Thursday, November 05, 2015

Mel on Howard

Mel Karmazin was Howard Stern's champion for many years, first at Infinity/CBS, then at Sirius/XM. He's the one that signed Howard to those record-breaking contracts. Yesterday the retired billionaire was on CNBC and had this to say about Howard's current contract negotiations. (From the RAMP newsletter this morning)

One possibly lucrative option, said Karmazin, could involve Howard's valuable 30-year treasure trove of radio shows and other material. "He owns it all. He could syndicate it," Karmazin said. "He doesn't have to work anymore. He could either sell his company or he could do a Law and Order, a Friends, a Seinfeld, and make a whole bunch of money because everyone is in need of content." Karmazin continued, "Howard could also do something, arguably a la Netflix-type. It's original content. He does the video... [and] it could be a TV show that could be available worldwide." Karmazin also thinks Apple would be a good fit for Stern. Going a step further, he said he didn't see any reason why Apple wouldn't want to just buy SiriusXM -- a titillating observation.

All this being said, however, Karmazin says he hopes The Howard Stern Show stays on SiriusXM, where it's been since 2005. "I think Sirius would be in a position of paying him whatever it takes to keep him," he continued. "My bet would be he would stay, but I have really don't have an idea." Analysts estimate that Stern's current SiriusXM contract is worth $80 million a year. "I think Howard loves money. I don't say that in any pejorative way," Karmazin said. "He's working. He knows how much money other people are making off of that [radio] show. And I think he wants his fair share or unfair share."