Sirius setback for Stern Suit

New York City Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick rendered a decision yesterday on a motion for summary judgment brought by SiriusXM against Howard Stern’s production company and agent. Stern listeners will know that he took SiriusXM to court alleging that they are in breach of his first 2006 – 2011 contract with Sirius. He alleged that, under the contract, the post-merger influx of XM subscribers into the merged company should count towards his performance bonus, which dealt with how many subscribers Stern had attracted to the service. Listeners will be aware of his recent comments mocking the fact that SiriusXM claims to be one company, or two, depending on how it might convenient for it. 

The judge, however, sided with SiriusXM, pointing out that the contract had a specific clause providing for a $25 million bonus in the event of a merger with XM, which was honored. The judge interprets the contract to not count incoming XM subscribers – only 1 million of whom opted to actually listen to Stern via the “Best of Sirius” add-on package – as part of the bonus structure. 

I fully expect that Stern and Buchwald will appeal this ruling, but it makes for interesting reading and a unique glimpse into Stern’s business dealings. 

Stern Dismissal


  • Dismissed with prejudice makes an appeal unlikely, doesn’t it? Anyhow, it’s tough to tell who I like less in this disagreement. Howard, who has been mailing in 2-3 shows per week for a year while robbing SiriusXM blind or Mel Karmazin who has made tens of millions strangling this company into its death throes. Horrible people, both.

    • Agree with your assessment of personality here, but evidently I missed the part of yesterday’s show where Howard discussed this, and said he would appeal. It was the trial court judge who dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning if the ruling stands, Stern would be unable to re-file an action making similar allegations on similar facts. He does get a chance to send the ruling up the chain to the App Div, then possibly the Court of Appeals. 

      We sold SIRI and bought LMCA. 

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