More channel changes lie ahead for Sirius XM - Orbitcast

More channel changes lie ahead for Sirius XM

| 65 Comments
XMSirius XM Radio Inc. said on several occasions that the merging of broadcast operations was going to be an ongoing process, and now Orbitcast is hearing that another round of channel changes will be going into effect sometime around January 15th. These changes are in addition to the return of Strobe and Backspin to the Sirius XM lineup.
According to on-air promotions and an email sent out by the company, disco channel The Strobe will be taking on channel 81, currently where Cinemagic resides. The old school hip-hop channel Backspin will be found on channel 39, currently Pop2k's slot. These changes are set to go into effect on Thursday, January 15th.

But there's rumors that many News and Talk channels will be merging next week as well. Much of the changes appear focused primarily on political and sports talk channels. It's an added efficiency that isn't surprising - there's no point having two sets of left-wing and right-wing political talk channels afterall.

Additionally, many staffers have been moved down to the Washington DC offices from Sirius' studios in New York City, according to sources. These Sirius employees have joined what's left of the XM workers down at the former XM-headquarters lovingly known as "The Eck."

One source thinks this is just the tip of the iceberg and that many more staffers will be relocated to XM's vast broadcast facility in DC, where costs are far cheaper than up in mid-town Manhattan.

65 Comments

Why they heck did they even come out with Cinamagic then? They might as well branded the channel completely with Holly stuff since it seems immediately after last Thursday they played a day or two of Cinimagic songs then started the promotion of the new channel it will become...

(I am a Sirius customer)

I finally got my channel guide...not mailed but at Best Buy. I know I can download it but they should have mailed up something...I guess it's better they didnt since it's going to change again. ALot of growing pains..I have a buddy who works at the Sirius studios and after reading this it looks like his job could be lost.

I also heard that the billing departments are merging on Feb.1. For example if you have a sirius account and an XM account that second account will be family plan discount.

That is was I heard and I have asked sirius and xm about this and they said it was coming they weren't sure when. The sooner they do it the sooner I can have my wife's and father in-laws xm account under my sirius account and they I will get the best of XM since I will be saving money.

What about on the XM side, where Cinemagic is on Channel 76 and Pop2K is on Channel 30? Does that simply mean that Cinemagic and Pop2K would be exclusive to XM subscribers? Would make some sense since Sirius subs already have Sirius Hits 1 (an equivalent to XM's Pop2K)
I sure hope Cinemagic is sticking around...

now it's my turn to be upset.

I'm likely the oddball of the group, however, they have now cut out 2 of my favorites...Fine Tuning and now Cinemagic. Satrad used to offer interesting and unique stations such as these, not any more!

I will be mad if Cinemagic leaves Sirius Radios. Call in and complain ... they will give you two months free! Idiots.

Ryan ,

81 and 39 are the Sirius channels , but what channels will Backspin and The Strobe be on , on the XM side of things ?

Hopefully XM and Sirius will get XM ch. 143 and 144 straightened out; the channel guide I saw for XM 143 listed Tony Bruno at 8PM pacific time for example and when I turned it on they had a replay of one of Sirius NFL channels on, hopefully they'll get this figured out.

I think if Sirius would consolidate some of the rock channels, and get rid of the single artist channels, they would have plenty of room for Cinemagic, and any other channel that plays music you can't hear anywhere else!

Since they are bringing back old channels, can we have Fungus back too?

Whaah, I can't hear boring background muzak. Whaah, I can't hear Moronic Five & Pink. Can't wait for the return of Backspin! I must admit Denny Terrio's show plays some gems. Now please dump Cosmo & bring back Disorder!

What will happen to the BBC World Service? Sirius offers the NEWS feed only. Where as XM offers the FULL World Service feed. Does any one know which BBC Feed will stay!

just as soon as you like a channel they go and yank it out from under you. i was so looking forward to cinemagic and actually enjoy it after it was done being holly.

Bring back........ The PUNK Channel

i would hope that they change their minds and move the strobe down to dance and leave cinemagic alone. its a great channel that i was listening to and then i get this le freak shit.
first time I've been disappointed in Sirius.

maybe X Country will come back. I can dream can't I ?

Has anybody noticed a lot of skips on the CD's lately. I assume it's CD's that they play. Anyway, I have been a subscribed for about six or seven years. It seems different than a reception problem. It seems like they are not cleaning the CD's. I was going to email customer service, but I wanted to see if anybody else noticed it.

