A contract dispute between Dave Hester, a star of the reality TV show "Storage Wars,” and the A&E Network, could result in Hester leaving the series. When approached by videographers from celebrity-gossip outlet TMZ in a Los Angeles parking lot, Hester voiced his displeasure with the network's salary offer and expressed disdain for how A&E has been treating him, specifically citing not being invited to the company Christmas party.
"I don't know what their plans are, but I would like to be on the show," he said in front of the camera. "Maybe 'Storage Wars' without Dave Hester?" The ball is in their court, he said.
Hester, known for his repeated utterances of "Yuuup!", is one of four auction buyers on the show. In its second season, the show documents the pursuits of Hester, Darrell Sheets, Barry Weiss, and the team of Jarrod Waltz and Brandi Passante, along with auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson. During each weekly episode, the four teams compete against one another to see who can obtain the most valuable items relative to bids on storage units. The series has been on-air since Dec. 1, 2010. It spawned a spinoff series, "Storage Wars: Texas," which debuted in December.
Many self-storage facilities across North America have reported much higher lien-sale attendances since the show's run began. Another well-known TV program, "Auction Hunters" on SpikeTV, has also drawn attention to self-storage auctions, inspiring droves of enterprising people to join the ranks of auction buyers. Some operators welcome the additional attention and think it increases the potential of recouping lost revenue from delinquencies. Others think the shows paint an inaccurate picture of the industry and wouldn't mind seeing them fade into oblivion.