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“This is my swan song."
—-Howard Stern

HOWARD'S END?

Questions Surround Sirius XM as Stern Ponders Future
Will Howard Stern leave Sirius XM when his five-year contract is up in 2010?

With the beleaguered satellite radio stock dipping below 15 cents, there are real questions whether its creditors will allow the company to even exist two years from now.

Sirius XM boss Mel Karmazin brought his old pal in from CBS three years ago for a reported package worth $500 million, betting that Stern would be a draw for millions of subscribers.

He wasn’t wrong there, as Stern helped put Sirius on the map, and enabled the company to acquire XM, a merger that took more than 18 months to complete earlier this year.

Now, as talk begins about a possible contract extension that would keep Stern and company there past 2010, the master showman is sending out mixed signals.

“This is my swan song,” he told a listener last week, noting he wants to spend more time with his new wife Beth and family.

But it would be that Howard is just setting up another theatrical guessing game. Moments later, he told his producer Gary Dell’Abate: “If I could work out a deal with Sirius where I work on my own terms, I’d think about it.”

Let the speculation begin.

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