Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Mel Karmazin’s Wish List: More Satellite Radios, Fewer Journalists

mel-karmazin-sq-150x150Sales of new satellite radio players are doing just fine, Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin tells Reuters. That’s more important for the company than ever because car sales, which traditionally drove the company’s revenue, don’t seem likely to bounce back for quite some time.

Karmazin credits some of his sales success to a new ad campaign. I guess he has to say that inasmuch as he approved the campaign, but I have a hard time believing it. I’ve seen this ad several times, but until I read this interview, I had no idea it was for Sirius (SIRI):

Meanwhile, maybe it’s just self-interest/projection, but I was struck by the fact that Karmazin seemed to go out of his way to tell the Reuters staff how little he thought of it.

Or maybe he was talking about journalists in general: After being greeted by a dozen Reuters reporters at the company’s Global Media Summit,” Karmazin declared that if he was running the news service, only one of them would be employed.

Here’s Reuters media reporter Robert MacMillan’s account of the exchange, via Twitter:

macmillan karamzin tweet


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald