Howard Stern's Production Company Sues Sirius For Unpaid Bonuses

Mar 23, 2011, 13:03 by John Steele

Howard Stern's production company is suing Sirius XM, claiming Howard was not given the stock options and other bonuses he was promised, TMZ reported today.

The suit, which was filed in New York Supreme court, alleges that after the highly publicized merger that brought Stern's loyal army of followers over to Sirius, papers were drawn up indicating that Stern would receive a share in "any success that the company achieved." But after a merger with XM brought Sirius another massive plot of new subscribers, Sirius put the brakes on financing the so-called King of all Media.

According to TMZ, Stern claims his stock bonuses were based on subscriber estimates that he drastically exceeded. Today, Sirius has a subscriber base of more than 20 million subscribers.

The suit claims, "Sirius needed Stern more than Stern needed Sirius."

Stern's production company, One Twelve, and his agent Don Buchwald said that Sirius made an initial bonus stock award after Stern started in January 2006 but failed to do so over the subsequent four years. As Stern had beaten projections by over two million listeners each of those four years, he had earned a bonus.

The suit also claims that Stern put Sirius in a position to take over competitor XM Radio to become the dominant satellite radio provider in the country.

Sirius reacted with awe and dismay at legal action from the man who has become their poster boy for the anti-establishment branding since 2006. In a statement to CNBC, Sirius XM said it had just signed a contract through 2015 with Stern, and it was "surprised and disappointed by the subsequent legal action initiated by (Stern's) production company and agent."

"We have met all of our obligations under the terms of our 2004 agreement with Howard, his agent and production company."

Source: TMZ, CNBC