Clear Channel Says, Company Is Logical Choice for Howard Stern.

Posted by truecreek on January 25, 2010 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

By Olga Kharif

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) — Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest U.S. radio broadcaster, said it may be interested in signing shock jock Howard Stern, whose five-year contract at Sirius XM Radio Inc. expires at the end of 2010.

The company’s interest hinges on whether Stern would be willing to work “within the limitations” of free over-the-air radio, said John Hogan, chief executive officer of the radio division of San Antonio-based Clear Channel.

“We clearly have both the willingness and the financial wherewithal to consider high-profile talent,” Hogan said in an e-mailed statement. “We would be the most logical company for him to optimize his exposure and financial return.”

Sirius XM, which averted bankruptcy last year after John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. bought a 40 percent stake in exchange for $530 million in loans, may not be able to afford to renew the radio talk-show host’s existing contract, worth $500 million, said Tuna Amobi, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s.

Hogan’s remarks represent one of the first public expressions of interest after Stern, 56, said on air yesterday that he’s fielding calls from companies that want to hire him.

“Even if (a new contract) were half of what it was before, it would still be a major financial burden for Sirius,” Amobi said. “It’s a totally different game.”

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