Howard Stern criticized by Sirius XM subscribers for taking the whole summer off

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One of the criticisms Europeans have about Americans is that we work too much and we don’t have any work-life balance. I have to say, that criticism does sting and it hits way too close to home. Every summer, I watch as European media outlets and European companies slow down significantly over the summer months, making do with half-staffing from their employees’ vacation schedules. It seems so antithetical to “the American way” to take off a whole month in the summer, or to even take the whole summer off. The majority of Americans have issues with taking off for two weeks a year, you know? I bring this up because Howard Stern is trying to find some work-life balance at the age of 67. He just signed a new contract with Sirius XM, and as part of the $500 million deal, he had it negotiated that he would get this summer “off.” No new episodes of his Sirius show until September. On one side, good for him. On the other side, wow, subscribers are pissed off.

Radio jock Howard Stern has finally managed to shock his fans — by taking the entire summer off after signing a new deal with Sirius XM said to be worth $500 million. It appears the “King of All Media” needs to rest on his enormously wealthy laurels and allegedly negotiated a clause in his new Sirius XM contract to give him a break between the end of June and early September.

But Sirius XM subscribers are revolting, saying Stern — who usually spends time at his Hamptons spread during the summer — has to honor their monthly commitment, lest they cancel their subscriptions.

One fan fumed on Reddit, “Howard Stern taking the whole summer off is bulls–t. Howard Stern just announced per his new contract there will not be any new shows after this week until SEPTEMBER. At first he tried to claim they always do this during the summer then pivoted and said this summer off was part of the new deal he made.”

The furious fan added, “Couldn’t take two weeks off? No that would be too fair to his customers. I pay $20 a month for SiriusXM and I’m not paying $40 for re-runs. All Stern fans should do this … If I knew the new deal would be like this I would have rooted for Howard to retire.”

In December 2020, Stern signed a new deal with Sirius XM to extend his deal for his long-running show for another five years. The terms of the deal have not been revealed but it is thought to be in excess of $100 million per year. Which, therefore — allegedly — means he’s getting nearly $17 million for his two months of summer vacation. Stern, 67, is already said to be worth $650 million.

A source who spends time with Stern in the Hamptons added, “He’s not the shock jock out here, he’s just Howard. He has substantially mellowed. He doesn’t want to party, he wants to stay home. He and Beth are more interested in rescue animals, art, photography, and living a happy healthy life.”

[From Page Six]

I mean, Stern had it negotiated into his contract, so it’s not like he’s in breach of contract or anything. Sirius XM clearly thought he was worth keeping for another five years, and the trade-off was that Stern gets a full summer to rest and spend time at his Hamptons home and do whatever he likes. Stern has chilled out a lot, and the man spent decades being that workaholic “shock jock.” He’s getting older – he’s retirement age – and he wants to still do the job, just not week-in and week-out. But I also get how people who subscribed to Sirius XM just for Stern are mad about his summer off. Oh well, enjoy the reruns.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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43 Responses to “Howard Stern criticized by Sirius XM subscribers for taking the whole summer off”

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  1. Laalaa says:

    The subscribers are right to be pissed but that is not Stern’s problem.
    And yes, in Europe summers are summers. In September you are fresh and sound, ready for the new work season! #sorrynotsorry

    • Smile says:

      He is such a joke now!

    • Brainfog says:

      Which country are you refering to specifically? Because I’m in the middle of europe and I will have only 2 weeks off in summer. I have no idea where this misconception comes from, but it annoys me a lot.

      • Laalaa says:

        Croatia. We get 3 weeks off, but even when you’re working during the rest of the summer, it’s “summer work season” which means other businesses are on vacation, too so the work is slow. Many firms have collective leave, a month off for the whole firm. All (well, most) Italy has the whole August off, for example!
        I know it’s different for everyone, and not every job is like this, of course. Projects have deadlines, etc. But, generally, yeah. Summer is summer.

      • Apple says:

        @Brainfog for years I worked with a lot of Europeans who come to NYC to work. They truly don’t understand we don’t get August off. And they have to follow our US company vacation policy. They weren’t happy campers.

      • Cookie says:

        I’m curious about where you are, brainfog. I’ve worked in a couple European countries, and at multinational companies that had 9ffices in many more, and it was always a given that we didn’t accomplish much from July to mid-August.

  2. MsIam says:

    Wow, entitled much? I guess with all the subscription services constantly posting new content, people don’t remember the old days of TV when your favorite show went on hiatus for the summer and it was just reruns or those dumb specials until September.

    • Twin falls says:

      +1

    • Kristen says:

      Yeah, May through September was basically a TV desert. Even now most Netflix (or similar) shows go a year between seasons. Howard Stern is totally within his rights to take a break, and these people will be just fine.

  3. Erica says:

    God, Beth is stunning

  4. Asking for a friend says:

    Imagine having such a sense of entitlement that you think your $20/month means your “idol” can’t take time off to relax! HS has so much content and there are about a jillion stations on Sirius XM. People should choose not to spend that money if they don’t find the value is there – it’s the attitude that’s striking (just take two weeks off).

