From time to time we bring you news items that are not Apple-related – unless we’ll be able to get SIRIUS satellite radio on our next generation iPods, that is.
“King of All Media” Howard Stern and SIRIUS announced today an epic agreement whereby Stern will move to SIRIUS beginning January 1, 2006. SIRIUS is the premium satellite radio provider known for delivering the very best in commercial-free music and sports programming to cars and homes across the country.
The world-renowned Stern is credited with revolutionizing the talk radio format. He is the No. 1 national radio host among males 18-49 years of age and ranks No. 1 in many of the 46 major markets where his show is broadcast, including New York and Los Angeles.
“It has been my dream to have the top-rated show in radio since I was five years old,” said Stern in the press release. “SIRIUS — the future of radio — will take this dream to a whole new level as I bring my fans my show my way. It will be the best radio they will ever hear.”
Known for his extremely loyal fan base and for his unequalled ability to migrate fans to other media, Stern has embarked on numerous highly successful ventures over the years while maintaining dominant ratings in his demographic. Stern has written two best-selling books — Private Parts, which was Simon & Schuster’s fastest-selling book ever, and Miss America, the fastest-selling book in publishing history. He later starred in the highly successful motion picture adaptation of Private Parts, orchestrated the fastest-selling soundtrack in motion picture history and starred in the most watched entertainment pay-per-view special of all time. “The Howard Stern Show” is E! Entertainment Television’s most successful show.
“Signing Howard Stern is, without a doubt, the most exciting and transformational event in the history of radio,” said Joseph P. Clayton, CEO of SIRIUS in the press release. “He is an entertainment force of unprecedented recognition and popularity in the broadcast world, who is capable of changing the face of satellite radio and generating huge numbers of subscribers for SIRIUS.”
“Howard is an incredible creative and comedic icon, and we are thrilled that he chose SIRIUS to broadcast what everyone believes will be the most exciting part of his career,” said Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS President of Entertainment and Sports in the press release. “There is absolutely no one like Howard Stern, and I’m excited that, for the first time, his show will be heard across the entire country as it was always meant to be heard.”
Greenstein negotiated the five-year, multi-million dollar agreement with Don Buchwald, who represents Stern.
Buchwald said in the press release: “An important new industry is being developed and Howard wants to be its leader. He is truly excited to be working with SIRIUS, which will not only provide a new and innovative platform for his broadcast talents, but will draw on his skills as a businessman. SIRIUS has offered Howard and his fans a great opportunity to be a part of something truly remarkable, and we look forward to a spectacular future.”
Through SIRIUS’ nationwide broadcast system, Stern will be heard in every market across the country. Moreover, Stern’s tremendous popularity among males 18-49 matches perfectly with SIRIUS’ target demographic.
SIRIUS estimates that Stern only would need to generate approximately one million subscribers in order to cover the costs of the deal. Total production and operating costs for the Stern show, including compensation of the show cast and staff, overhead, construction costs for a dedicated studio, and a budget for the development of additional programming and marketing concepts, is estimated to be approximately $100 million per year.
“When you look at his enormous existing fan base, all we need is for Howard to bring in a small fraction of his weekly audience for this agreement to pay for itself,” said Clayton. “Anyone who knows Howard, and who understands how loyal his fan base is, will not have a hard time seeing the incredible potential for growth that he will represent for SIRIUS. We are absolutely delighted that he will be joining our company, and we look forward to expanding the scope and diversity of SIRIUS programming with him.”
Additional information regarding the agreement is available in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by SIRIUS with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SIRIUS will host a conference call today at 9:15 am ET to brief analysts on the agreement. The audio portion of the call will be webcast at http://www.sirius.com .