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Archive for Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Satellite radio merger at Sirius crossroad

June 17, 2008

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— The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission says he is satisfied the $3.8 billion merger of the nation's only two satellite radio companies is in the public's interest, but that's no guarantee the deal will win final approval.

Two of the other four commissioners are ardent foes of allowing big media companies to get bigger and a third has been sympathetic to the broadcast industry, which opposes the satellite radio deal.

Some powerful members of Congress also have spoken out against the merger. Put it all together, and approval of the deal is anything but a slam dunk.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin said Sunday he will recommend that Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. be approved by the five-member commission.

The companies offered concessions, including turning 24 channels over to noncommercial and minority programming and a three-year price freeze on service.

Comments

Andrew Stahmer 5 years, 10 months ago

As a former 'radio person' I've seen how the industry lobby (the National Association of Broadcasters) has always fought against anything that threatens big corperate radio (and it's profits). The hated, kicked and screamed about 'low-power FM'; they hated, kicked and screamed about satellite radio even being allowed to exist. It seems to me that if broadcasters-being repersented by the NAB would focus on serving the public--so there'd be less/no need for these things they hate and kick and scream about, all of us would be better served. In radio today profit is THE priority...at one time...before LPFM, before audimation and before satellite radio, the first priority of radio was profit-BUT with serving the community as a close second. One good example of this is several instances in which there have been severe weather situations...people turned on their radios to hear what was going on, and all they heard was nationally syndicated programs...thanks to audimation (to increase profits) there was no one there to provide local information about the threat. That's just one example. Personally, I was too ashamed to continue in an industry that has such a disregard for the public. Sure you need profits to keep the lights on, etc. but community service HAS to be included in the equation as well! Sadly, corperate McRadio is here to stay.

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