    Also, Beth looks cute!

  5. DS9 says:

    Sirius started this fire by relying so heavily on the Stern audience to sell their subscription. If I signed up primarily for his content, just the way Sirius markets it, I’d be a little put out to find he would be off air for a few months, especially if I just reupped.

  6. AnnaC says:

    Will preface this in that that last time I listened to Howard Stern was when I was a kid and he was a DJ on a local NY radio station, might have even been AM.
    I don’t begrudge him the summer, but is this in addition to or in place of additional time off throughout the year? I remember reading something a long while ago, probably around his last contract renewal, that listeners were upset because he worked 3 or 4 days a week plus took something like 12 weeks or more off during the year. And It’s his choice for still working at 67…I mean, more power to him since SIRIUS agrees to whatever contract terms he wants to keep him, but he has more than enough money to retire and ride out his days in a Hamptons sunset.

  7. Marietta says:

    Beth is not stunning on the inside, even layered in blind kittens. He sold out years ago. If Sirius is stupid enough to pay him, take it! I would.

    • Catmom says:

      Why on earth would you say that? Do you know Beth personally? Horrible.

      • Marietta says:

        Yep!!! And why would you think she’s nice? because she found a *purpose*? Ask me about how she met H. Or how she treats her step children.

      • Darla says:

        I believe she’s not nice, and I am sure I read something along that line previously. But, how did she meet him?

      • Becks1 says:

        Well now I want to know too lol.

    • Kristen says:

      Please – want to hear more on Beth. She seems like an angel dropped down from heaven, but the fact that she seems that way to me is a red flag lol.

      • Marietta says:

        You got that right! She was never a supermodel. She did local ads. She met H while trying out for a part. He was with Alison. Poor dear always wanted kids. He says no. She gets jewels and these cats. That other people.care for. They are not on *the list* for Hampton invites. Not because he’s a shock jock. Its all her. He can actually hold a conversation and his wine……..

      • Jenns says:

        To be fair, a lot of rumors come from fans of Howard who hate Beth because they blame her for the decline of the show. But the only one to blame is Howard.

        However, I do think Beth should be a cautionary tale for trophy wives. It was great 15 years ago when he would take her out, buy her expensive gifts and take her on vacation. But now he’s a miserable recluse who never wants to leave the house and can’t be alone. She’s still in her 40s and is stuck in a house all day babying a 67 year old man who is obsessed with fountain pens and mod podge videos on YouTube. I think that’s one of the reason she got into cat rescue because it gives her something to do.

      • Jayna says:

        @Marietta is wrong. She did not get with Howard while he was with his wife. In fact, after Howard split with his wife he dated several women, and he even dated Angie Everhart for a while. Angie really, really liked Howard. He met Beth, and that was it. He fell for her.

        And Beth has always said she wasn’t some A-list model. She was very humble and said exactly the kind of gigs she got as a model, a lot of swimsuit modeling. No one is a saint nor perfect and all sunshine and rainbows, but there are people that just have goodness in them that shines and makes them beautiful. And that’s how I’ve always felt about her. Howard and Beth appear to have a solid marriage. It certainly wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but they are happy.

        Since Beth does a ton of work for the North Shore Animal League and actively cares for rescue animals in her home before adoption and has many adopted rescue cats at the same time, she is someone, to me, who has a purpose in life, not just sitting at home in a gilded cage like Melania, who does nothing but look glamorous, is a true trophy wife. I love Beth’s Instagram page with all of the rescue cats and kittens on it.

        As a side note, Beth is turning 49 in the next month, and she doesn’t seem to be going down the frightful big cheeks/fish lips plastic surgery route.

      • Ange says:

        Jayna one of the best parts about Beth’s instagram is when you get glimpses of their apartment via cat photos and you can see how prime it is, right overlooking the park. Drool worthy. And Howard is always sweet with their cats. I’ve never listened to his show but I like that he supports Beth in rescue.

  8. Muggs says:

    First of all that’s on them for paying $20 a month. I pay $5 because they will renegotiate that low. I don’t even listen to Howard but I hope he enjoys his summer. Good for him, I wish I could afford to do that! I guess I’m blessed with a short attention span because I likely wouldn’t even realize I was listening to a repeat!

    Something similar is going on with the My Favorite Murder podcast. People are so mad the girls are taking the summer off. It’s a free podcast, move on!

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      I didn’t realise people were mad about that. I’m not American and maybe it is just cultural thing. But I don’t want podcast hosts to push themselves too hard and burn out. I’d rather podcast hosts etc… take breaks when they need it.
      I’m not a Stern fan but I also wouldn’t spend $20 on a streaming service if I only liked one show.

    • StellainNH says:

      Exactly, my husband has SiriusXM and never pays that much. Every time they want to raise the price he negotiates for a lower or drops them for a few months. They will always offer deals for him to come back.

