Shock-jock Howard Stern is still locked in a lawsuit with his former employer Sirius (NSDQ: SIRI) over his pay. In a new filing, Stern says he “saved” the company, but now the company is refusing to pay him what it owes.
Sirius disputes that claim and is asking the New York state judge overseeing the case to throw Stern’s suit out.
According to a report on radio-news site RBR.com, Stern says he was promised additional pay if he beat subscriber targets by at least 2 million. “Now that the company has done that and more, it is refusing to pay me what it owes,” stated Stern in a court filing.
Some of the dispute seems to stem from how the two sides are counting subscribers. Stern wants to count both XM and Sirius subscribers, whereas Sirius wants to count only XM subscribers who paid extra for the “Best of Sirius” package that included Stern’s program. There was an internal target of 12.1 million subscribers by the end of 2010, and Stern was supposed to get a different bonus if that number got beat by more than six million. “Sirius alone was well short of that, but including XM the subscriber count at the end of 2010 was just shy of 20.2 million,” notes RBR in an earlier report on the case.
It’s interesting to note that even when Sirius hired Stern in late 2004 it was already considering a merger with its then-competitor XM Satellite Radio. Stern’s contract contained a set fee (redacted in the court filing) that would have allowed Sirius to extend his program to all subscribers of the merged company.