Hey, FCC. Let XM and Sirius dominate the entire satellite spectrum and I can enjoy a bunch of commercial… err… resistant programming for the low-low price of $6.99. That’s a whole handful of a la carte offerings for the price of two cups of coffee a month, right? Not a bad deal at all. Especially if I don’t have to hear Jolly Johnson screaming to me about used cars for the millionth time in a row. But forbid them their wishes, and we’ll be forced to suffer through $12.99 until the end of time!
Despite my cynicism, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the Sirius/XM merger. On one hand, I don’t really see anyone else coming in and jumping in the satellite band, so why care? It’s so ultra-expensive its impossible to imagine any “homegrown” media outlets taking to outer space, and besides, internet radio offers a great viable… oh, right. We’re trying to eradicate that, too.
What does alarm me, in a very personal way, is the recent decision to cut XM’s Sonic Theater over the weekends. I’ve been very close to buying an XM radio JUST to hear Sonic Theater, and now I hear 28% of its programming has been slashed. That includes dedicated ZBS stuff, and Joe Bevilacqua‘s Comedy-O-Rama show. Luckily, the weekday lineup still holds such gems as Harlequin Romance Radio.
Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure what the powers-that-be are trying to do other than help further the RIAA’s agenda and eliminate any chance of hearing something… I don’t know… different? With all of the amazing technology offered by the web, all we can seem to figure out is how to limit our options as much as possible, shush up the voice of emerging artists, and homogenize ourselves back into the same bland trash you hear on the 6 or so type of stations penetrating our brains from coast to coast.
Anyone want to chime in?
William Spear says
You sound incredibly busy; kudos despite, or because of, the madness.
Neither Joe nor audio theatre should interpret XM’s lack of imagination in programming actions as a reflection upon themselves. XM, and its relation, Sirius, are as inept as they are unimaginative. In an era in which HBO and other cable television channels have practically written a commercially viable business for either sat-caster, both have managed to turn radio’s biggest innovation into waste land of ininspired drek (sp).
There is an older book entitled “Seven Arguments for the Elimination of Television”; XM and Sirius have added the radio version of same.
Publisher and Editor
Lit Between the Ears – Celebrating the Power and People of Radio Drama
Thanks for chiming in. Between this and the CRB’s mission to gut internet radio, I begin to wonder what exactly we’re expected to listen to. I agree that XM and Sirius can hardly be cheered on for their innovation… gee, let’s put the same crap on terrestrial radio on in space, won’t THAT change the world?
Then again, people respond to that kind of content, and it’s hard to know where public taste ends and blinders-on thinking begins. At any rate, the end result is a dismal lack of options, regardless of whether or not this merger goes through. But if it hurts the NAB, I guess I’m all for it.