Infinity Broadcasting attempted to lure key “Howard Stern Show” cast members to remain with the company and not follow the syndicated morning man to Sirius Satellite Radio, according to on-air claims made Monday (Nov. 28). However, Infinity VP of communications Karen Mateo downplayed the claims, telling Billboard Radio Monitor, “There were never any serious discussions on this topic.”
Artie Lange said Infinity floated a $5 -10 million multi-year figure by him to host his own show. Lange said he discussed the matter with his agent, who suggested using it as leverage to extract more money from Sirius. A permanent member of the Stern cast since October 2001, Lange said he told Infinity he wasn’t interested and decided against using the company’s interest as a bargaining chip with Sirius.
Stern show producer Gary Dell’Abate said he, too, was approached by Infinity. Dell’Abate’s partnership with Stern started in 1984, when he was hired for $150 per week at talk WNBC-AM New York.
Commenting on the revelations on his first live show since a weeklong Thanksgiving vacation, Stern termed Infinity’s overtures a “scuzzball move.” They’re “trying to break up my show,” Stern said. “I think it was just a move to screw me up.”
In other Stern news, lewd comic Red Peters hosted his first show for Howard 100, one of two Stern-branded Sirius channels on Wednesday evening (Nov. 23). Peters, whose album catalogue includes “I Laughed, I Cried, I Fudged My Undies” and “Ol’ Blue Balls Is Back,” has been contributing song parodies to Stern’s radio show since 1997. Peters’ show will also include songs and sketches created by listeners.
Stern will appear on CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” this Sunday.