Going after Howard's end

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Leslie vs. Mel. Joel vs. Howard. CBS vs. Sirius. Anyway you bill it, the massive lawsuit CBS dropped on Howard Stern last week is the catfight of the century.

The suit, which also names Stern's agent, Don Buchwald, and Sirius Satellite Radio, focuses on the 34 million shares of stock Sirius awarded Stern and Buchwald for helping drive subscribers. Mr. Stern spent countless mornings talking about his new venture on the air-eventually replacing the forbidden word "Sirius" with an inside moniker, "Uh-uh." Ad Age estimated the first 40 minutes of his Oct. 20 radio broadcast plugging one of his new Sirius Satellite Radio channels was worth about $1.2 million in free ad time and called it "the ultimate public-relations dilemma" for Infinity chief Joel Hollander. Does he take the badmouthing and keep the revenue Mr. Stern brought in toward the bitter end or chuck the shock jock early? We didn't contemplate the third possibility: CBS could keep him on the air and then sue his pants off afterward.
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