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Sirius Names Mel Karmazin CEO

By | November 19, 2004

      Sirius Satellite Radio [SIRI] scored another personnel win, this time on the corporate management side, when it named Mel Karmazin the new CEO of the company. He succeeds Joseph Clayton, who will remain with the company as chairman of Sirius’ board of directors.

      The move is important for Sirius on a number of levels. First, Karmazin, who left his post as president and CEO of Viacom earlier this year, brings with him about 35 years of radio operating, programming and sales experience, including holding the CEO position at Infinity, Westwood One and CBS. The move also reunites him with Sirius’ other blockbuster personnel acquisition on the broadcast side, shock jock Howard Stern. The move also brings an added level of credibility to Sirius and validates the company as a viable competitor against rival XM Satellite Radio [XMSR].

      Speculation already has begun as to what Karmazin will do first in his new role as CEO. Namely, questions are being asked as to whether Karmazin will attempt to buy out Stern’s current contract with Viacom and accelerate the popular morning DJ’s transition to satellite earlier than his contracted January 2006 start date.

      For more on what the hiring of Karmazin means to the satellite radio market please see the Nov. 29 issue of Satellite News. For information on subscribing to Access Intelligence’s suite of satellite industry publications, visit us on the Web at

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