  9. Katherine says:

    Can’t they unsubscribe for the summer or smth?

  10. Jenns says:

    As someone who occasionally listens to Stern, I understand why listeners are upset. Because the quality of the show these days is not great. I get that things are tough with Covid, but Howard is miserable and has surrounded himself with sycophants who aren’t going tell him that he needs to make some changes.

    I have no issues with him working 3 days a week or even taking the summer off, but I get why this is the final straw for some listeners.

  11. Bettyrose says:

    I took last Saturday off after a particularly demanding week. Fk I need a vacation. What was the topic? Right. I’m still the generation of media taking summers off so this doesn’t bother me. I’m also old enough to remember how cranky and nasty Stern was at the launch of Sirius FM when his fans didn’t subscribe fast enough.

  12. Brainfog says:

    Hailing from central europe I do not agree with the statement about european summers. I know absolutely nobody who ever took a whole summer off. 2 weeks is the longest I was ever gone in any summer. Most of the summers I don’t even take vacation.

  13. DiegoInSF says:

    Lol I believe Americans sometimes think Europeans have it better than they actually do, going by the Europeans’ replies here.
    Anyway, I got my first car ever during pandemic, a new car and I am SICK of the snail mail spam SiriusXM sends me, urging me to extend the free trial, ugh! like with Spotify and Apple Carplay, why would I want it? Lol and Stern wouldn’t be a selling point for me, quite the opposite

    • bettyrose says:

      Did you get a car because of the transit shutdown in SF? Are you planning to keep it after the transit reopens (which KQED says is happening in September)?

      We Americans do love to fantasize about the idyllic life of Europeans. It’s obviously not all true, but some of it is. The French protested at threats of working more than 35 hours per week. Even with no more than a few weeks vacation, just working under 50 hours per week would be a big improvement in work/life balance for most Americans.

      Watching British shows, retired people are referred to as “pensioners.” Like, there’s an assumption one will have a live-able monthly income after a certain age.. The only guarantee Americans have is health insurance at 67. Doesn’t necessarily mean we can stop working but does mean we don’t need to work enough hours to qualify for health insurance through our employers.

      Finally, Europeans really may not understand what it’s like to have every life decision tied to whether or not you’ll have health insurance. I’m not likely to ever move to Europe because I’m settled where I am with family and career, but I still look to European nations for guidance on what we could have in the U.S.

      • DiegoInSF says:

        Yeah, that was a big part of it and also didn’t really feel comfortable riding in an an enclosed space with COVID, I took Muni and BART for almost 10 years and I don’t miss it lol definitely keeping my car even after transit reopens.

  14. La says:

    I get why subscribers are upset because Sirius charges a premium to get the Howard Stern channels. It’s a stand alone cost so if people paid extra just to get his show and he’s not producing new ones I would understand being pissed off. I purposely didn’t add them to my package because his show annoys me and my husband loves to listen to him in the car.

  15. Kristen says:

    This is a Sirius issue. It would be a bummer to pay that fee for reruns if that was the only reason I was listening.

  16. Christina says:

    In South Africa you are legally required to give a employee 15 working days off every year. The company is required to ensure that all employees take leave. They are particularly strict in manufacturing and other industrial companies as overwork can lead to accidents. I worked for a company where you would be put on forced leave and told to go home for the required number of days if you had not used all the previous years required leave by the end of June. This excludes sick leave, although you are allowed to cut into the 15 day allocation if sick leave has already been exhausted. Many companies have additional leave as part of the pay package. Additionally, you can usually choose whether you want your overtime to be paid out or taken as time off instead.

    So I kinda see 3 weeks off as the bare minimum required and something along the lines of 4 to 5 weeks as completely normal. So the US notion of only having 2 weeks of leave per year comes across as something inhumane.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      In the USA depends on your employer, I work in tech in CA and since the competition for employees is fierce they try to have great policies, after a year, I now get a month of PTO and also we have 10 paid sick days. With COVID, they were offering two weeks paid if you caught it and we were all fully remote anyway and our paternity and maternity policies are great. It’s 6 months PTO!

  17. pamspam says:

    If people are pissed off, why don’t they just pause their subscription for the summer?

  18. Grant says:

    Completely shallow and unrelated to this post (mostly) but Howard’s wife Beth Ostrosky is a knock-out. Good Lord, she just gets more beautiful with age.

  19. drolf says:

    His show is rinse, lather, repeat. I almost always forward through most of it. I put it on in the morning when I can’t sleep. I do think the people that are faithful fans and pay for a subscription have a point when they say the terms of his new contract are extremely light on him having any kind of a work ethic. Yes, he is 67 and can do what he wants, (perhaps retire). He is only on 3 days a week for a few hours for two weeks and then generally two weeks off. He does have fantastic guests though. Beth seems like a doll. I don’t understand the negativity towards her.