While the speculation on who will be Howard Stern's replacement has been running rampant since The King of All Media announced his exit from Infinity radio for Sirius Satellite Radio, it may be all for naught. According to Stern, Viacom has already contacted his potential replacement.
"Viacom has already contacted a guy to take my place when I leave," said Stern this morning. "I know the guy. I am friendly with the guy and he's already got an offer. The only reason I know about it is because he immediately called me and said 'Please, take me with you.' But, the fact of the matter is I said, 'This is a great business. Stay with it. It will be good for you.'"
Stern wouldn't let loose with the info on who the person is, other than saying "He is a very nice guy." If it is the person that WXRK/New York GM Tom Chiusano thinks it is, he is well-known within the Infinity camp. It would make sense that Infinity would have had a choice on the back-burner for quite some time now given the situation of Stern's contract and his talk of leaving at the end of it. Plus, with Stern saying he is friendly with the person, it would give Infinity an opportunity to have Howard pass the torch with his stamp of approval.
Stern was back on his Sirius crusade for the first part of his show this morning, spending some time trying to convince Chiusano to come with him to the satellite company. But if rumors are true, Chiusano might not have to leave the company to continue working with Stern. Speculation is that Viacom might soon purchase the satcaster, though that thought process comes purely from Stern saying "I don't believe this is goodbye to Viacom" during his program yesterday.
In other Sirius news, the company plans to issue 25 million shares of common stock and $200 million in convertible notes, expecting to raise roughly $290 million. And, for those interested in SEC papers, thesmokinggun.com has posted Sirius' filing regarding the Stern move that are on file with the Commission.