Howard Stern recently unleashed a some 35-minute expletive-filled rant on his Sirius XM satellite radio show after a New York judge tossed his $300 million lawsuit against the company and says he plans to appeal the case.
The 58-year-old shock jock and new "America's Got Talent" co-judge had sued the firm, which has aired his widely popular talk show since he left terrestrial radio in 2006, for allegedly refusing to give him stock options he says he was promised. During his rant, which he made on his show on Wednesday, he called the ruling "ridiculous."
"I was so aggravated with that lawsuit news. I'm reading the newspaper articles - I'm arguing with the newspaper articles," he said, later adding: "People are very proud of (expletive) me over. But look, I'm a loyal guy, I'm here, I understand I lost the case for now. I will appeal it."
Sirius XM offers a variety of music, sports and talk channels, but scores of Stern's fans have purchased subscriptions to the service just to hear his program, which airs several times a week. He had said in his lawsuit, filed in March 2011, that he was responsible for bringing in more than 2 million subscribers in 2006 and 2007 and that the number of internal subscribers grew to 20 million in 2010, two years after Sirius acquired competitor XM.
In his complaint, the shock jock says that when he agreed to move his radio show to the satellite radio firm, it promised to pay his production company a series of escalating stock awards if the company "exceeded its subscriber estimates in any year of Stern's contract by two million or more subscribers. He claimed the firm paid stock awards only in the first year of his contract.
Stern had signed a $500 million contract with Sirius in 2004, before the merger. His bonus was worth $75 million. He was also paid $25 million after the merger. A New York judge ruled earlier this week that Stern could not count XM's almost 10 million subscribers in calculating his bonus, saying that the language of his contract was clear and unambiguous.
"The court found the agreement unambiguous and that we had complied with all our obligations," Sirius XM said in a statement.
Stern signed a new 5-year deal with Sirius XM more than three months before filing the lawsuit. He has not revealed his salary. On his Wednesday show, Stern slammed critics who have called him "greedy."
"I didn't file this frivolously like, 'Oh, maybe I can pick up a couple extra bucks,"" he said on his show. "Why am I the greedy one? I don't get it. Because I pulled off a miracle for the company?"
Stern has been a radio host since the 1970s and his show has aired on television. He moved to satellite radio following a dispute with terrestrial radio stations that had carried his syndicated show over alleged indecent programming, which led to Federal Communications Commission fines of $2.5 million. Stern is allowed to swear on his new show.
He said he enjoys the "freedoms" of working at Sirius XM.
"I will go on working here," he said." I have ... three and a half years left. And I will do a quality radio program. I will do my best as I've always done, because, quite frankly, you're the listeners and you don't deserve to be caught up in this."
"This momentary bump in the road for me is something I will move on from." he added. "I am angry about it, I won't lie to you, but my anger is compartmentalized. I'm able to put that in one part of my brain and continue doing my show and enjoy doing my show. And that's it. (My lawyer) will continue with this case and I'll see where it goes."