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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is Sirius Losing Stern? New York Post Rumors

There is an interesting article in the New York Post discussing rumors that Howard Stern may actually return free air. The article says WPLJ or WABC are among the considered stations. The article says that radio insiders are saying this may occur in an Opie & Anthony style.

The article notes: Persistent industry chatter says "some sort of mega-deal's brewing among Sirius [Satellite] chief Mel Karmazin, Stern and Mel's longtime associate Farid Suleman," says Inside Radio editor Tom Taylor. Suleman currently runs Citadel Broadcasting, which is buying Disney/ABC's radio division, including WPLJ (95.5 FM) and WABC (770 AM).

Stern himself has reportedly been complaining that he is no longer a watercooler topic. The Post's Page Six reported last week that since his move to pay radio, traffic to Stern's Web site was down 71 percent and his search-engine action plunged by 90 percent.

Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) is trading down 1.2% on over 300,000 shares today. It won't take a rocket scientist to realize that if this is a defection it will be horrible for all satellite radio programs, not just Sirius (SIRI). Even if it is a partnership in a signed and licensed deal it may have implications and ramifications that the two satellite radio companies don't want to have to deal with.

XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) has not traded at all pre-market.

Jon C. Ogg
September 19, 2006

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