SIRIUS' $720 MILLION MAN STARTS TO EARN HIS PAYCHECK

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Will the media blitz of Howard Stern finally come to an end now that he’s moved into his new digs at Sirius Satellite Radio? Doubt it.
Photo: AP
Howard Stern

When the self-proclaimed King of All Media finally took the mic in his new studio at 6 a.m. this morning, Sirius finally tapped the on-air talents of its $500 million man. (Actually, make that $720 million, when you add in the 34 million stock shares Sirius awarded him last week for helping the company subscriber goals.)

On his first show, he dispelled rumors that he spent his time off marrying longtime girlfriend Beth Ostrosky with this: “I don’t want to f--k it up.” His first guest? Heidi Cortez, a Playboy bunny and phone-sex expert who will host a late-night show “Tissue Time with Heidi,” which Sirius describes as “bedtime stories you won’t want to miss.”

With 1.1 million new subscribers added in the fourth quarter -- the first quarter that Sirius added more sign-ups than rival XM, bringing its total up to 3.1 million -- Stern presumably was starting off with a built-in audience that signed up to pay $12.99 just to be able to hear him.

Of course, even though Mr. Stern’s on a much smaller paid platform than when he was at Infinity Broadcast (now CBS Radio), his shenanigans won’t be confined to the satellite waves, if what Sirius has done with its NFL channel is any indicator. The satellite radio company has turned the chat from its Sirius NFL Radio into regular fodder for the sports beat writers.

For Mr. Stern, Sirius has allotted two channels. Mr. Stern will broadcast his four-hour show at 6 a.m. EST Monday through Friday on Sirius channel 100; for West Coast listeners the show begins on Mr. Stern’s other Sirius channel, 101, at 6 a.m. PST. Channel 100 is more Stern-centric and 101 is more entertainment focused.

No advertisers were in the show on day one. Sirius will begin to roll them out tomorrow.

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