Same Old Song: Howard proves his worth

HCI

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http://www.thetowerlight.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/05/01/4455459db7162

It’s been almost six months since Howard Stern left terrestrial radio and we are now seeing the after-effects of this drastic change. He was quickly replaced three months ago with David Lee Roth’s morning show, and it was announced this week that his show has been cancelled. A faithful listener of Howard Stern for over 15 years, I never bothered to listen to the David Lee Roth Show. My only impression of him is a combination of the 1984 video “Jump” and the character Chris Kattan emulates on Saturday Night Live. I thought his radio show would be filled with “Zoo be doo bop bas,” but I could be mistaken.

Terrestrial radio has found its limits, and people are tuning into satellite radio providers XM and Sirius. I have been a consumer of XM satellite radio for a little over a year now and I will never listen to terrestrial radio again. XM recently hit the six million subscriber mark and is expected to hit nine million by the end of the year, while Sirius has about four million subscribers.

Side by side Sirius and XM are very much the same. If you are a Howard Stern listener I recommend Sirius, but for a music fan, with 68 music stations, XM radio provides a bit more for its users. Sirius provides 65 commercial-free music stations. XM has also added Canada to its market, and some of the Canadian stations can be rather interesting, eh.

XM and Sirius simply offer their customers more than terrestrial radio can, and those customers don’t mind spending the $9 to $13 a month to not listen to commercials for half of their day, and enjoy listening to Jefferson Starship’s “Miracles” uncut.

When WHFS was taken off of its legendary 99.1 tuning and moved to 105.7 in Baltimore they promised “legendary” WHFS programming. It soon became clear, however, that it was the same boring WHFS we have known since Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie” hit the airwaves in 1999. After three months at the new Baltimore location, 105.7 has been nothing but corporate programming, occasionally throwing in the songs that made WHFS famous. Just because they play an obscure track like “She” off of Green Day’s album “Dookie” does not qualify programming to be at the “legendary” WHFS status. Listeners want more of a variety and they are finding it through satellite radio.

Tom Petty has an hour-long show on XM where he plays classic rock tunes that have not been and will not be played by terrestrial radio. The Beatles are played every hour on the hour on the ’60s station. Channel XMU provides listeners with the latest releases in rock music. It was also announced that Bob Dylan and Oprah Winfrey will have their own shows.

Local stations that once carried the Howard Stern show (105.7 WHFS in Baltimore and in D.C. 106.7 WJFK) have dropped to almost half of their listeners, and the Don and Mike show after Stern has dropped 27 percent according to the Washington Post.

The Sports Junkies have replaced Stern in our local markets, but Adam Carolla and David Lee Roth have replaced him in others, but all markets have fared poorly. Terrestrial radio has a lot of work to do if they’re going to keep up with the ever-changing technology. Satellite radio is commercial and censorship free and nine million Americans agree it’s much more entertaining.

Stern always proclaimed himself as the “King of All Media,” and we never disagreed with him, much to the chagrin of the FCC, but the ratings really show how much free radio misses him.
 
vurbano

vurbano

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I will NEVER pay a monthly fee to listen to radio, neither will the majority of Americans. I guess Sat radio will have a niche.
 
rad

rad

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And I'm glad he won't so we don't have to watch threads about Sirius or XM lite due to their compress;)
 
B

belawrence

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vurbano said:
I will NEVER pay a monthly fee to listen to radio, neither will the majority of Americans. I guess Sat radio will have a niche.
I stated the same thing until my recent vehicle purchase which came with 9 months free Sirius-i've already signed up for two years service even though my free trial hasn't expired yet. There are simply too many commercials on terrestrial at this point in the game and, to me, it's worth $12.95/month to not hear commercials on the music channels and a drastically reduced amount of commercials on the talk side.
 
vurbano

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BFG said:
your loss....

No. Sirius's loss. Theyve managed to more than double their quarterly losses. More than $450 Million.

Sirius Loss Doubles on Stern Compensation
By SETH SUTEL, AP Business Writer 2 hours, 39 minutes ago



NEW YORK - Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. reported Tuesday that its first quarter loss more than doubled, due largely to expenses of $225 million in stock-based compensation to its star shock jock Howard Stern. Revenue nearly tripled as the company expanded its subscriber base.

Sirius reported a net loss of $458.5 million, or 33 cents a share, for the January-March period compared with a loss of $193.6 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.

By far the largest factor affecting the results was costs for stock-based compensation, which all companies had to begin recording this year under new accounting rules. Sirius reported stock compensation expenses of $284.6 million, of which about $225 million went to Stern and his affiliates, a company spokesman said.

The company said stock compensation costs accounted for 20 cents per share of the loss in the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had been expecting a wider loss of 36 cents per share.

On an earnings call with analysts, company officials said they had enough cash on hand to fund their current needs and expect to start turning a profit on a cash flow basis as soon as the fourth quarter of this year. Sirius also said its average cost for acquiring subscribers — a figure closely watched by investors — fell 41 percent to $113 in the quarter.

Investors liked what they heard, and sent Sirius's shares up 27 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $4.89 in active trading Tuesday morning on the Nasdaq Stock Market. However, the shares are still closer to the lower end of their 52-week trading range of $4.36 to $7.98.

Revenues rose to $126.7 million compared with $43.2 million in the same period a year ago as the company continued to build up its subscriber base.

Sirius said it had 4.1 million subscribers at the end of the first quarter, having added about 761,000 customers in the most recent period. The company said it now expects to have 6.2 million subscribers by the end of the year.

Both Sirius and its larger rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. are spending heavily to sign up subscribers and programming talent to their services, which require special radio receivers and cost about $13 per month.

