What Stuttering John made working for Howard Stern
I've always maintained interns should not be paid. They're getting valuable on the job experience and a chance to make the connections that could one day set them up in their chosen field, not to mention college credits. It's like Bob Seger sings in Night Moves: "I used her she used me neither one cared, we were getting our share."
But when is an intern just an intern and when is he or she a valuable part of the operation? When 'Stuttering John' Melendez was at the height of his interviewing on "The Howard Stern Show," how much do you think he was making? Melendez who's new book, "Easy for You To Say," is out and he talked about his salary when he called into my show.
"It took two years and then Howard had the channel 9 show and my paycheck was for seven hundred and fifty dollars a week right from the channel nine shows, but that only lasted two seasons. And then when I asked to get paid from K-rock, Tom Chiusano said that he'll pay me ten thousand a year." says Melendez.
"Ten thousand a year and he called it a stipend. That's $200 a week and I was in the heyday of Stuttering John, that was like my first like three or four years." It eventually went up, when Mel Karmazin raised it to $20,000 he said. "You gotta remember this is when I was interviewing you know like you know interviewing Jennifer Flowers and the Dalai Lama."
That was before taxes.
"I was making $20,000 a year and after taxes is $12,000 a year? I mean, it was awful. I mean like I wasn't making money so I had to figure out other ways to do it." Melendez also played in a band and did stand up comedy which he still does today. Eventually John's hard work put him in position to receive a half million dollar a year gig on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno".
Was it worth it? What do you think?
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