Mel's Favorite Sirius Channels: The Ones With Commercials
April 3, 2006 at 10:37 AM (PT)
Responding to a question from WALL STREET JOURNAL reporter SARAH MCBRIDE regarding his favorite SIRIUS channel, CEO MEL KARMAZIN responded, "I try to listen to a different station all the time, just so that I have a sense of what we're doing. My favorite, to be perfectly honest with you, is CNBC. I tend to like the stations that have commercials, because when I hear them, I have two revenue streams coming on."
KARMAZIN touched on a variety of topics in today's WSJ interview, including the spotload for HOWARD STERN's show. KARMAZIN said, "He's running six minutes an hour. HOWARD has been complaining about that, because it doesn't give him enough time to go the bathroom. As those [spots] have sold out, we've been obviously raising our prices, and we've been getting great success on renewals of all of the HOWARD advertisers. If you are asking me for a number that I could be comfortable with, I would talk to HOWARD first, because he has a great sense of his audience. But nine [minutes per hour]. And nine would be less than half of what he was running [on commercial radio]. I think that we can do that without losing a subscriber."
We're not ever going to run commercials on our music stations. And never is a long time, but never.
Despite his love for commercial revenue, KARMAZIN continued to make it clear that SIRIUS' music channels will remain commercial free, saying, "When people listen to music on terrestrial radio, they complain that the number one reason that they are dissatisfied with it is too many commercials. We're not ever going to run commercials on our music stations. And never is a long time, but never."
KARMAZIN characterized the CBS lawsuit as "a clear-cut vendetta against HOWARD," adding, "What it's done is it's put HOWARD back into the headlines again. I've never seen anything like this. I've been around the broadcasting and media business, but I can't find another example of where a large company, after a talent left that made them a whole lot of money, has chosen to file a lawsuit against the talent. Particularly, about things that were said on the radio when they were in control of the radio station."