As Sirius Languishes, Questions Surround Howard Stern

Howard Stern
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Sirius XM Radio is battling through difficult times, and creditors are unlikely the carry the company through 2009.

Years ahead of the current, deep recession, the company was hemorrhaging cash against an expected surge of subscribers.  Part of that bet eventually included Howard Stern, a draw for millions of subscribers and a major lifeline for then-independent Sirius Satellite Radio.

But will Stern stick around for a contract extension after 2010, if the company even exists at that point?  “This is my swan song,” Stern told one listener last week, referring to post-2010 prospects.  Stern noted that he wants to spend more time with his wife, Beth, and kids, at least for now.

Then again, this is Stern, a master of theatrics.  In fact, just moments after taking the call, Stern offered a slightly different assessment.  “I feel strongly about it,” Stern told teammate Gary.  “If I could work out a deal with Sirius where I work on my own terms, I’d think about it.”