Karmazin Brings Sirius Starpower to Radio
Friday, November 19, 2004; 10:00 AM
The Wall Street Journal also gave Sirius the upper hand. "The signing of Mr. Karmazin to a five-year contract again demonstrates Sirius's aggressiveness in gaining traction for its burgeoning service, and its desire to compete hard with rival satellite provider XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc."
The New York Times: Former Viacom Chief Named To Lead Sirius (Registration required)
New York Post: Star-Power Surge For Satellite Radio
The Wall Street Journal: Headline to be added after site comes back up (Subscription required)
From The Washington Post: "[It is the] second high-profile coup for New York-based Sirius, which has nearly 800,000 subscribers but stunned the industry last month with a five-year, $500 million deal to lure radio shock jock Stern from Viacom at the start of 2006." Stern's leap from traditional radio to Sirius had a lot to do with Karmazin's decision. "When they made that decision to hire Howard, it truly transformed satellite radio," he told The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz. "He also cited Sirius's deal to carry National Football League games."
The Washington Post: Radio Veteran To Head Sirius (Registration required)
Washington-based XM Satellite is still trouncing Sirius when it comes to subscribers, but Wall Street is already giving Sirius more credibility. Shares of Sirius climbed 20 percent in after-hours trading on the news.
"Karmazin's announcement had almost as much impact. It added more than $1 billion to Sirius' market value. Its stock, which had closed at $4.72, soared almost 20% in after-hours trading," USA Today reported. "This is a one-two punch," SG Cowen Securities analyst Tom Watts told the paper. "Up to now, Sirius has been more of a technology company. Seeing Howard come over, and now Mel, is transforming it into show business."
USA Today: Sirius Hires Karmazin As CEO
The Second-Brightest Star in the Sky
"Sirius, which airs 120 channels of mostly commercial-free sports, news and music, has about 800,000 subscribers, and expects to close the year with about 1 million. Still, it trails the 2 million subscribers at rival XM," the New York Post said. "But the combination of Karmazin and Stern, who is also believed to have an equity stake in the company, could go a long way toward catapulting Sirius ahead of XM." The Post wrote that Karmazin is netting $120 million and a 2 percent stake in Sirius. The New York Times gave more details on his pay package: "Karmazin's five-year contract will pay him $1.25 million annually, plus 30 million stock options, with 20 percent of that vesting each year. Mr. Karmazin succeeds Joseph P. Clayton, who will remain as chairman."