Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Telecom & Media Conference in a session that was webcast, he said broadness and diversity of content were the most important thing for subscribers of the satellite radio service. "Second is ease of use," he said.
"Music is very important, no doubt about it. Howard Stern is very important, no doubt about it," Frear said about the content on SiriusXM. But Fox News, CNBC and other programming offers are key as well, he emphasized.
The CFO faced a question about whether Stern would extend his relationship with Sirius once his contract expires at the end of the year.
"I’d listen to the show," Frears said when asked about the state of contract talks, adding that Stern would likely first announce his future on air. "The news comes out there first."
Added the Sirius CFO: "There’s one person that is going to make that decision. That's Howard. He is a fantastic performer. There is nobody like him." He compared the talk host to a star athlete who chooses when to leave.
Not long ago, SiriusXM management became the target of his ire. Stern was upset that, according to him, they had agreed to a later start for his regular live broadcast, but then conditioned this upon his renewing his current contract with them.
Since then, Stern has strongly hinted that he won't do so. What's inconvenient about that, as far as Sirius XM is concerned, is that the agreement expires at the end of this year. And Stern hasn't only been arguably its top attraction, he's one of the main reasons for its success.