had listeners' pair anonymous deep secrets shared by the show's staff that includes getting caught for adultery, cosmetic surgery, sex with vegetables and spending $10,000 on Internet porn.

Stern also revealed new announcer Star Trek's George Takei and denied a marriage with long-time girlfriend and model Beth Ostrosky, discrediting rumors that the couple married in Mexico.

Getting a $500 million deal over the next five years for his satellite show, Stern's paycheck continues to grow as a result of Sirius exceeding its subscription targets.

He received 34 shares worth $220 million for Sirius meeting its target, set in 2004 upon Sirius' deal with Stern when shares were worth about $110 million.

The four-hour Howard Stern Show airing on weekday mornings on two channels will be joined with controversial Florida-based radio personality Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem as the weekday afternoon host on Howard 101. The fellow shock jock lost his job with Clear Channel Communications after "he incurred a record $755,000 fine from federal regulators -- just before company officials were due to face Congress to talk about broadcast indecency," St. Petersburg Times Media Critic Eric Deggans reported.

Other shows include Howard 100 News, bedtime stories on Tissue Time with Heidi and Ben and Ray Stern discusses Stern's childhood on Meet the Sterns.

Stern's satellite show also ends his feud with Clear Channel Communications Inc. and his 25-year conflict with Federal Communications Commission censors.
"There is no other personality like Howard Stern in the world of entertainment," said Sirius President Scott Greenstein in a statement, "and he is finally on SIRIUS Satellite Radio where he will be given the freedom and support to create and perform. Today we are seeing just the beginning of this remarkable pioneering force."

With the addition of Stern in its 2006 line-up, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. nearly tripled its subscriber base in 2005, ending with 3.3 million subscribers, an increase of 2.1 million from 600,000 in 2004, more than they expected.

Of those subscribers, it gained 1.4 million in the fourth quarter alone prior to Stern's debut, beating XM Satellite Radio Holdings 900,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter.

Still, XM leads the two-company-industry closing out the year with more than 6 million subscriptions, with the addition of 2.7 million subscribers in 2005.

Next year will prove to be an interesting year for satellite radio as subscriptions continue to climb and with the addition of more celebrities taking to the airwaves which includes Stern joined by Martha Stewart and Bruce Springsteen on Sirius and Bob Dylan and Snoop Dog on XM.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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