Monday, December 29, 2008
Radio: Sirius - Doggie downer
If the New York Times is going to do a hatchet job on your joint in their Sunday business section, you can only hope that it runs on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year when it’s least likely that most regulars will read it.
That’s Mel Karmazin. Even his bad luck is good. Well, maybe.
The Times piece wasn’t really the hatchet job it could’ve been but it took far too many words to make one specific point: Sirius XM is stuck in debt it can’t get out of.
And behold the madness of Moody’s Investor Service as they toss another anvil on Mel’s credit rating.
But you won’t hear terrestrial radio chortling over Mel’s financial tribulations. Sirius XM’s a piker compared to quandaries a few radio groups will be facing in the coming months.
It does make that siege mentality of radio promoted by the NAB over the Sirius and XM merger appear appallingly ridiculous.
Before you’re ready to kick Mel while he’s down, keep in mind that we’ll be witnessing a few radio CEOs choking up, blubbering, and melting into puddles as their over leveraged stations crumble into dust.
You can count on Sirius XM either imploding into a black hole of irretrievable debt or filing for Chapter 11, which would get the company out of exisiting deals they may not be comfortable with.
Either way, Mel knows that once you commit to a target, the details that follow shape themselves to the task at hand.
Regarding Mel’s future with Sirius XM? I expect him to ride out his contract, which is up – coincidentally – around the same time as Howard Stern’s.
You see, Mel doesn’t lose arguments, he just ends them.