Howard Stern began his career as a radio personality in 1975 but has successfully worked in many different areas of media. He even describes himself as the ‘King of Media’ as he has worked in such a diverse range of roles throughout his career. Just some of his jobs other than working in radio include a television personality, an author, an actor, a producer, and a photographer. As he has had such an extensive career, it is little wonder that he now has an estimated personal net worth of $600 million and here is how he achieved this.
Stern was born in New York on January 12, 1954. By the age of five, he was already dreaming of a career in radio and would pretend to be a presenter using the microphone and tape machine which his father had bought him. His father was a radio engineer and Stern would often visit the recording studio with him. He studied for a communications degree at Boston University and also earned a radio-telephone operators license. This was a necessity for all radio broadcasters.
In 1975, Howard Stern landed his first radio job at WNT in Massachusetts. After he graduated, he declined a job offer from WRNW. He had a lack of confidence in his talent and abilities and was unsure of whether he would succeed in radio, so he briefly pursued other careers. However, he knew that he wanted to work in radio, so this did not last long and he started working for WRNW in 1976. Over the next five years, he also hosted shows on WCCC and WWWW.
In 1981, he moved to Washington D.C. to host a morning show on WWDC. He was a success on this show and it led to him being offered $1 million to work afternoons at WNBC in New York. Not only was he enjoying his work, his career was becoming very lucrative. He worked for WNBC until 1984 when he was suspended for the inappropriate content of some of his shows.
Stern signed a five-year contract with Infinity Broadcasting in October 1985 and this deal earned him $500,000. It was at this stage of his career that he expanded his career interests beyond radio and began also to work in television. Fox network expressed an interest in him delivering a series that would replace ‘The Late Show’ and he agreed to five pilots. In 1988, he hosted ‘Howard Stern’s Negligee and Underpants Party’, which was his first pay-per-view event.
By 1990, Stern’s multimedia career had really taken off as he re-signed with Infinity Broadcasting in a deal that was worth $10 million. In the same year, he began hosting ‘The Howard Stern Show’. Stern then released a home video called ‘Butt Bongo Fiesta’ in 1992. This was a commercial success and sales grossed $10 million.
Not satisfied with his phenomenal success in the radio and television industries, Howard Stern then decided he would write a book. A $1 million deal with Simon & Schuster led to him publishing ‘Private Parts’ in 1993. This book was later adapted into a film in 1996 and Stern earned even more money by selling the film rights of the book to Paramount Pictures. In the meantime, he had his second book ‘Miss America’ published in 1995. This was the result of a $3 million advance deal with ReganBooks.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Howard Stern continued to work on a number of television and film projects and this helped to grow his personal fortune. In 1999, Forbes magazine estimated that this celebrity was earning in excess of $20 million each year.
Throughout all these other ventures, Howard Stern remained passionate about his career as a radio presenter. In 2004, he signed a $500 million five-year contract with Sirius Broadcasting. This contract was then renewed for a further five years in 2010. The following year, he replaced Piers Morgan as one of the judges on ‘America’s Got Talent’. Along with Simon Cowell, he is now one of the highest-paid television personalities.
In his personal life, Howard Stern has been married twice. He married Alison Berns in 1978 and the couple had three children together before divorcing in 2001. He then married the actress and model Beth Ostrosky Stern in 2008. They live in New York City and do not have any children together.