Satellite Radio Merges in the US. Siriusly?
  • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2007

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Ever since Clear Channel took over the FM airwaves and sent our beloved DJs running to their local unemployment offices, we’ve been big fans of satellite radio. We like the variety. We like the relative lack of advertising. We think it’s cool that the FCC can’t really regulate the programming we’re listening to. And as the number of locally-owned radio stations dwindles, we’ve grown accustomed to always having our favorite satellite stations available to us, regardless of where we’re located.

There’s a problem, though. Sirius and XM – the only two satellite radio stations in the US – are merging together. We’re told that this will provide more on-air variety, but there’s more than that to worry about.

What about jobs? A merger will reduce the number of personnel needed to run America’s satellite network, and – just as our nation’s DJs were replaced by Clear Channel’s predestined playlists – a new slew of radio personnel is about to be laid off.

What about the duplicate channels? Some people prefer Sirius’ oldies channel over the XM counterpart. Will the unified satellite radio channel keep both channels, or will they be combined?

What about the hardware? Both XM and Sirius use different receivers. Eventually, those receivers will have to be replaced by one that picks up this new station.

There are so many potential problems with this, so maybe it's best that we leave things up to the experts. We're talking about the tech-savvy people at Forbes, who could write CSS circles around our puny HTML layouts. The magazine's website has a nice webcast about the merger, so check it out for some intelligent thoughts by similarly-concerned radio subscribers.


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