Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Together at last : Sirius XM Satellite Radio is born

The merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and former competitor XM Satellite Radio is now a done deal. Sirius today (7/29) completed its $3.3 billion absorption of XM in an all-stock deal that took close to 18 months to make it happen. The long delay was the result of getting the deal through the regulatory process -- the stickiest of which was obtaining FCC approval, which finally came last Friday(7/25).

Ultimately, the merger cost the satcasters millions of dollars for lobbying to influence decision-makers, leaving the share prices of each company down significantly. The new combined company, Sirius XM Radio, starts out with 18.5 million subscribers.

The conditions of the FCC approval, announced last Friday night, include three major points : a) new radio receivers able to receive both satcasters signals be offered to consumers; b) two dozen satellite channels be set aside for separate programmers to use - 12 for minority groups and 12 for public access and 3) a la carte programming with a three-year price freeze.

BRW Notebook :
Parade route : It’s unlikely on your calendar but today is WRKO’s Radio Hall of Fame afternoon personality Howie Carr’s day to shine in the sun. From WRKO’s release(Ed. Note : No word whether or not Mumbles is showing up for any part of Howie’s Rolling Rally) :

WHAT: To commemorate the induction this month of WRKO host Howie Carr, WRKO has declared that this Tuesday will be “ Howie Carr Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts .”
Never one to shy away from self-congratulation, Carr will board a Duck Boat and take the ride of champions to the State House. At approximately 3:08 PM on the stairs of the State House, Howie Carr will present a proclamation, signed by none other than himself, declaring it “ Howie Carr Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts .” He hopes to be joined by some of his loyal listeners. Carr will continue his live broadcast from the Duck Boat until 4 PM, and then continue the broadcast from Eastern Standard Restaurant in Kenmore Square . The Boston Red Sox will acknowledge Howie’s induction into the Radio Hall of Fame by honoring him during their pre-game ceremonies tonight before their game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Last week, the National Radio Hall of Fame announced its 2008 inductees. Carr will be inducted in the category of “Local or Regional – Active” nominees. The induction ceremony takes place in Chicago on November 8, 2008.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 29, 2008.Carr will arrive at the State House on a Duck Boat at 3 PM and make his proclamation at 3:08 PM.
WHERE: Front steps of Massachusetts State House, Beaco Street , Boston

Look who’s talking now : The Herald’s Jessica Heslam takes a look at the battle of the Talk Stations based on Spring Arbitron numbers. Speaking of WRKO’s Hall of Famer, he’s still behind Jay Severin on WTKK 96.9FM but closing the gap since he returned to WRKO after prolonged sit-out last fall.(Ed. Note : Considering that a year ago Carr was planning a funeral for AM band and getting ready to listen to Severin on his *FM* radio, that’s quite a turn of events. Tonight he is being recognized in front 35,000 fans at Fenway Park. Three months from now, he’ll be chowing away at the Radio Hall of Fame dinner and giving his speech wearing the WRKO hat….in Chicago(Obama’a turf) of all places… four days after the Presidential Election….maybe a week after the Sox beat the Cubs in the World Series…It’s the Howie Carr Day. Anything goes.)

Honor roll : There will be a large number of Boston music stations represented at this year's Radio and Records magazine’s Industry Achievement awards. Nominations were announced yesterday morning. Preliminary votes were cast by selected R & R subscribers in June and final ballots, where subscribers must choose one winner from each category, are currently being distributed. The winners will be announced September 19 at the annual R&R Convention in Austin, TX.

Nominated in the station of the year category : WMJX 106.7FM/Magic in the adult contemporary format; WXKS 107.9FM/Kiss 108 is in the top-40/CHR category; WBCN 104.1FM and WFNX 101.7FM in the alternative rock format; WJMN 94.5/Jamn in Rhythmic format; WAAF 107.3FM in the active rock format; WKLB 102.5FM in the country format;

WMJX’s Don Kelley is nominated program director of the year for adult contemporary while Mark Laurence is nominated in the music category in the same format. WKLB’s Ginny Rogers(country) and former music director for WJMN, GeeSpin(Rhythmic) are also nominated.

Nominees for local air personality of the year include Ramiro and Pebbles of WJMN in Rhythmic, David Allan Boucher of WMJX in Adult Contemporary, Toucher and Rich of WBCN in Alternative Rock, and Greg Hill of WAAF in Active Rock.
Blair Garner(overnights on WKLB 102.5FM) and Ryan Seacrest(American Top 40 on WXKS 107.9FM) is nominated for nationally syndicated air personality of the year

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