Howard Stern Net Worth
Howard Stern has an estimated net worth of $650 million. Howard Stern is a disc jockey, talk show host, author and television personality. His long-running show broadcasts via satellite radio. He earns most of his income from his television shows.
Howard Stern’s signature “shock jock” radio style first reached New York listeners in 1982, and by 1986, his show had gone national. Repeated FCC fines and interference drove the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” to satellite radio in 2004. Stern has also authored several best-selling books and served as a judge on America’s Got Talent.
To calculate the net worth of Howard Stern, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:
|Net Worth:||$650 Million|
|Monthly Income:||$5 Million|
|Annual Salary:||$90 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Radio personality, Talk show host, Politician, Shock jock, TV Personality, Author, Actor, Presenter, Disc jockey, Photographer|
Stern, the youngest of Ray and Ben Stern’s two children, was born on January 12, 1954, in New York, New York. The self-proclaimed “King of All Media” spent his childhood in the mile-square town of Roosevelt, Long Island.
Stern’s early interest in radio and recording appears to have been passed down from his father, who was a co-owner of a recording studio and frequently taped his son and daughter during the holidays. The father, who could be irritable at times, frequently quizzed his children on current events, an open invitation for his young son to be sarcastic when he didn’t know the answers. “So when I asked him these serious questions, he turned out to be a wise guy,” Ben recalled. “So I became enraged and said, ‘Shut up and sit down.’ ‘Don’t be such a moron.'”
Stern developed an early interest in not only performance but also the outrageous. Howard frequently put on elaborate puppet shows for his friends in the basement of the Stern family’s Roosevelt home. The performances were prompted by his mother, but Stern quickly added his own spin, his marionettes more than living up to his performance title: The Perverted Marionette Show. “I took something so innocent and beautiful and ruined it,” Stern explained. “My parents were not aware of the filthy performances. My friends would beg me to put on puppet shows for them.”
Stern’s desire for attention was matched by his outsider status, an identity he’s clung to for much of his career and which he adopted at a young age. Stern struggled to fit in in Roosevelt’s predominantly African American community. Stern has previously mentioned a difficult childhood in which he was the target of frequent school fights. Stern recalled one of his best Black friends being beaten up for hanging out with him.
In 1969, the Sterns relocated to Rockville Centre, a predominantly white community that seemed foreign to the 15-year-old high school student. “It wasn’t any better in Rockville Centre,” Stern wrote in his best-selling autobiography Private Parts, published in 1993. “I was unable to adjust at all. I was completely lost in a white neighborhood. I felt like Tarzan when they brought him back to England from Africa.”
Howard dominated high school by hanging out with a few friends and playing poker and ping-pong. Stern left New York in the fall of 1972 to attend Boston University, where the first hints of his future “shock jock” career would emerge. Stern got his first taste of the business while at BU when he volunteered at the college radio station. BU canceled his show after his debut, which included a racially charged skit called “Godzilla Goes to Harlem.”
Stern met his future first wife, Alison Berns, at BU, where Stern had cast her in a student film about transcendental meditation. Howard took Alison to see the recently released Dustin Hoffman film Lenny, about the late comedian Lenny Bruce, on their first date.
Stern immediately began his radio career after graduating from BU with a 3.8 GPA and a bachelor’s degree in communications. Stern’s first job was at a small radio station in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and it was there that he realized he would be relegated to a life of mediocrity if he continued as a straight deejay. “So I started messing around,” he explained. “It was unheard of to talk on the phone while listening to music. It was ridiculous. It was sacrilege.”
But it was exactly what Stern desired. As a result, the deejay relocated to Hartford, Connecticut, and then to Detroit. Stern fled to Washington, D.C. when the Michigan station’s format was changed to country and western.
Stern made significant career advancements in Washington, D.C. He met Robin Quivers, a newswoman and former US Air Force nurse who joined the Stern radio team. Stern’s wild antics gained him a reputation as well. Stern called the airline after an Air Florida flight crashed into the 14th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C., in January 1982. “How much is a one-way ticket from National Airport to the 14th Street Bridge?” he inquired. “Will that be a regular stop?”
Stern returned to New York later that year after accepting a job with WNBC-AM. But trouble awaited him even before he stepped behind the microphone, as his new—and clearly nervous—bosses handed the deejay a long list of orders. Stern was prohibited from using “jokes or sketches relating to personal tragedies,” as well as “slander, defamation, or personal attacks on private individuals or organizations unless they have consented or are a part of the act,” according to the list.
The neutered Stern initially tried to play nice and follow the station’s mandates, but within a short time, the deejay openly declared war on the station. He began showcasing segments such as “Sexual Innuendo Wednesday” and “Mystery Whiz,” in which listeners attempted to guess who was going to the restroom. Stern was fired in 1985, which allowed him to join the New York City-based WXRK, better known as K-ROCK.
‘The Howard Stern Show’
Stern took his radio career to new, pioneering heights at the new station, confronting two of his favorite subjects, race and sex, in controversial ways. Stern, seated in the station’s morning slot, knocked off WNBC’s Don Imus to claim the ratings mantle, much to the surprise of radio executives but not hardcore fans. Stern took the unprecedented step of syndicating his show a year after his arrival, allowing him to break into other major markets such as Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and eventually Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, and Chicago.
