Tattle: Howard Stern is Sirius about stock

Michael Lohan
Michael Lohan
Posted: March 23, 2011

IT'S GOOD TO be the king . . . of all media.

But that doesn't mean someone still won't try to rook you.

Howard Stern and his agent, Don Buchwald, are suing Sirius XM Radio for failing to pay stock awards they say are due for helping the satellite radio provider become a Sirius player.

In a suit filed yesterday in New York, Stern's production company, One Twelve Inc., and Buchwald said that Sirius made an initial bonus stock award after Stern started in January 2006 but failed to do so over the subsequent four years.

The suit charges that Stern's signing helped Sirius exceed its subscriber targets by at least 2 million subscribers in each year of the contract, triggering a new stock award each time. It also said that Stern put Sirius in a position to complete its 2008 acquisition of XM, which had also courted Stern years earlier.

Sirius had about 230,000 subscribers to XM's 1.3 million at the end of 2003. As of the end of December, the combined company had 20.2 million.

Twenty million people paying for enhanced content which used to be free? What a crazy business model.

"When Sirius needed Stern, it promised him a share in any success that the company achieved," the suit charged. "But now that Sirius has conquered its chief competitor and acquired more than 20 million subscribers, it has reneged on its commitment to Stern, unilaterally deciding that it has paid him enough."

Stern announced in December that he had agreed to a new deal with Sirius XM running through 2015. His previous five-year deal was worth $500 million.

Given the way Stern has publicly flogged his bosses over the years on their very own airwaves, we're not sure he's a guy we'd want mad at us while he still has a bully pulpit.

'Good Morning,' bad mood

 It does appear as if another student has failed anger-management class.

Chris Brown trashed his dressing room at "Good Morning America" and broke a window with a chair yesterday after always-

amiable co-host Robin Roberts asked him about his attack on Rihanna.

Brown was on "GMA" to promote his new album, "F.A.M.E.," but Roberts had the nerve to ask him about the 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend, questions she had reportedly cleared with Brown in advance.

"It was very serious what you went through and what happened," she said. "How have you been able to . . . "

A clearly agitated Brown tried to deflect the line of questioning.

"This album is what I want them to talk about and not what happened two years ago," he said.

Roberts laughed and thanked Brown for letting her discuss that matter with him, and after the interview, Brown performed.

But instead of performing another song for the online audience, as he was scheduled to do, he went to his dressing room and started smashing things.

But there are no hard feelings. A rep for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" said Brown is still slated to appear on the show next week.

* In a barely related story of

domestic violence, L.A. authorities say Lindsay Lohan's anger-challenged father Michael Lohan has been arrested over allegations that he held his girlfriend, Kate Major (according to TMZ.com), against her will and prevented her from calling 9-1-1.

Sheriff's investigators say deputies were dispatched at 9 p.m. Monday to Lohan's apartment.

He was booked for a trio of felonies including false imprisonment. Bail was set at $200,000.

Authorities say Major refused treatment for minor injuries, but Lohan was taken to a hospital after booking for a medical condition unrelated to the arrest.

Who knew there was a condition for being a giant a--hole.

Tattbits

* Kiss' Israeli-born singer-musician Gene Simmons is sticking out his tongue at musicians who refuse to perform in his homeland.

Dr. Love, who's making his first return to Israel since he left as a child more than 50 years ago, says "they're fools."

He says that artists who avoid Israel would be better served directing their anger at Arab dictators.

* Ja Rule admitted yesterday that he failed to pay taxes on more than $3 million in income, pleading guilty to tax evasion in federal court in New Jersey.

Rule made the money between 2004 and 2006 while he lived in Saddle River.

As part of a plea agreement, the government dismissed two counts against him for unpaid taxes on income earned in 2007 and 2008.

Rule (a/k/a Jeffrey Atkins) is expected to be sentenced in June. He faces up to a year in prison and $100,000 in fines on each count.

* If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it could be . . . you.

Aflac will begin accepting submissions today in its search for a quacker to replace Gilbert Gottfried's signature squawk. Gottfried was ousted last week after more than 10 years because he Tweeted insensitive remarks about the disaster in Japan.

Anyone interested can submit a 30-second audio or video file belting their best version of the "Aflac" squawk at quackaflac. com. Deadline is midnight on April Fool's Day.

* A Dublin audience watching a production of "Hamlet" was shocked Monday when Hamlet was skewered in a sword fight.

Conor Madden, playing the title role, was gashed beneath his eye and collapsed at Monday's production in the city of Cork. He was hospitalized but released.

Many playgoers thought that the wound was part of the act. Artistic director Alan Stanford took the stage to say that the blood and moans were real, and Hamlet couldn't continue without . . . Hamlet.

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

E-mail gensleh@phillynews.com.

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