Howard Allan Stern was born on January 12, 1954, in Queens, New York City, USA, and is of Polish and Austro-Hungarian origin. He is a radio personality as well as a photographer, actor, producer, and author who is probably best known for his own show entitled “The Howard Stern Show”, which aired between 1986 and 2005. Additionally, Stern is well known as the “King of All Media”, a title he earned by creating, hosting, and producing a large number of home videos, TV shows, and public events. The publication of his two books “Miss America” and “Private Parts” also contributed to his popularity.
What is Howard Stern’s net worth?
At the time this article is written the radio personality, Howard Stern has a net worth of $650 million. Between 1986 and 2005 Howard’s radio show was nationally syndicated. But in 2005 Stern signed a five-year deal with Sirius Satellite Radio for $500 million. On January 9, 2006, Howard’s Sirius show debuted and he earned more than $1 billion at that radio station since then. Also, Stern made hundreds of millions of dollars on regular radio.
In 2020, Howard Stern signed a five-year extension with Sirius worth $120 million per year, or $600 million total.
$120 million per year is an impressive sum of money, but this money includes all of Stern’s show production expenses, including salaries of personalities such as Gary Dell-Abate and Robin Quivers. It should be noted that Gary and Robin earn $4 million and $10 million per year, respectively, resulting in a total of $14 million. If we consider any additional costs being $10 to $15 million, Stern would be left with around $90 million before agent fees and taxes. The agent fees are around 10%, which takes the sum closer to $80 million and taxes are another half, leaving Howard Stern a net income of $40 million per year.
With his current schedule of three new shows per week, almost 40 weeks a year would result in 120 shows per year for Stern. This means that Howard Stern earns around $333,000 per show.
- In 2013 Stern paid $52 million for a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida
- Howard has earned more than $1 billion since joining Sirius
- He made hundreds of millions from previous contracts
- In 2005 he paid $20 million for an empty lot in Hamptons and custom-built a 16,000-square-foot mansion on it
- His 5-unit NYC penthouse is worth more than $50 million and spans over 8,000 square-feet
- Stern owns $100 million worth of real estate
- He earns approximately $90 million per year after production costs
- He earns around $333,000 per show after all taxes and costs
Childhood and teenage years
Stern was born into a Jewish family, the second child of Ray and Ben Stern. He has an older sister, Ellen, whom he has always described as a completely different person from himself. His father worked as an engineer at several radio stations before co-founding the studio Aura Recording Inc., where a lot of famous directors and artists came to record cartoons and commercials, and where Howard became familiar with and interested in the recording industry, entertainment, and especially, radio. He is believed to have wanted to become a radio personality from the age of five, which his father encouraged by creating and equipping a space in the basement of their home with a tape machine and microphone. Howard spent a lot of time there making and recording commercials, radio shows, and sketches.
However, Stern had a very versatile personality, so he got involved in a number of different organizations and extracurricular activities. This was when the family moved to Roosevelt, New York and he began attending Washington-Rose Elementary School, then moved to Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. A lot of opportunities became available to him, so he took a lot of them, for example forming a band, taking piano lessons, using puppets to entertain his friends doing various shows, and working in the kitchen and other tasks in a youth camp in Narrowsburg, New York.
Career and success
After enrolling in high school in 1972, Howard enrolled in Boston University’s Communications Department and began volunteering at the university’s radio station, where he had the chance to host various programs and read the news. In addition to being active in extracurricular activities, he continued to pursue a degree in formal education. In fact, Howard enrolled in the School of Public Communications and the Electronics Institute for Radio Engineering, where he graduated with the required degree for all broadcasters in that period of time – a radio operator’s license. Later, the same year (1975) can be marked as the beginning of his professional radio career, as he got his first job at a well-known radio station called WNTN and graduated from broadcasting and film.
His early career was marked by several bad business decisions. After turning down a job at a rock radio station called WRNW, he landed a marketing role at an advertising company, which he soon quit to pursue a career in their creative department, but was unsuccessful.
