It's January. It's 2010.
It's only natural for Sirius XM Radio
A few media reports are shocked to hear Stern announce this week that terrestrial radio stations have been contacting him to leave Sirius by year's end. They're falling for his terrestrial teases. Suckers!
Let's go over a few of the recent headlines:
- "Howard Stern looking to go back to terrestrial radio?" (RBR.com)
- "Howard Stern Ditching Sirius?" (The Business Insider)
- "Howard Stern Mulls Return to Traditional Radio" (NewsMax.com)
Stern isn't going to terrestrial radio, folks. He can't tell you that, because it's not in his best financial interest. Until Sirius and Stern hammer out a new deal, it's to his obvious advantage to throw out potential suitors. I, on the other hand, have no problem breaking down the charade.
Stern has hinted in the past at wanting to work fewer hours. The guy's loaded. He has accomplished everything short of winning a Super Bowl ring. He deserves to enjoy some form of early partial retirement while he is still physically able to do just that.
The guy is no longer the hungry Viacom
Unfortunately for the on-air legend, the Sirius-XM merger means that the two stations that can realistically afford Stern can no longer be played against one another. They have both hands on the same bidding card.
The dot-com solution
This doesn't mean that Stern can only stick with Sirius XM. We live in a time where Pandora has tens of millions of Internet users and Apple's
Unfortunately, there are too many unknowns. Stern may very well make more money by launching his own streaming subscriptions, but that would likely end any plans of taking it easy at this point in his career.
The upside to Stern going the online route is that he could create his own job description. We're only going to be more connected in the future. There's a reason why Ford Motor
Unfortunately, being a revolution's foot soldier takes a lot of time. It may be several more years before online streaming becomes a viable replacement for terrestrial and satellite radio. Stern is unlikely to be interested in that kind of open-ended attack strategy.
This is how it will go down
Sirius XM would love to pay less for Stern, and he appears to be lobbying for a lighter workload. Those two goals dovetail perfectly. He'll take less. He'll work less. If he's compensated accordingly, he may even hand over App Store streaming rights.
When Liberty Capital
Both of them would probably be lying, but -- again -- they would never tell you that.
Do you think Sirius XM needs Stern more than Stern needs Sirius XM? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a subscriber to both Sirius and XM. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.