Seriously disappointed in Sirius. Cinemagic was the ONLY (unique) channel I was interested in XM's lineup. What's the point of being a Sirius sub when XM has more channels and the Best of Sirius is actually good vs the Best of XM which is crap. Cinemagic was actually a unique channel. Longtime Sirius sub and thinking about dropping my 2 Sirius subss for Slacker or XM. Good thing I didn't jump on the lifetime price drop.

my money's on O and A going to afternoons, but what do I know

thj

I'm a long time XM subscriber with multiple radios and just purchased a used Dodge vehicle. I really didn't want to become a "dual subscriber" but bit at Sirius' "come back" promo after the trial period ended. Really annoyed me that the billing systems are seperate and I must pay full price for my Sirius sub when they are now "one company". I always assumed this was calculated move so they would receive additional revenue from people in my situation that really can't deal with regular radio. I'll be a happy camper if I can add my Sirius sub to my XM account, finally a realized benefit from this sanctioned monopoly. Also interesting that they are moving people from rented space in NYC to owned space in DC.

they don't use cds. the music library is converted and encoded from cds or albums and stored in a room full of servers. they use a computer to cue up the songs to play and its all automated. which makes it easy for the Sirius host/djs to record their show in 15 minutes and be dropped in between the songs.
the skips are probably satellite signal glitches. I'm sure one of the techy geeks can provide a better answer.

gotta love technology!!! :)

are they going to bring back MORE music channels on the 15th? with the ACDC channel going away, what other new/merged channels are there going to be?

Jon,
I assure you they are not playing "cd's" does anyone use cd's anymore?

@ Jon, no they don't play CD's. At least not 99% of the time...

Cinemagic is returning to the Sirius side in late January or February according to Cinemagic's program director. So don't worry. I have XM and got XM exclusively for Cinemagic, which in my opinion is the most unique channel out there. I'm counting my blessings that Cinemagic survived the merger. This change does not affect the XM side where Cinemagic is still on XM 76.

I am noticing something. Like I said, I have been aroound for a while and in the past month I have heard a least four songs "skip". Has no one else noticed this at all.

> Has anybody noticed a lot of skips on the CD's
> lately. I assume it's CD's that they play.

Sirius XM does not play CDs. Everything is played from a digital audio retrieval system.

" ... there's no point having two sets of left-wing and right-wing political talk channels afterall."

Heaven forbid that we have more than one choice from each camp, after all you've heard one lefty/righty you've heard them all, right? This dumbification of the satrad channels is killing the product's appeal to me. Got my bill for 4 radios yesterday and I have to admit I'm going to cancel at least some of them. Too much money for too little appeal.

@Jon: I noticed some intermittent dropouts shortly after the channel merger, but I haven't heard any in a few weeks.

They are most likely glitches caused by the fact that XM is broadcasting content from Sirius, and vice-versa. Considering all the complexities involved in making the two completely different systems talk to each other, it's pretty much inevitable that some bugs will need to be worked out. In fact I'm impressed that it went as well as it did.

Those skips are definitely not antenna glitches because they can be heard at the same point in the music on both XM and Sirius equivalent channels. They're especially bad today, but have been a problem since the channels merged.

Will they be the same? Using the same channel numbers? Maybe? Forgive me if I don't hold my breath...

That would be Fungus. This merger is looking like crap more and more each day.

Broadcasters haven't used CDs for years - it's all digital. I think they just hook up an Ipod or something - just kidding!

For the record Pop2k isn't really an equivilant to Sirius Hits 1. Pop2k's play list is a wider than SH1's. Sirius Hit's 1 plays current top 40. Pop2k plays Top 40 from 2000 - 2009. What doesn't make sense to me is that that they put it on Sirius only to take it back off. Nobody likes a tease!

I like AC/DC and I even liked the AC/DC radio for a little while but it's getting old. It's time for Boneyard!

So, Sirius finally gets a movie score channel after several years of telephone and email requests...

The day Cinemagic is added to the channel lineup it's taken over by a Christmas channel for 6+ weeks. New Year's day finally arrives and I'm thoroughly enjoying it over the 128 Kbps Internet stream. I even go as far as making it my #1 preset and tell friends and family to check it out.

Two days later it's playing a continuous loop of disco music telling me "The Strobe" is making a return on 1/15. In usual Sirius fashion they pull a complete 180 and equally piss off just as many customers as they attempt to please.

Makes sense that the different left and right political channels would be merged...I expected this to happen already. The XM channels are heavily dependent on syndicated material and the Sirius ones have more originals. I'd suspect that the entire XM lineups would be dropped, except for Sean Hannity.

The trucker channels will probably also be be merged, now that the Midnight Trucking radio network has gone away.

I suspect that the BBC feed that XM gets will be the news-only feed that Sirius gets. When there are two different channels, I always expect the Sirius version to be kept now.