Over the next few decades, he received numerous offers and embarked on several significant projects, such as signing a deal with Radio and Records, hosting a morning show on Radio Station WWWW, and then signing a five-year contract with WNBC, which was speculated to be worth $1 million. He made another major achievement in 1982, producing a music album of parody songs titled “50 Ways to Rank Your Mother”.
As for his television career, Howard made his screen debut in 1986 when he began hosting a talk show on Fox. After the show was canceled, he returned to being a radio personality and hosted his own show for the next few years, while making appearances on many other popular TV and radio shows. In 1992, he released the Butt Bongo Fiesta video, which proved to be such a hit that it sold 260,000 copies and earned about $10 million, according to authoritative sources.
Salary and Contracts
The satellite platform Sirius had 600,000 subscribers, revenues of $13 million per year, and was losing $226 million per year before Howard Stern joined it. Nowadays the platform has more than 35 million paying subscribers, $7.2 billion in revenue, and profits of $1.8 billion. The analysts say that 10% to 15% of Sirius subscribers joined this service just to listen to Howard Stern.
In 2004 Stern signed a five-year deal with Sirius for $500 million becoming one of the highest-paid radio figures. According to this deal, Stern earned $100 million per year, $20 million in stock, and $80 million in cash. That $100 million would include Stern’s show production expenses and staff salaries. It is estimated that Howard kept $50 million for himself. Before joining Sirius, Howard was earning $30 million per year to broadcast on terrestrial radio at Viacom.
In 2010 Howard re-upped with another five-year deal for $500 million. He signed a new 12-year deal with Sirius in December 2015. It’s believed that this last deal pays Stern $80 million per year, which covers the costs of salaries for him and the staff and with the show production. Stern will earn personally more than $1 billion (excluding production costs) in salary by the time this latest Sirius deal is up. Also, prior to 2005, Stern made several hundred million dollars (pre-tax) from terrestrial radio.
In 2020 Howard Stern signed another five-year extension deal with Sirius, which was worth $600 million. This means $120 million per year to cover all production expenses.
In 1998 Howard paid $4.9 million for a 4,000-square-foot apartment in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Also, he purchased the adjoining 1,011-square-foot unit for $5.75 million.
In 2008, Stern bought two apartments in the building where he owns the NYC penthouse for $15.1 million.
In 2005 he purchased an empty lot in Southampton, New York for $20 million and built a custom mansion on this land.
In 2013 Howard Stern and his wife purchased a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida for $52 million.
America’s Got Talent
In 2010, Stern was asked to replace Piers Morgan as a judge on one of the most famous shows in the USA – America’s Got Talent. He was only supposed to be a part of the show for season seven, but as his appearance proved to be a smart business move, the show’s producers decided to keep him on for the next three seasons.
In addition, he began to explore the art of photography and very soon became acclaimed as a photographer. As a result, a number of popular magazines offered him to build models for them, so he took photos for the Hamptons, WHIRL, North Shore Animal League, etc. As his business grew, he decided to start his own company – Conlon Road Photography.
After achieving indescribable success in almost all areas of the entertainment industry, he wanted to try his hand at writing books. When his first book, “Private Parts” was published, it became an instant worldwide success, with publishers Simon and Schuster making a huge profit from it, with 225,000 copies sold in just a few hours and over a million after two weeks of release. The book’s popularity grew rapidly until it topped the New York Times best-seller list. A few years later, Stern decided to write his next book entitled “Miss America”, which turned out to be no less successful than the first, also achieving a first place on numerous best-seller lists.
Stern was married to his first wife, Alison Berns, for 23 years, from 1978 to 2001. At first, they were madly in love, but as Howard himself stated, he was first and foremost married to his work and then with his wife, so they parted, but remained friends; they have three daughters, Ashley Jade, Debra Jennifer, and Emily Beth. Before the official divorce, he started dating the famous model, Beth Ostrosky – they have been married since 2008, but they have no children together.
He began practicing Transcendental Meditation after being encouraged to do so by his parents, becoming fascinated and reporting that the technique helped him heal his obsessive-compulsive disorder, his mother’s depression, and many other things.