CBS Radio Files Lawsuit Against Howard Stern
February 28, 2006

CBS Radio has filed suit against Howard Stern, his company One Twelve, Inc., his agent Don Buchwald, his agent's firm Don Buchwald & Associates, Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc.

The lawsuit seeks "compensatory and punitive damages for multiple breaches of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation of CBS Radio's broadcast time." It also seeks damages from Sirius for "unfair competition and tortious interference with Stern's CBS contract."

Stern addressed a report that the lawsuit was coming on his program this morning, calling the potential suit "unbelievable" and adding that the lawsuit "is to distract you from what is going on in the radio division." Stern admitted the potential suit is a reality and that he had a meeting on the subject recently with his lawyer, who called the suit "a total joke."  Stern later held a press conference alleging CBS was "bullying" him.

The 43-page complaint charges:

  • Howard Stern repeatedly and willfully breached his written contract with CBS Radio over the last 22 months of that contract, misappropriated millions of dollars worth of CBS Radio airtime for his own financial benefit, and fraudulently concealed his interest in hundreds of millions of dollars of Sirius stock while promoting it on the air.
  • That on or about January 9, 2006, Sirius paid over 34 million shares of stock, valued at approximately $220 million, to Stern and his agent because Sirius exceeded by the end of 2005 certain subscriber targets that were set in the Sirius-Stern contract. The complaint alleges that the Sirius-Stern contract provided that Stern was to receive this stock payment in 2010, but it had an acceleration provision that allowed Stern to receive the compensation as early as January 2006 if these subscriber targets were met. All of Stern's actions for which he received this expedited compensation occurred during the time that Stern was under exclusive contract with CBS Radio, when the Sirius payment terms to Stern were kept secret.
  • This contract thus provided a compelling incentive for Stern to do all that he could to help Sirius reach the subscriber targets by the end of 2005 so that he could receive his Sirius stock payment as soon as possible while Sirius's stock was extremely valuable. Without the accelerated payment, Stern would risk the decline of the Sirius stock value. By taking action on CBS Radio's airtime in 2004 and 2005, Stern assured himself of immediate access to $200 million in assets that could be readily converted to cash.
  • By engaging in continuous promotion of Sirius on CBS Radio airtime without any payment by Sirius to CBS for these advertisements and by pocketing over $200 million dollars for his personal benefit, Stern misappropriated millions of dollars worth of CBS Radio airtime for his own financial benefit and the financial benefit of Don Buchwald, his agent, and Sirius in contravention of repeated directives by CBS Radio.
  • That Stern also breached his contractual obligation to inform CBS Radio of plans that might have a bearing on his future. Under the Agreement, Stern had the obligation to give CBS Radio the first opportunity to discuss participation in radio projects that are conceived during the term of the Agreement, even if the concept or project was launched or implemented after the term. Stern ignored that responsibility, and negotiated and concluded his agreement with Sirius in secret.
  • To this day, Stern continues to breach his contract by refusing to return property that belongs to CBS Radio -- the recordings of his CBS radio program that, under his Agreement with CBS Radio, belong to the company.

The suit also charges "Sirius intentionally interfered with and procured Stern's breach of the Agreement. Sirius knew that Stern had a contractual obligation to maximize the prospects for the success of the CBS Radio program and to comply with his duty of good faith. Sirius intentionally induced and caused Stern to breach these contractual provisions by offering to accelerate Stern's payment of millions of dollars in stock options to promote Sirius on CBS airwaves and by concealing Stern's stock interest from CBS Radio."

The complaint in this lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.




 
Breaking News
Triton Digital Announces New Advertising Platform for Live and On-Demand Broadcasters
In Brief - September 2, 2014
August 29, 2014
Louie Diaz Named PD At KLIF/Dallas
In Brief - August 29, 2014
The Week In Review: 8/24-8/29
August 28, 2014
NuVoodoo Releases Social Media Findings Of Ratings Prospect Study
T-Mobile's Music Freedom Expands With Six New Music Streaming Services
In Brief - August 28, 2014
August 27, 2014
STRATA Survey: Ad Agencies’ Interest In Digital Video Jumps 45% From A Year Ago
In Brief - August 27, 2014
August 26, 2014
Scott Carter Promoted To SVP/Marketing At Epic Records
CCM+E Nashville Debuts ALT 98.3
CBS Radio, Townsquare Media Partner To Create The Michigan News Newtwork
Stacey Thomas Appointed Director, Media Integration For CCM+E Philadelphia
In Brief - August 26, 2014
August 25, 2014
Lance Houston Named New PD Of Boston's 101.7 The Bull
In Brief - August 25, 2014
August 22, 2014
eQB NOW
The Week In Review: 8/18-8/22
Chris Edge Adds PD Duties At WDCG/Raleigh
SoundExchange Q2 Digital Radio Report Highlights Digital Radio Transformation
In Brief - August 22, 2014
August 21, 2014
NuVoodoo Ratings Prospect Study Reveals Broadcast Radio Beats Pandora For Music Satisfaction
Music News
Bicoastal Made In America Festival A Success
MTV VMAs Spike Sales For Beyoncé and More
Quick Hits: Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Shakira
The Week In Review: 8/24-8/29
Quick Hits: Chris Brown, Weezer, Miley Cyrus, Brandon Flowers, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan
Wiz Khalifa Earns First #1 Album, Taylor Swift Debuts At #1 With New Single
Quick Hits: Ariana Grande, Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, Neil Young
Usher Slowly Revealing Tour Plans
Quick Hits: Bad Boy Records, Ty Dolla $ign, Gerard Way, Bob Dylan
Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus Rule 2014 MTV VMAs
Slipknot Unmasks Details of The Gray Chapter
Quick Hits: Eminem & Shady Records, Ed Sheeran, Prince, Grouplove, Cobra Starship
Quick Hits: Jessie J, Foo Fighters, Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon, Genesis, Fall Out Boy
The Week In Review: 8/18-8/22
Nickelback Signs With Republic Records
FMQB NOW

Jeff Sottolano
Director of Programming
CBS Radio

Advertisement:
Search FMQB.com
Advertisements:
FMQB Member Login
Email:
Pass:

Save
Not a member yet?
Sign up Now!
Sign Up for Breaking News!
Enter FMQB E-Tracking!