Just when everyone thought Sirius XM Radio was headed for bankruptcy, John Malone and Liberty Media come in to save the company with a significant investment.
Sirius XM Radio won’t have to file for bankruptcy after Liberty Media Corp. agreed to invest $530 million to rescue the satellite radio broadcaster, the companies said Tuesday.
Engelwood, Colo.-based Liberty, the media and entertainment company founded by John Malone, will immediately loan Sirius XM $280 million, about $171 million of which will to pay off debt Sirius had coming due this week.
A second round of $250 million from Liberty (NASDAQ: LCAPA) will also be available to Sirius XM to help it pay its debts and ward off a potential takeover of Sirius by Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network Corp., the Englewood, Colo.-based satellite TV company.
In return for the investment in Sirius XM, Liberty will own 12.5 million shares of preferred stock in Sirius XM (NASDAQ: SIRI), which Liberty can convert into common stock.
That would give Liberty a 40 percent ownership stake in the radio company.
I love having satellite radio and it appears to be a solid business. It just had a terrible balance sheet with way too much debt. Howard Stern can now breathe a little easier.
It is with a heavy heart that we must suspend the Ruby Tuesday feature indefinitely. But fret not, gentle readers. We hope to resurrect the series in the not-too-distant future. Until then, enjoy that Lilac Time track while you can, because it’s coming down a week from now. D’oh.
Well, the speculation is over. XM and Sirius satellite radio are going to merge into one company. The name of that company is as yet undetermined, and many feel the merger will meet with various resistance from the FCC and other factions. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Hopefully it will continue to be, but only time till tell.
Turning an about-face on its longtime strategy of attempting to drown radio listeners in a sea of aggressively bland, soulless, identical radio stations, Clear Channel has finally discovered the niche audiences that were there all along.
As part of a new initiative to be announced next week, Clear Channel intends to lock horns with satellite radio, rolling out new niche channels with names like Dank (“Hip Hop and Rock all rolled up into one big spliff”), Full Metal Racket (“It’s dark, it’s edgy, it beats, and it rocks”), and Mother Trucker (“a hearty serving of the best Southern Rock”). Clear Channel will also be expanding its HD radio service to 50 cities, from its current base of 28.
Can this old dog learn enough tricks to persuade people to shell out $200 for an HD radio receiver instead of signing on for satellite radio? Can the American public forgive Clear Channel for its numerous transgressions against music fans all across the country?
When Stern was asked by a caller about the gag order, he confirmed it by admitting, “That’s right. I believe in censoring anyone who is my enemy.” He also added, “I believe in censorship when it benefits me.”
Playing back that audio on their XM Satellite Radio program this morning, Anthony noted the hypocrisy of that statement by saying, “He’s been complaining that individual members of the FCC were putting their morality on his program instead of interpreting FCC law … which is exactly what he did [with us].”
O&A have also been pointing out what they call more hypocrisy by Stern for taking off certain Fridays, playing audio of Stern, Robin Quivers and Artie Lange discussing why it is important to be in the studio five days a week. “If you are not there on Fridays, then you are doing a disservice to your audience,” says Stern in the audio clip. “If you are going to do this job, then you show up every day and give it your best.”
Hoo-Hoo Stern is being sued by his former employer, CBS Radio. The giant conglomerate is saying Stern improperly used studio time to promote his move to Little Doggie Satellite Radio and therefore breached his contract. Hoo-Hoo had a little press conference on Tuesday trying to deflate the whole matter, but when you have $500 million, certainly paying CBS wouldn’t be too difficult, no?
And now, here’s a little video montage I created in tribute to XM’s greatest commodity, O & A. It originally aired on Sniff The Tip, but it now being shared for all at YouTube, and alas, here. Music by The Beastie Boys. Rock steady.