"Will he or won't he?" is the big question on the minds of Howard Stern fans when it comes to their favorite radio host's SiriusXM contract renewal decision. Howard Stern is set to answer the question on-air next week in the final days of his current contract.

Many observers were expecting an announcement this week, as that timing would be consistent with Howard's last contract renewal announcement, but it looks like this time, fans will be kept on pins and needles until the end.

One thing that became clear this past week, however, is that the "Howard Stern Show" will be back on air in some capacity, even if it's not on SiriusXM. Howard confirmed that news himself this week when answering a caller who asked him about his contract renewal status. He also confirmed that the show would not be converted to a podcast format, which some observers had speculated.

On an episode of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live this week, Howard's wife Beth was a guest, and she was asked by a caller whether he would return. She said that her husband had not made up his mind yet, but that she wanted him to stay home more with her to play with the many cats they have adopted. Speculation is that Stern may sign a contract for a reduced fee that would also cut his number of shows per year substantially, so this could have been an allusion to that possible scenario. Beth Stern also confirmed that her husband will announce his decision on his SiriusXM radio show.

Another radio host, Jay Thomas, who appears on Stern's Howard 101 channel on SiriusXM and also shares the same agent, made some comments this week that listeners are wondering about. Thomas mentioned attending Howard Stern's upcoming going away party, and also hinted that it might be his own final show on the channel due to a departure. It's impossible to know if there's any credence to these comments, however, because Thomas' sense of humor lends itself to trolling fans with statements just like those he made this week.

In any case, we'll know soon one way or the other whether Howard will be back, because he has just three shows left on his contract, all of which will air next week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Stay tuned, as we'll bring you the news as soon as it is announced. Meanwhile, do you think Howard will return? Let us know in the comments below.

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