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What happens to satellite radio when Howard Stern calls it quits?

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Sirius’ Howard Stern made a strange comment yesterday that’s causing people to freak out, speculating wildly till they pass out.

Discussing his possible plans vis-à-vis [satellite] radio, Stern said, “This is my sawn song.” Now, what he was actually referring to was his aversion to returning to terrestrial (“regular”) radio, but it does raise a broader issue. That is, what’s to happen to satellite radio when he quits? It’s not like he needs the money at this point, so his continued presence (such as it is, what with his frequent days off) is more to do with him keeping busy than it is earning a paycheck.

So let’s say he leaves. It removes more than a few dollars from the Sirius payroll, yes, but it also puts Sirius in a strange, “So, you don’t have Howard anymore? Hmm…” position. The last thing Sirius needs is more uncertainty thrust upon it; you know the company is closely watching what happens to the auto makers since so many of its subscriptions come from deals it has with them. Because once a big name like that leaves, you know all those analyst types on Wall Street will be all, “PROBLEMS AT SIRIUS?”

But, who knows? Just trying to get a conversation started.

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