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Sunday, January 08, 2006

King Of All Media Takes On Satellite Radio Tomorrow

In a story so big all the major news outlets have to cover it, Howard Stern goes back on the air tomorrow morning. The 'Kings of All Media' apparently gets to set his own hours, as the statement from his official web site sets the tone of Monday morning's show as starting 6 AM ET starting time and signing off whenever he's good and ready.

Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc. (SIRI) takes a turn for what they hope is the better in ratings and revenue, and not for the worse in what they may have gotten themselves into. It isn't exactly selling their souls to the devil, but a five-year, $500 million contract which gives Stern two channels of uncensored airtime is a gamble.

But so far, the gamble is paying off. Because of the introduction to a truely uncensored Howard Stern along side a NFL coverage package that was completely top notch, XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) the industry leader, saw for the first time ever the number two Sirius land more new net subscribers (a Sirius press release reports "more than 1.1 million new satellite radio fans" during the fourth quarter, an XM press release reports "nearly 900,000"). That news was good enough to get Stern an award of more than $220 million in Sirius stock before his channels have even gone live.

But there are two big questions everyone wants to know the answer to: what will Howard do tomorrow? And have you paid the $12.95-a-month subscription fee for Sirius, plus the cost of whatever version of the radio you wanted, just to find out?

- Can Howard Stern Get People To Pay For Satellite Radio? (Allentown Morning Call)
- You Can't Say That On The Radio (AZ Central.com)

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