Shock talk-radio host Howard Stern is close to renewing his contract with Sirius XM (SIRI) - Get Report that would boost his pay to about $120 million a year and continue broadcasting and podcasting over the next three years.
Stern’s contract with Sirius XM expires at the end of December, and the 66-year-old has been negotiating a fresh deal for the better part of the year, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the conversations.
His previous five-year contracts, which cover production and staff, topped out at roughly $80 million to $100 million.
Industry-watchers had speculated that Stern could leave Sirius for rival Spotify Technology (SPOT) - Get Report, which has built a large podcasting operation to complement its online music service, though sources told Bloomberg that discussions with Spotify petered out a while ago, and that talks with Sirius were relatively advanced.
Stern has been for years among Sirius XM’s biggest draws. Once a dominant syndicated presence on terrestrial radio, Stern helped draw millions of listeners to satellite radio when he joined Sirius back in 2005.
Indeed, the pay package being bantered about for Stern is significantly higher than other talk-radio and podcasting stars, including popular podcast host and mixed martial arts commentator Joe Rogan.
First launched in July 1, 2002, Sirius Satellite Radio was the first live-streaming radio content provider that utilized a system of its own satellites to broadcast music and talk-radio anywhere in the world.
The company merged with rival XM Satellite Radio in 2008, becoming SiriusXM Radio. In 2018 it merged with music-streaming service Pandora to the tune of $3.5 billion.
Sirius XM said it had 34.3 million subscribers as of June 30, which it expects will expand to 150 million listeners following its acquisition of podcast production platform Stitcher, which it acquired this past summer for $325 million.
Sirius XM shares were up 4.3% at $5.80 in trading on Wednesday.