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Howard Stern uncharacteristically lashed out at his employer during his show Tuesday using words about David Frear, the CFO of Sirius XM, that would have
gotten him fined had he still been on traditional radio.
Setting Stern off were comments made Monday by Frear that Sirius XM is looking to strike less expensive content deals now that it is alone in the U.S. satellite-radio business. Frear was suggesting that Stern, whose annual salary is $100 million, might have to accept less money if he continues with Sirius XM after his contract expires Dec. 31.
“I am not taking a f—ing pay cut,” Stern said Tuesday. “Who is this guy to say this in public?”
Stern said he doesn’t know Frear or think he’s even in the loop as far as his negotiations for a contract renewal are concerned. But he, or his staff, have obviously researched Frear since Monday, and Stern told his audience that the CFO got a raise two years ago to $3.3 million annually.
“Where’s your pay cut, David?”
Stern challenged Frear to come by the show and tell him to his face that he’s no longer worth $100 million a year.
Stern said that 60 percent of Sirius XM’s 20 million subscribers listen to his show, which is roughly five times more than most analysts estimate, but the company refuses to divulge such listener data.
Stern said his agent, Don Buchwald, deals directly with Sirius XM chief executive Mel Karmazin and that Frear is Karmazin’s puppet.
Robin Quivers, who delivers news and commentary on Stern’s show, likened reading about Frear’s comments at an investor conference in New York to a
husband overhearing his wife telling her friends that he’s a lousy sex partner.
Stern said he’s deserving of the sort of respect Oprah Winfrey is accorded, given that they are both on Sirius XM but he’s “more important” to the
company than she is.
He also threatened to call his agent to tell him to actually demand “more f—ing money” now that a top company executive has disrespected him in the
eyes of his radio-industry colleagues.
“I don’t want it perceived that I took a pay cut,” Stern said.
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