Stern & Depp is not a Law Firm

Howard Stern and Johnny Depp are two familiar names in the media business…and they’re both making news. Stern, the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” just signed a new contract for SiriusXM satellite radio for something like $120M/year for 5 years. That’s a lot of $$ for a radio host who talks smack for a living. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Stern announced the deal on his show yesterday morning…

Howard Stern acknowledges the audience at the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Cleveland Public Auditorium, Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Cleveland. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

“Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio,” Stern said. “And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me. Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike.”

Stern has never been at a loss for words…including spicy words that are much more welcome on satellite radio than terrestrial radio where FCC regulations placed some restraints on his speech.

But whether Stern is worth $600M is yet to be proven. Again, according to Hollywood Reporter, “…a recent report estimated that 15 percent of Stern listeners could cancel their SiriusXM subscriptions if he left the company, ‘implying a potential subscriber loss of 2.7 million.’”

Johnny Depp is also in the news, but no doubt wishes he were not. Depp had filed a defamation lawsuit against the British tabloid The Sun for an article describing him as a “wife beater.” According to the ruling judge, as reported in the Hollywood Reporter, “The claimant has not succeeded in his action for libel. Although he has proved the necessary elements of his cause of action in libel, the defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.” The burden of proof for celebrities to win defamation lawsuits has always been a challenge, but in cases where the accusations are true, they’re nearly impossible. Depp plans to appeal.

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