Stern was a ratings force thanks to an identifiable and talented on-air team that included Quivers, as well as producer Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate, writer Fred Norris, and stand-up comic/writer Jackie “the Jokeman” Martling. By 1993, he was in 14 markets with 3 million daily listeners.
Much of it was attributed to the show’s daring approach. Stern dispatched correspondent “Stuttering” John Melendez to a Gennifer Flowers press conference in 1992, where she planned to take reporters’ questions about her alleged affair with then-Presidential candidate Bill Clinton. Melendez didn’t hold back, much to the chagrin of his “colleagues” at the event, asking Flowers if Clinton practiced safe sex and if she planned on sleeping with any other candidates.
‘Private Parts’ and ‘Miss America’
Stern’s popularity soon reached new heights with the release of his autobiography Private Parts, a detailed, witty look into Stern’s life that also pays homage to his wife Alison and her work raising their three daughters, Emily Beth (b. 1983), Deborah Jennifer (b. 1986) and Ashley Jade (b. 1993). With more than 500,000 copies sold in its first month, Private Parts was the fastest-selling book in Simon & Schuster’s 70-year publishing history. After taking the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list in October 1993, it stayed there for an entire month.
Stern followed in 1995 with another bestseller, Miss America. In 1997, Private Parts was successfully made into a film, starring Stern himself.
The growing success and higher salary (in 1995, Stern reportedly earned $8 million a year from the radio program alone) hardly limited the DJ. Instead, it only seemed to release more of the things that had made him successful. After the death of Tejano singer Selena, Stern taunted the star by adding gunfire to the singer’s music. Stern also said that “Spaniards have the worst taste in music,” which prompted protests and a warrant from the justice of the peace in Harlingen, Texas. Stern later apologized for those remarks.
Another firestorm erupted in April 1999 when, just one day after the Columbine High School shootings, Stern questioned why the killers hadn’t tried to have sex with some of the girls before shooting them. The Colorado state legislature issued a reprimand against the shock journalist.
Of course, Stern’s behavior didn’t just catch the attention of radio listeners. He was also far from popular with the Federal Communications Commission. By 2005, the FCC had levied some $2.5 million in fines against Stern’s employer.
Final Straw for Clear Channel
Stern, however, is a lesson in contrasts. Despite his swagger and wild behavior, he says he’s an insecure person whose self-deprecating humor is a big part of his show. “Maybe it’s my upbringing or something, but I always feel like I’m garbage,” he told The New Yorker in 1997. “I think it’s a personality flaw, a character flaw, but I could go to a book signing and see twenty thousand people and I don’t feel good about it. That’s a shame. You’d think that kind of admiration would make you feel on top of the world. But I don’t. I don’t know why.”
In early 2004, Clear Channel, then the country’s largest radio station chain, pulled the plug on Stern after a caller uttered a racial slur on a particularly controversial program and Rick Solomon, Paris Hilton’s ex-boyfriend and a participant in her infamous sex tape, spoke at length about his relationship with the famous socialite.
The resulting fines and further disputes with the FCC over control of his broadcast prepared the ground for Stern’s eventual exit from terrestrial radio. In 2005, he signed a $500 million contract with Sirius Satellite Radio. He began broadcasting exclusively on the subscription-based radio service on January 9, 2006.
Move to Satellite
With the FCC rules removed, Stern’s show expanded on his shock jock formula into new territory. It also made him a lot of money. In addition to his contract, Stern was instrumental in increasing the popularity of satellite radio. Sirius added 2.2 million new subscribers in 2005, a 190 percent increase over 2004. Stern received approximately $200 million in Sirius stock as a result of the better-than-expected results.
Stern, who said his final ten years as an FCC commissioner made him “hate” going to work, sounded refreshed after switching to satellite and signed on for another five years in 2010. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the shock jock and the satellite radio behemoth. In 2010, he was involved in a legal battle with Sirius, which had merged with satellite rival XM in 2008. He claimed that the company owed him and his production company $330 million. In 2012, a judge dismissed the suit, and Stern lost his appeal as well.
‘America’s Got Talent’ Judge
Stern replaced Piers Morgan as a judge on America’s Got Talent for its seventh season in 2011, joining returning judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel. Despite his reputation for being harsh, Stern was surprisingly supportive of contestants at times, demonstrating his quick wit. He was on the show for four seasons before leaving in 2015 to be replaced by executive producer Simon Cowell.
Remarriage and New Book: ‘Howard Stern Comes Again’
Stern is now married to model and actress Beth Ostrosky, whom he divorced in 2001. They married in a ceremony at a Manhattan restaurant in October 2008. Barbara Walters, Billy Joel, John Stamos, Joan Rivers, Donald Trump, and Sarah Silverman were among the guests. The couple later remarried on Ellen in October 2019, with The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood officiating.
Howard Stern Comes Again, his third book, was released in May 2019. The book was a memoir as well as a collection of some of his best interviews over the years, including those with Trump.
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