Here’s what I know about deal-making in Hollywood. It’s often a mess, and it takes a lot of time. This is especially true when the talent is difficult, and Howard Stern fits the bill. He’s a notorious curmudgeon, and he’s been very open about his lengthy contract negotiations with Sirius. So what’s the holdup, and will the deal fall apart? I say no, and here’s why. First, I’ve been a Howard Stern fan since my father used to play him in his car when I was a teenager — and if there’s anything I’ve learned about Stern — it’s that he’s a raging egomaniac who wouldn’t leave Sirius without an elaborate party involving news crews and a megaphone. No such party is planned, because he’s still knee deep in contract negotiations in hopes of re-signing. I imagine that there are three major sticking points and both sides are holding firm. I doubt it’s money related. Stern probably wants more vacation days and less hours on air. Sirius knows that it would defeat his morning radio brand, and that Sirius subscribers are already pissed enough about his insane vacation schedule. So who will give, and when will we know? I predict Sirius will fold in a couple of days, and Stern will sign. Why? Because if Stern doesn’t re-sign prior to his last day on the air, Sirius loses the insane amount of promotion they stand to gain with the announcement. If I’m right about this, I’d like my readers to give me an electronic pat on the back. Get ready.
UPDATE: Howard Stern is rumored to be making a three year, $600 million deal with Apple’s iTunes. Stern refused to put the rumors completely to rest, cryptically saying that he is intentionally keeping tight-lipped about his negotiations. I still think he’ll stick with Sirius, but if he’s actually being offered this insane amount of money (which I don’t think he is), you can be sure he’ll accept. Who the fu*k turns down $600 million?