On the conference call, Sirius's CEO Mel Karmazin said the company did not intend to follow the lead of XM in syndicating some of its programming to terrestrial radio.

CBS Radio, a unit of CBS Corp., announced recently that it was replacing rocker David Lee Roth in Howard Stern's former time slot in several of its stations with shock jocks Greg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, who now work for XM. CBS Radio had fired them in 2002 after they aired a live account of people having sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

"It was a great deal for Opie and Anthony," Karmazin said. "We're in the business of getting subscribers to satellite radio."
Karmazin used to head CBS Radio, which had been known formerly as Infinity Broadcasting.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060502/ap_on_bi_ge/earns_sirius
 
Last edited:
Scott Greczkowski

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Sirius is up today on the news, meanwhile whats going on with XM's stock price? It's falling like a rock.

Time for a management shakeup at XM.
 
ronfelder

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vurbano said:
I will NEVER pay a monthly fee to listen to radio, neither will the majority of Americans. I guess Sat radio will have a niche.
Why not? you most likely pay for television don't you? Not much different.

Ron
 
M

Mr Tony

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vurbano said:
I will NEVER pay a monthly fee to listen to radio, neither will the majority of Americans.
I was the same way too until I heard Sirius. I like 80s hair bands and just good rock and roll. Our big "classic rock" station plays the same 20 or so songs. Our "hard rock" station got rid of ANY song that might offend someone and has NO 80's rock. That was the last draw for me. Have had it for over a year now with no issues.

I guess Sat radio will have a niche.
thats what they said about satellite TV too :)
 
datwell

datwell

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I swore that I would never pay to listen to radio until...

The new Chrysler came with 1 year of free Sirius - I was quickly hooked!

The NFL (124) and the Rolling Stones (99)!!! Wow!

--Doug
 
L

landlocked

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As a former radio guy, I was hoping Stern would fail because I can't stand his ego...one reason I left broadcasting. He's an intelligent guy - but the self-adornment gets a little old. That's typical of many of the "talent" folks - very insecure.

More on topic, I just couldn't see the majority of Stern's demo going out and buying Sirius just for him. He even recently publicly admitted he's very upset with the millions of listeners (like 85%?) who didn't make the switch to sat.
 
ronfelder

ronfelder

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landlocked said:
As a former radio guy, I was hoping Stern would fail because I can't stand his ego...one reason I left broadcasting. He's an intelligent guy - but the self-adornment gets a little old. That's typical of many of the "talent" folks - very insecure.

More on topic, I just couldn't see the majority of Stern's demo going out and buying Sirius just for him. He even recently publicly admitted he's very upset with the millions of listeners (like 85%?) who didn't make the switch to sat.
He was joking when he said that.
 
L

landlocked

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I don't think he was joking. Maybe he came out later and changed his tune. How could he not be upset (and especially Sirius) if they paid him the bucks and stocks and the numbers didn't add up? While he certainly did increase subs, I think they were expecting more.
 
Juan

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vurbano said:
I will NEVER pay a monthly fee to listen to radio, neither will the majority of Americans. I guess Sat radio will have a niche.
How did you feel about cable back in the late 70's early 80's??
 
rad

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vurbano said:
And they were right. Satellite will soon be at its Apex with Verizon FIOS finally winning.


Maybe in the Verizon service area, too bad they don't have CONUS coverage like DBS.
 
G

GeorgeLV

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landlocked said:
I don't think he was joking. Maybe he came out later and changed his tune. How could he not be upset (and especially Sirius) if they paid him the bucks and stocks and the numbers didn't add up? While he certainly did increase subs, I think they were expecting more.

I assure you he was joking. He's been doing that rap from his first day on the air. Read the SEC 8-K fililing Sirius made when they announced Stren. They've got what they expected and more. Stern has already attracted more than enough subscribrers to make his program a profitable addition for Sirius. If he didn't why would they offer him a 5-year contract extention for another $500,000,000 dollars?
 
ronfelder

ronfelder

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landlocked said:
I don't think he was joking. Maybe he came out later and changed his tune. How could he not be upset (and especially Sirius) if they paid him the bucks and stocks and the numbers didn't add up? While he certainly did increase subs, I think they were expecting more.
he said he was joking do to his being insecure. you'd know this if you listened to his show.
 
David Dietzel

David Dietzel

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The stock jumped as Sirius is growing at a rate of three quarters of a million subscribers per quarter and revenue has tripled over the same period last year.

There was a time when most folks would never have paid for television when you could get it "free" with an antenna.

Content is what ultimately drove satellite and cable television growth over the past four decades to the point that now roughly 80% of households have either cable or satellite television service.

We are witnessing the same with sat radio.

I got Sirius on a whim in June 2005 as the unit was only $39 and I felt the $13/month was reasonable -- in fact, I paid annually and cut that by about $1/month.

I've got to say that I now rarely listen to terrestrial radio. In the Los Angeles area, radio just plain sucks -- lousy personalities, frequent and long commercial breaks, poor reception over my long commute, lousy news and information choices, few good music stations and way too many non-English stations.

Sirius is simply superb and well worth every penny -- great reception, great content, commericial free music, infrequent commercials on talk shows (like Stern), and non-English stations that are far easier to avoid.

XM needs fresh management.

Satellite radio will ultimately turn a profit as subs grow by the millions each year.
 
JonUrban

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Terrestrial radio is getting more and more "spot driven" with less "show". You really don't notice how bad it's getting until you get satellite radio and get used to little or no commercials.

When you go back to AM/FM, the commercial load really stands out as super annoying. Especially on the talk stations.

Try and listen to WFAN in New York, the nations first sports talk station. Instead of "Sports Radio 66", it should be called "Spots Radio 66".
 

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