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Howard Stern suing XM over bonus

Howard Stern is going after his bosses again, accusing SiriusXM of treating the King of All Media like a peon.

Stern's production company, One Twelve Inc., and his agent, Don Buchwald, Tuesday sued the satellite radio company, charging that it reneged on promised payouts.

The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says SiriusXM stiffed Stern on performance-based incentives after he delivered millions more subscribers to satellite radio than ever expected.

"Now that Stern has put the company on the map, brought in millions of subscribers and helped it conquer its chief rival, Sirius has unilaterally decided that Stern has been paid enough," the suit says.

The raunchy radio jock and K-Rock star debuted on Sirius in January 2006, taking a reported $500 million deal to help the then-fledgling satellite radio company take on its bigger rival, XM.

As part of the deal, the suit says, Sirius offered One Twelve a series of stock awards if the company surpassed its subscriber goals in any year of his five-year contract by 2 million or more subscribers.

"Sirius set the subscriber targets high with the idea that if Stern delivered, Sirius would more than recoup its investment in Stern," the suit says. "Stern delivered beyond expectations."

The "Private Parts" star re-signed with SiriusXM for another five years in December.

"Howard forever changed radio and was instrumental in putting Sirius on the map when he first launched on satellite radio," Mel Karzmazin, the SiriusXM CEO said when Stern reupped with the company. "He is one of the few 'one-name' entertainers in the country and our 20 million subscribers are lucky to have him."

The suit says Sirius had under 1 million subscribers when it began courting Stern in 2004 and was running a distant second to XM. The companies merged in 2008, and Stern takes credit for luring 8 million more subscribers than ever expected.

"If not for the dramatic success that Stern had brought Sirius, Sirius would not have been in a position to acquire its rival and the merger would not have occurred," the suit says.

A SiriusXM spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment, nor did Stern's spokesman.

Buchwald, Stern's longtime agent, contends Sirius promised him a consulting fee equal to 10% of any compensation paid to One Twelve.

The suit does not specify how much money the company supposedly owes - though it's a figure likely to be in the millions of dollars.


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