Karmazin: Ask Not What Sirius Can Do for You; Ask What You Can Do for Sirius
With some shareholders already echoing a 24/7 Wall St. call for his ouster, Sirius XM (SIRI) CEO Mel Karmazin would do well to temper his remarks about the troubled satellite radio company’s programming lineup a bit. Certainly, comments like those Karmazin recently made at the Reuters Media Summit aren’t winning him support among subscribers irked over the loss of a favorite channel or three, even if there allegedly is a “best of breed” channel to replace them. “We’re going to pick the best channels,” Karmazin told event attendees. “We’ve gotten hundreds of people who hated it and claimed they were going to cancel. So we’ve analyzed all the cancellations since the rationalization…. If we took the most aggressive number of people who canceled and we take that away the $120 a year they pay, it doesn’t get to a $1 million as compared to the significant amount of cost savings as a company that needs to make money…. You as a subscriber, though you may miss your channel, need to make sure we make money because you want us to be around so we can invest in programming and we can provide you with all these services.”
In other words, subscribers who’ve lost a favorite channel should continue to pay a monthly fee to Sirius so that it can continue to not provide them with that channel.
Not exactly the sort of reassurance you’re looking for if you happen to be, say, a fan of “Bubba the Love Sponge” who’s concerned that the company may allow the talk show host’s contract to expire, but that’s the only one Sirius seems to be offering for now.