Mel Goes Into Space

Wow.  That’s all that Brad said in his email to me with the news that Mel Karmazin is going to run Sirius.

Brad’s email came in as I was reading Jackson’s description of the madness in Union Square today where Stern gave away free Sirius Radios.

So, where do I start?

First with the observation that Mel’s first love and possibly only love is radio.  And he’s going back.

Second, with the memory of meeting Mel for the first time in 1999 with Bob Struble who runs iBiquity, the developer of HD Radio.  Mel was on iBiquity’s board, representing Infinity.  Back then, he was a skeptic about satellite.  A big skeptic.  Obviously he’s not any more.

Third, with the obvious observation that Mel and Howard are a team.  A very successful team.  And Sirius is now Stern radio.  And it should succeed very nicely at that, particularly with Mel at the helm.

Fourth, with the prediction that Sirius is going to sell a lot of ads because that’s what Mel does.  And Sirius’s version of satellite radio won’t be much different than Infinity’s version of radio but without the FCC telling Howard what he can and cannot say and do.

There will be a lot of people pointing to this as the nail in the coffin of traditional broadcast radio.  But as I’ve said before, I don’t think so.

Mel isn’t going to reinvent radio.  He’s going to bring his version of radio to satellite.  It’s going to be great.  But it’s not going to be anything we haven’t seen or heard before