With recession-hit drivers apparently “looking at their car dashboards and thinking, ‘why am I paying for radio?’” said Roy Edroso in The Village Voice online, satellite radio service Sirius XM is facing bankruptcy. Sirius, home to Howard Stern, has $175 million in debt due at the end of the month, and it is reportedly unlikely to have enough cash to pay up.
It's hard to believe Sirius is losing money, said Steve Guttenberg in CNET News. The company claims 19 million subscribers, at about $13 a month, and that doesn’t count the “load of dough” it gets from ads on Stern’s show. In fact, why doesn’t Stern buy it, maybe with fellow “Sirius XM heavyweights like Oprah and Martha Stewart”? His "rabid" fans would play along.
Dumping Stern would save cash, said Josh Wolk in Entertainment Weekly online. He costs $100 million a year—that would pay for a lot of “classic-rock deep cuts.” But it won't happen—“satellite radio needs him more than he needs satellite radio.” In fact, Stern could earn a good living selling a daily podcast version of his show, without Sirius.
“If Howard Stern walks, so be it,” said Scott Jagow in Marketplace. The “ridiculous salaries” Sirius pays celebrities—$30 million for Martha, $55 million for Oprah—would go a lot further with talented personalities who are cheaper and less-overexposed.