Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
It’s been five years since Sirius lured shock jock Howard Stern to satellite radio with a $500 million contract. Whether Stern can re-up with a similar deal when his contract expires at the end of next year is anyone’s guess, but it ought to be entertaining. Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin is preparing himself for negotiations with the self-proclaimed King of All Media.
In a meeting with reporters at the Reuters Media Summit on Monday, Karmazin gave us a thumbnail sketch of his version of “The Art of the Deal.”
“I could tell you, it will start with Howard feeling that he is working too hard and doing too many shows and not making enough money. Our side would say, ‘We want you to do more, and get less money,’” Karmazin said.
“That would be how we would go into the room once the time came to go into the room. And the hope would be that we would come out with Howard staying with our service,” he said.
With financial markets in turmoil and the U.S. economy in recession, we asked top entertainment and sports executives at the Reuters Media Summit for some investment advice.
Our question: “If we gave you $50,000, where would you invest?” One rule: They couldn’t pick their own company. But then we thought $50,000 was too little for well heeled executives, so we switched it to $50 million. But that seemed excessive. After all, we’re talking about personal investments — so we settled on giving them a cool $1 million.
If you're an old Sirius or former XM subscriber who lost one or more of your favorite channels after the two satellite radio companies merged earlier this year, CEO Mel Karmazin has a message for you: Tough luck, it's for the greater good.
Karmazin told reporters at the Reuters Media Summit in New York that the two companies had taken the best of breed in each music channel genre from either Sirius or XM as part of a $400 million cost saving drive.
Sirius XM Chief Executive Mel Karmazin is a serial monogamist when it comes to stocks. No matter where he’s worked, from Viacom to Sirius, he only buys stocks in those companies, he told the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.
Lately, at Sirius, “every dime I’ve taken in has been spent buying stock,” he said. To show his fidelity, he wears special cufflinks in his shirtsleeves. One says “XM.” The other says “Sirius.”