SiriusXM CEO Addresses Howard Stern Contract Talks

Howard Stern GETTY - H 2016
Getty Images

Jim Meyer says he has made clear that "I want Howard Stern to be on SiriusXM for as long as Howard wants to work."

Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM is planning more formal talks with Howard Stern over the coming months about a potential contract renewal for his The Howard Stern Show as the current five-year deal for it expires at the end of 2020.

SiriusXM, controlled by John Malone's Liberty Media, previously said the current pact was part of a broader "12-year agreement, under which legendary broadcaster Stern" has continued to produce and host The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM.

Under the current deal, financial details of which weren't disclosed, SiriusXM also launched its first venture into video programming with Stern.

Asked on the firm's first-quarter earnings conference call on Tuesday about a mention Stern had made in the past 24 hours about being open to ideas for his contract, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said he has made "really clear" that "I want Howard Stern to be on SiriusXM for as long as Howard wants to work," lauding their "tremendous relationship" that has "never been better."

"Howard and I chat quite often," he continued, adding that more formalized conversations with Stern's agent, Don Buchwald, were planned to start soon. That hasn't happened yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, Meyer said, though he spoke with Buchwald "a couple of days ago."

"I am not concerned that we won't find a way together to try to find a path forward," Mayer said, but he emphasized that those "discussions are better held in person."

He shared his hope to have more to say on the situation on the company's third-quarter earnings conference call, which usually takes place in late October.

SiriusXM and Stern at the end of March said North American listeners would get free access to The Howard Stern Show and other premium SiriusXM content through May 15 as consumers started sheltering at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM's president and chief content officer, on Tuesday lauded Stern for his work from home amid the pandemic, adding that the crisis has brought the star to another level of enthusiasm for and appreciation of the company, with the free access amid the virus crisis also allowing older fans of his to find Stern and his show again. 

Meyer also praised Stern's work, saying "the quality of the show that he is bringing to our listeners every day couldn't be better, and I couldn't be more proud of him."