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Howard Stern is a disk jockey, talk show host, author and television personality. His long-running show broadcasts via satellite radio.
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"Maybe it was the way I was raised, or something, but I always feel like I'm garbage," he told The New Yorker in 1997. "I think what it comes down to, and maybe this is a personality flaw again, a character flaw,
but I could to a book signing and see twenty thousand people out there and I don't feel great from that. Which is a shame. You'd think that that kind of adulation would make you feel on top of the world. And yet I don't. I don't know why."
He's also more of a quiet personality off the radio than might be assumed. His first wife, Alison, whom he divorced in 2001, has praised him as a father and, even today, Stern is more than happy to stay home and play chess rather than hit the clubs or socialize with other entertainment superstars.
But criticism is a constant in his life. In early 2004, Clear Channel, then the country's largest radio station chain, pulled the plug on Stern after an especially contentious show that saw the use of a racial slur from a call-in listener and featured Rick Solomon, Paris Hilton's ex-boyfriend and the man involved in her infamous sex video, describing in detail his relationship with the famous socialite. The resulting fines, and the further fights with the FCC over control of his show, set the stage for Stern to leave terrestrial radio for good. In 2005, he signed a $500 million deal with Sirius Satellite Radio. He began broadcasting exclusively on the subscription-based radio service on January 9, 2006.
Freed from the constraints of the FCC rules, Stern's show has taken his shock jock formula into new territory. It's also made him wildly wealthy. In addition to his contract, Stern also helped catapult satellite radio's popularity. In 2005, Sirius boasted 2.2 million new subscribers, a 190 percent increase from 2004. The better than expected numbers netted Stern roughly $200 million in Sirius stock.
Stern, who's said that the last 10 years under the FCC made him "hate" going to work, has sounded and felt refreshed since making the move to satellite. He signed on for another five years in 2010. But it hasn't all be smooth sailing for the shock jock and the satellite radio giant. He engaged in a legal battle with Sirrus, which merged with satellite rival XM in 2008, over stock rewards in 2010. He claimed that the company owed his production company and his agent $330 million. A judge threw out the suit in 2012, and Stern plans to appeal the ruling.
Even if he leaves satellite radio, Stern appears to have a future in television. He has signed on to be a judge of the popular competition America's Got Talent. Some of the show's tapings have moved to New York to accommodate Stern. "Everyone thinks he's going to come in really outrageous," said fellow judge Sharon Osbourne. "He comes to us with great experience, especially about music."
Stern is married to model Beth Ostrosky. The couple wed in October 2008 in a ceremony at a restaurant in Manhattan. The guest list included longtime friends Barbara Walters, Billy Joel, John Stamos, Joan Rivers, Donald Trump and Sarah Silverman.
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