Salem wanted to know if it would be OK if he created a GoFundMe page to raise some extra money.
According to multiple “Stern Show” sources, Marci Turk, Stern’s COO, told Salem he could continue – but no mention of the show or Stern was allowed. Salem complied, and GoFundMe still grossed over $ 73,000 from fans of the show.
But Stern, according to insiders, was not happy – especially when other employees began to wonder why he hadn’t paid the money himself. In 2017, Stern was America’s seventh highest earning celebrity, with $ 90 million, according to Forbes.
Shortly after, sources said, Salem – which had previously aired on the air – was banned to another floor and removed from the show’s scripts. Stern, now 66, reportedly gave him the silent treatment. When Robin Salem died in June 2018, Stern reportedly sent his condolences by email.
At the 2019 staff Christmas party, Salem’s new girlfriend attempted to tap some of Stern’s remarks, which led to an altercation with COO Turk. Salem received the boot weeks later (there is no indication the events were linked), ending a 33-year career with Stern.
Turk, Salem and a representative from SiriusXM – Stern’s employer – declined to comment, but the story was confirmed by several insiders on the show.
“It really bothered me. It’s truly sad. His wife ends up dying. Howard doesn’t even come down and offer his condolences to Scott, “said” Stuttering John “Melendez, an on-air personality who worked with Stern from 1988 to 2004.” Everyone falls out of favor with Howard.
Others have been more direct.
“For the record, Scott never spoke badly to me about Howard. Prob because he is scared and classy. But I am not afraid and I have no class So I say. Shame on you Howard, “Stern’s longtime ex-sidekick Artie Lange tweeted in 2018.” Ask yourself why all of your loyal ex-servants hate you! Just sad. ”
On Tuesday, Stern signed a new five-year deal with Sirius worth more than $ 100 million a year. One of radio’s biggest stars for decades, her net worth for 2020 is estimated to be over half a billion dollars.
Still, if the past is a prologue, former staff say base employees won’t see their share of the loot – and that besides being a penny pincher, Stern was often a terror to work with. .
“Worse than Ellen [DeGeneres]An industry insider told The Post.
“The hallway had to be cleaned before he came down,” said Melendez, whose talks with celebrities like Gennifer Flowers and the Dalai Lama briefly made him a household name.
Another comedian told The Post that when he arrived at the studio, staff members told him to “not look” at the boss.
Steve Grillo started The Stern Show in 1991 as an unpaid intern while a student at Hunter College. He got school credit, but after six months he reached the maximum number of hours.
He didn’t want to leave, so the show allowed him to continue working as an unpaid intern – which he did for six more years. Now he sees the situation for what he said it really was.
“From 1992 to 1997, I was just working for free as an ‘intern’. That’s what my title was. But I was definitely a producer. The amount of responsibility I had was through the roof, ”he says. “It’s slave labor. I was a slave. You cannot make people work 60 hours a week without paying them. ”
To make money, Grillo said, he held small concerts in New York City, trading the name of his famous boss.
“I would organize a beauty pageant at Hooters [for] $ 500, ”he said. Grillo said he and Stern were close, and the host dedicated his 1995 book, “Miss America,” to his interns and shouted at Grillo.
“For the past four years, he has been my intern doing all the household chores for me free of charge, including eating my meals and opening the building door every morning at five in the morning. He’s never late, he never complains, and he always has a smile on his face, ”the dedication read.
Grillo said there was “no way” Stern wouldn’t know he was continuing to work unpaid.
“Nobody gave an af – k,” he said. The situation ended when Grillo was summoned to the offices of WXRK-FM chief executive Tom Chiusano in 1997. (The New York station was Stern’s longtime home before his move to Sirius.) Chiusano a informed Grillo that he would be paid minimum wage. Grillo left a year later – after the show refused to give him health insurance, he said.
They declined to comment.
When Stern said on his show this year that DeGeneres should be looking at his own allegedly choppy treatment of staff, Melendez was “livid.”
“My jaw dropped,” he says. “If anyone was to have him, it should be him.” All the abuse he inflicted on us and all the bullying. You take what is given or you are gone.
Melendez – who also spent his early years on the show as an unpaid ‘intern’ – said Stern’s on-air character was not as much of an act as people think and many harangues that he received on the air were deeply personal.
“When I got my wife pregnant, he told me to abort my child because I am not fit to be a father. He said it on the air, ”recalls Melendez.
Melendez is currently suing Sirius, accusing the company of using its old hardware without permission.
The blurry line between on-air schtick and real life was exposed during an episode in September 2013, when Stern announced that his premium pay channel, Howard TV, would be canceled. It was the first time many Howard TV employees had heard of it; they were subsequently fired.
“People were a little shocked that we didn’t know ahead of time,” said an insider on the show. ” [Now] Howard re-signe [with Sirius] for another five years. It stings a little more.
Just weeks before Howard TV received the ax, Stern deposited $ 52 million on a 19,000 square foot waterfront palace in Palm Beach, Florida.
“We were all sitting there saying, ‘Oh my God. For a small part of that, we could all just keep working, ”the insider said.
Stern’s real estate portfolio, shared with his animal activist wife Beth Ostrosky Stern, also includes an eight-bedroom mansion that sits on a $ 20 million property in Southampton; and the 53rd and 54th floors of the Millennium Tower – one of Manhattan’s most expensive buildings. All three properties are worth around $ 90 million
Netizens say the financial situation might hurt less if Stern treated them better. Comic Lange, who worked with Stern from 2001 to 2009, said his former boss always carried luggage from his radio debut.
“He was a guy making $ 96 a week in Detroit by the name of ‘Hopalong Howie,'” Lange said in a 2016 interview, referring to a 1980s Stern character during his radio days at Detroit.
“No one wanted to be with him,” Lange continued. “Now everyone wants to be his friend and he’s got a lot of anger.”