Mel makes a Sirius XM investment


The battered stock price of Sirius XM rose a bit yesterday after CEO Mel Karmazin demonstrated confidence in the newly merged satellite radio company by making a stock buy. In an SEC filing yesterday, Karmazin revealed that he went into the market on Monday and bought two million shares at an average price of just over $1.37 each. That’s $2,746,400 in all. Karmazin now owns 8.5 million shares of Sirius XM directly, plus another 33,820 shares in his company 401(k) plan.

Karmazin made no mention of his own stock buying as he appeared Monday in a Fox Business interview by Neil Cavuto. But he was celebrating finally getting the Sirius merger with XM closed after 17 months of battling – and he blamed AM and FM broadcasters for holding up the deal.

“Terrestrial radio believed that if these two companies combined and became financially successful, which we will do, it would be bad for them,” he said.

Karmazin is upbeat about being able to offer what had been exclusive programming to subscribers of both services, with a “best of” edition of Howard Stern coming soon to XM. He is also bullish about the size of the merged operation. He noted that Sirus XM, with nearly 19 million subscribers, now has more paying customers than any other subscription media service except for cable giant Comcast, which has around 24 million.

RBR/TVBR observation: There’s nothing like putting your money where your mouth is to prove that you believe in what you are doing. We give Mel credit for that. But we’re glad it’s his money, not ours, being bet on someday, somehow being able to make a buck on subscription satellite radio. As Mel noted Monday in his Fox Business interview by Neil Cavuto, the competition is free.