Ofcourse, tomorrow we will have hundreds of reports, putting the blame straight on Howard Stern and the 500 million dollar offer. However, the only immediate editorial i found was actually fair
“The expense and inconvenience of combining a $150 piece of hardware–or several, if you want to listen at home and in your car–with a monthly service contract. The robotic, generic onslaught of dozens of channels, which completely wastes the intimate, conversational quality of radio. The rise of the iPod and podcasting”-that sounds 60% right. Hardware, monthly contract, and the biggest one-Ipod. In fact, the only reason in my mind is they actually tried to compete with Ipods. And “conversational quality of radio”? Clear Channel? Really? 2 out of three, not bad.
Still, the writer goes off the deep end…”People like to have hundreds of TV channels because it’s a passive activity for which expectations are generally set really low”-riiight. And some other usual non-sense, like having a lot of commercial free music is actually annoying.
But the point that I want to make is that the blame would be wrongly set at Howard Stern’s feet. He will be thoughtlessly lumped in with other celebrities that were hired by Sirius and XM. Yes, Martha Stewart, you. And you, Oprah. You too, Jaime Foxx. None of these celebrities are radio personalities. None of them should have been hired in the first place. Sirius XM is radio, and did right by hiring radio talent such as Howard Stern, Bubba the Lovesponge, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Cousin Brucie. That are the right moves that did not look sexy on the paper, but were prudent and wise. That is the kind of talent a radio company should have invested more. Can you imagine if instead of Martha Stewart, Sirius hired “Mike and the MadDog” without breaking up the best sports radio team? They could have used that money to lure radio personalities. Instead, they went for the names that sold newspapers. Hundreds of channels should have been filled by professionals, and not amateur celebrities. After all, how did David Lee Roth do on CBS after Sterns departure?
Howard Stern will get his lumps tomorrow. However, us fans and subscribers of the Satellite Radio, see whose fault the bankruptcy is, and it is not with genuine radio talent. Howard Stern brought in millions of radio subscriptions and did great radio. His deal paid for itself.
Bent Corner is right on the money:
In my opinion, the whole merger has been a complete disaster. The two services, XM and Sirius, are still run like two separate entities. If you are a Sirius or XM subscriber, the only thing that has really changed is that you can now pay extra to receive a few channels from the “other” company. They refer to this as the “Best Of” package. The fact that you have to pay extra to receive channels from the “other” company seemingly cancels out the notion that Sirius XM is now one single company.