The radio beat at the Washington Post belongs to Marc Fisher, and he used his space in the Sunday 11/11/07 edition to spell out the pros and cons of the proposed XM/Sirius merger. He said he could not think of a single service provider that does customer service right (he referred readers to the spotty record of local cable monopolies), and stated the obvious: The two will cut staff, homogenize formats, trim offerings, and eventually raise prices.
He argued against adopting an a la carte model, which would eventually force the nichier offerings off the menu (just as it would threaten them if CATV is forced to go that way).
He also argued that they provide a unique service. Sure, there are loads of specialty internet audio offerings, but none have the national platform and critical channel mass that the satcasters have at their disposal.
Both say they are solvent, he notes. "Let them compete."
RBR/TVBR observation: By the way, today is election day for Sirius and XM shareholders. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion that shareholders of both companies will overwhelming vote for the monopoly combination. And why wouldn’t they? But the votes that count are yet to be tallied – winning approval for this proposed merger from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and from the Federal communications Commission.