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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

King Of All Media Now Missing 8-10 Million Followers

Howard Stern made such a big commotion over leaving terrestrial airwaves of CBS Radio to be available exclusively on Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI), that he was sued by his former bosses at Viacom, Inc. (NYSE:VIA) for using their medium to promote his exodus. The problem is, seems like nobody is winning in the end. Stern didn't sell to as many paying customers as he would have liked, and the two guys brought in to fill his shoes aren't living up to the half of hype they were supposed to share.

Stern long ago proclaimed himself the 'King of All Media,' and it was once a kingdom that commanded a national audience of 12 million daily listeners. Since his big jump to Sirius in January, he has lost quite a few subjects. A estimated 8 million to 10 million radio listeners nationwide don't want to pay a satellite subscription fee to get what they once got for free, and don't like the free replacements, David Lee Roth and Adam Corolla.

The listeners are currently living as radio morning show nomads, wandering the dial looking for someone to sell them something. In a time when terrestrial radio is already worrying about the sales of Apple Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) branded iPods and other portable media players, and both Sirius and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:XMSR) still in the debate as to whether they're profitable, 10 million non-committed customers could lead to that many or more headaches for media companies.

- Trying to Corral Stern's Lost Herd (LA Times)

SIRIUS Satellite Radio

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