Self-proclaimed King of All Media Howard Stern knows there is reputedly another King out there. Anybody paying attention to the seismic shifts in the media-entertainment landscape knows this truism: Content is King. Well, Stern is in good shape no matter. Because with Stern’s extraordinarily lucrative deal at SiriusXM running out, the shock jock turned superstar has not only his future to bank on but also his past. Stern owns outright the content from all his radio shows for the last 30 years or so, former Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin points out. If content is king, Howard Stern owns a goodly part of that king.
Now whether old Howard Stern shows have the middling value of old Dean Martin shows which get sold on DVDs through infomercials, or whether they have a massive value more akin to Friends episodes, which still earn massive loot through global syndication — that’s part of the half billion dollar question. Will Stern renew at SiriusXM? Will he go to Netflix, to HBO, to Apple? The deal won’t just be about Howard Stern’s future; it’s also about his past — and the value he’s locked up from it.