NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Howard Stern's marketability is proving to be worth its weight in gold -- or at least its weight in contract-bargaining leverage -- as "American Idol" producers are reportedly now vying to get him on the show.

Executives at News Corp.'s ( NWSA - Get Report) Fox show American Idol will "do what it takes" to bring Stern on the show, according to the New York Post's Page Six.

According to Page Six, Stern is currently "American Idol" producers' favorite pick to replace Simon Cowell when he leaves the show at the end of the season to launch his hit British talent show "The X-Factor" on Fox.

Part of Stern's appeal lies in the perception that he could be even more ruthless than Cowell as a judge on the show, providing valuable entertainment value. On top of that, Idol bosses know that he would spar with other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres, the source says.

Page Six reports that "American Idol" executives are prepared to offer Stern a deal competitive with his current $100 million a year salary at Sirius XM ( SIRI - Get Report). But a second source tells the daily that the problem is, Stern in reality, isn't ready to leave Sirius XM. Many believe that he's only been announcing job possibilities on air as a strategy to get Sirius to renew his contract at his current salary when it expires at the end of the year.

In fact, the second source said that he's been sending American Idol executives mixed signals. It is also rumored that the notion of spending most of his time in Los Angeles and touring the U.S. as a judge on the show doesn't seem that appealing to him.

A slight majority of readers at TheStreet say Stern isn't worth all that money to Sirius XM and should be dropped if he insists on another huge contract. Others believe that he brought success to Sirius XM and his contract should be renewed accordingly.

Clear Channel Communications recently announced that it would be interested in signing Stern at a highly competitive salary package. However, restrictive Federal Communications Commission rules would probably discourage him from returning to terrestrial radio.

Both News Corp. and Sirius stock have tumbled in noon trading.

News Corp. stock has fallen 2.1% to $12.80, while Sirius has lost 3% to 82 cents.

Other media stocks have also lost ground. News Corp. peer Time Warner ( TWX) has fallen 1.5% to $27.10. Meanwhile CBS ( CBS - Get Report) is down 2.3% at $12.70.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York


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