NY Post: Karmazin's On A Mission
August 11, 2008 at 5:29 AM (PT)
MEL KARMAZIN is on a mission, writes PETER LAURIA in TODAY's NEW YORK POST. Now that the creation of SIRIUS XM is official, terrestrial radio's formerly brightest star is after nothing short of total domination of his old medium.
"We're going to be the most successful company in radio," KARMAZIN said in an interview with THE POST. "We're going to be bigger than CLEAR CHANNEL because we're growing and they're going the other way."
That's a bold statement considering that SIRIUS XM's stock has lost 20% of its value since the merger's closing, the company has yet to turn a profit and is laden with debt. that doesn't begin to describe the DAVID vs. GOLIATH-like challenge. While terrestrial radio boasts $20 billion a year in ad sales and 235 million listeners, SIRIUS XM counts just $2.5 billion in revenue and 18.5 million listeners.
We're going to be bigger than Clear Channel because we're growing and they're going the other way.
But KARMAZIN isn't one to settle for second place.
"MEL is a voracious competitor," said former head of CBS RADIO JOEL HOLLANDER, who worked under KARMAZIN for 22 years. "When he has a prize in his sights he goes all out for it. He either wants to be the king of the hill or he wants to take his chips and go home."
To be sure, some of KARMAZIN's terrestrial radio counterparts wish that he would leave the sandbox.
"MEL is singularly the smartest media operator out there, regardless of what kind of media we are talking about," said CITADEL BROADCASTING CEO FARID SULEMAN, a KARMAZIN protégé who must now face off against his mentor. "I wish he would go run a big media company instead of SIRIUS."
Check out the full article here.