On Monday, Howard Stern submitted a brief with the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division to put in motion a highly anticipated appeal against his employer, SiriusXM Radio, for an estimated $300 million.
The legal battle began in late 2004 when the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” announced he’d be leaving terrestrial radio to join Sirius in January 2006 for a reported $500 million over five years, plus potential stock bonuses.
When Stern made the announcement, Sirius had a paltry 673,000 subscribers. In December 2010, Stern re-upped for another five years for a reported $400 million. Only now, Stern’s employer was SiriusXM, a name change precipitated by the 2008 merger between Sirius and its satellite competitor XM Radio Inc.
Two years later, the company reported its subscription base had grossed more than 20 million listeners. Claiming they were owed stock bonuses due to the company’s success, Stern’s 112 Inc. production company, along with agent Don Buchwald , filed a May 2011 lawsuit seeking the estimated $300 million.
In April 2012, New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick dismissed the case, calling the wording in Stern’s original contract with Sirius “clear” and “unambiguous.”
To what degree Stern takes his case to the court of public opinion is anyone’s guess, but he has occasionally used airtime to rail against Sirius XM president Scott Greenstein, whom he accuses of having a “f—ing short memory” with regards to where SiriusXM was prior to Stern’s arrival.