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Ex-Howard Stern staffers say multi-millionaire a penny-pincher and 'worse than Ellen' DeGeneres to work with

'Everyone falls from grace with Howard,' said 'Stuttering John' Melendez, an on-air personality who worked with Stern between 1988 to 2004. While Stern's long-time chum Artie Lange wrote, 'Ask yourself why all of ur ex loyal servants hate u! Just sad'
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

According to Forbes's highest-paid celebrities in the world list released in 2020, Howard Stern ranks number eight, pulling in $90M dollars. He ranks above LeBron James, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Ellen DeGeneres, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, JK Rowling, Elton John, and other bigwigs. Stern's financials are pretty impressive however his reputation within the industry, amongst people who he's worked with seems to be very questionable, according to insiders. 

It is said that when a longtime engineer on his 'Howard Stern Show', Scott Salem, approached his bosses with a request to create a GoFundMe page, he was asked to keep Stern and the show's name out of it. Salem's wife Robin had been battling with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and even with insurance, the treatment costs were draining the family's finances and Salem wanted to raise some extra cash. Even without Stern's name attached to the campaign, Salem had managed to bag more than $73,000 courtesy of die-hard fans of the show. 

Insiders alleged that Stern wasn't very happy about the response that Salem had received. Other employees had begun asking Stern why he didn't contribute the money himself. Sources also claim that Salem, who had previously featured on-air, according to NY Post, was banished to another floor and also eliminated from show scripts. He was meted with the silent treatment and when Robin died in 2018, Stern sent his condolences via an email. Salem lost his job in 2019 putting an end to a 33-year career with Stern. This was just a couple of weeks after the staff's 2019 Christmas party where Salem's new girlfriend tried to record some of Stern's remarks, leading to an altercation with the show's COO, Marci Turk. While there's no indication that the events were linked and Turk and Salem themselves have declined to comment on the matter, the story was confirmed by multiple show insiders. 

"This has really bothered me. It's really sad. His wife ends up dying. Howard doesn't even go downstairs and offer Scott his condolences," said "Stuttering John" Melendez, an on-air personality who worked with Stern between 1988 and 2004. "Everyone falls from grace with Howard," he added. Stern's longtime chum Artie Lange too had tweeted in 2018, lashing out at him, writing, "For the record, Scott never bad mouthed Howard to me." Lange added, "Prob cuz he's afraid & classy. But I'm Unafraid & classless So I say. Shame on u Howard ... Ask yourself why all of ur ex loyal servants hate u! Just sad."


Earlier this week, Stern signed on the dotted line, closing in a five-year deal with Sirius for which he will be hauling upwards of $100M a year, according to reports. His finances are on an upward swing, however, his former staffers say that his employees won't see an improvement in theirs. They've alleged that he's not just a moneygrubber but also an absolute terror to work with. "Worse than Ellen (DeGeneres)," said one industry insider, according to The Post. Another comedian told the outlet that Stern has a no-eye contact rule enforced amongst his staff. Melendez said, "the hallway had to be cleared out before he walks down."

Stern had said on his show this year that DeGeneres should own up to the allegations of mistreating her staff. Melendez said he was "livid" when he heard that and that his "jaw dropped." He said, "f anybody should own it, it should be him. All the abuse he gave us and all the bullying. You take what is given or you’re gone.” He also said that all of the criticism he received on-air by Stern were in fact deeply personal. "When I got my wife pregnant, he told me to abort my kid because I’m not fit to be a father. He said it on the air,” Melendez recalled.