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Sirius XM staring down bankruptcy filing, Ergen tries to swoop

Zach Epstein
February 11th, 2009 at 9:19 AM

It might not have happened exactly as terrestrial radio had planned while it was sitting in the shadows, stroking a hairless cat and plotting the downfall of satellite, but it looks like the delays it caused by lobbying against the Sirius XM merger may have ended up doing enough damage. According to a report from the New York Times, the only game in satellite radio town is preparing to file for bankruptcy. With over $5 billion in assets the company would surely be gobbled up one way or another, but its current debts of $3.25 billion – $175 million of which will be called in next week – are causing serious problems for the once-promising radio provider. As the company grasps at straws in an effort to avoid the filing, EchoStar mogul Charlie Ergen has kept his offer from last year on the table; an offer that would see Ergen gain control of the company after forking over several hundred million dollars into it. As much as we love Mel Karmazin, it could indeed be time for a changing of the guard as Ergen continues to push hard. On a related note, it appears Sirius XM may end up with the option to renegotiate or even terminate big contracts. It looks like remainder of Stern’s $6 gazillion contract will be among the first addressed which means he could finally get the out he’s been looking for. Come on, you know he’s been phoning it in for years. Oh well, he was gone in two years anyway.

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.




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