For years, Howard Stern got off by shocking mainstream America while still entertaining the masses over the radio airwaves. When he first came up, he represented a modernized counter culture of rebellion and freedom of speech. While Stern has gradually toned himself down and become a more traditional celebrity in recent years, he’s still one of the biggest names in media.
From his long-running radio show “The Howard Stern Show” to his former gig as a co-host and judge on America’s Got Talent, we got to thinking about Stern’s bank account. Just how much exactly has the King of Radio made in his time in the limelight?
Howard Stern’s Net Worth as of 2017: $600 Million
Wow, more than half a billion dollars just from radio? How is that even possible? Let’s dive in.
1975 – 1984
After graduating college in 1975, Stern took his first professional job at WNTN in Newton, Massachusetts. Over the next nine years, Stern who bop around the country working at various stations with stops in Chicago, Detroit and more. In his first few years, he never earned more than an annual salary of $12,000. However, in 1982, Stern signed a five-year, $1 million contract with NBC. While this could be considered his first big break, true stardom was still just on the horizon.
1985 – 2005
In 1985, Stern signed a five-year deal with the Infinity Broadcasting company and began hosting “The Howard Stern Show” on WXRK in New York City. It was here that Stern would become the irreverent, boundary pushing media mogul we know today. His adult-skewing content and controversial antics attracted immediate attention across the country.
During Stern’s time at WXRK, the station was fined by the FCC multiple times for profanity. Eventually, the fines totaled more than $2.5 million, though WXRK was happy to pay them as Stern was easily the most popular radio host in all of North America. His audience exceeded 20 million listeners at its peak.
But that was just the beginning of Stern’s success. In 1993, he signed a multi-million dollar publishing deal with Simon & Schuster to write the semi-autobiographical Private Parts, which was later turned into a feature length film. The book sold more than a million copies in its first two weeks.
In 1995, Stern was offered a $3 million book deal which produced Miss America, a top New York Times Bestseller for 16 weeks. The Private Parts movie was released a year later and grossed more than $41 million at the box office.
In the late 1990s, Stern’s viewership began to wane though he still remained the most popular host in all of radio. By 2004, Stern became increasingly frustrated with the stringent restrictions of the FCC. This would eventually lead to his departure from terrestrial radio.
2006 – Present
Stern signed with Sirius radio in 2006 and was given a massive stock bonus in addition to his annual salary. His overall take home for this first deal was estimated to be around $302 million. In 2010, he signed another five-year deal worth $400 million that guaranteed him $80 million a year on top of his stock options and will keep the show on the air until 2020 at least.
In 2012, Stern replaced Piers Morgan as a co-host/judge on America’s Got Talent and remained on the massively popular show until September 2015.
In 2016, Stern reportedly earned $85 million in base salary alone.