I wonder what will become of the Clear Channel-programmed XM-only talk channels. It would be nice to get those on Sirius, though CC apparently had to sue XM just to get them on there...so I'm not holding my breath.

I am a talk/news radio listner and I wonder what they are going slash out of my favorites. I am a radio left listner and I do not like that Air America has been overrun with Serius crap like Stephanie Miller. I hope that Lynn Samules dosent make the cut. Has anyone any scoop on what lies ahead for new/talk
Thanks.

speaking of glitches...did anyone notice glitches on sirius 197 the virus...dont know if the xm side is havin the issue as well!...but sirius 197 has glitches almost 1-2 hr....

I miss Ethel and Fred...Alt Nation and First Wave blow...

Yes, there are brief blips, pauses and hiccups happening consistently in the music and long-form shows, a pox that started after the operations merged. This is a new phenomenon in XM's history and it's very obvious and irritating.

As f'd as that is, it gets worse: songs are jumping into unrelated channels. I heard this last night on Area:

010709 03:54 Bonnie Raitt "I Thank You"
010709 03:57 Squeeze "Take Me I'm Yours"

Neither are dance or electronic music last I checked.

QC (besides bitrate and SQ issues) is clearly slipping on the tech side.

Sirius subscribers. I just noted a few posts above that there is no need to worry. Cinemagic is coming back to the Sirius side in late January or February.

Don't know why they did it this way giving you guys a taste and then pulling it just to put it back on later. Very strange.

All you XMers who like Cinemagic, I too am happy it is back. However, I really miss the dialog tracks.

For the Sirius folks who may not know, each score segment used to have various clips of dialog inserted into the segments. It was really cool, in my opinion, and truly made Cinemagic unique. Apparently, the new Sirius management team made DaveZ, the program director, remove the clips. (an example of how Cinemagic used to sound can be heard during the 8:00 AM program called The Screening Room). For some reason, Dave is allowed to play clips during that program but not the regular segments. Anyway, the Screening Room segments give you an idea of how the entire channel sounded before the Christmas break.

There are many of us who want the dialog clips to return. A number of people have e-mailed Dave asking for their return and Dave has answered a few (well at least he answered mine) and said he wants the clips back as well. He said that if anyone wants to hear the dialog clips again to send him an e-mail so can show management the listeners want them back.

So, if and only if you like to hear the dialog clips during the music segments, please shoot Dave an email at cinemagic@xmradio.com and let him know. Thanks. And sorry for the long post.

// Cinemagic is returning to the Sirius side in late January or February according to Cinemagic's program director. //

Thank goodness (if that comes to pass).

I heard from a source that these changes will happen on the 12th and 17th, hopefully they are for the good.

Wish they would bring back the punk Channel... Faction's awful and Jason Ellis is an absolute moron.

I wish that Virus channel was tossed in the scrap heap and a REAL BTLS was in place...

Satellite Radio is dead to me.

On the Sirius side, does anyone know what will happen to Pop2K? It's a great channel for all the hits from this decade, and Hits 1 only goes back a couple years. It'll be a shame if that one goes away after being added on the Sirius side in November.

Where's Fine Tuning. Am I the only one patiently waiting for "the music of all genres."

i wish they replace bubba the cumdumpster and his staff of unfunnies with a 4 hour block of dead air!

i wish they replace bubba the cumdumpster and his staff of unfunnies with a 4 hour block of dead air!

Mel and Gary ruined the best radio there ever was, XM.

Boardroom Jimmy

Looking to consolidate? Why do we need endless channels of 'humor' aimed at adolescent-minded boys? Bring back interesting channels like Ngoma and SpecialX!

Agreed on Jason Ellis... At least he's not on Octane anymore. I couldn't even listen to Octane on my drive in because of him.

yes indeed! why so many comedy channels....
2 (clean and dirty!) would do!

I would love to see a 24/7 "party city" style format. Great variety of music!!

I wish The Beat would come back to channel 36. We are getting The Beat morning show, but I can't deal with just 6 hours of the best music programming. I hate, hate hate bpm. Its a terrible dance channel. Hate you mel and jon zellner for taking The Beat off.

No, George, you are not the only one waiting for Fine Tuning to come back! I hope the powers that be cut out some of the extraneous stuff and bring that channel back -- there was nothing like anywhere on the XM dial!

==QUOTE Mrwirez | January 7, 2009 6:14 PM==
I wish that Virus channel was tossed in the scrap heap and a REAL BTLS was in place...
==END QUOTE==

And that's why you're not a SXM programmer. This doesn't even make any SENSE as Bubba only wants to do 1 show a day, and that show is on FM, and the staff on the Virus channel has nothing to do with that.

==QUOTE Mike | January 8, 2009 11:42 AM==
Hate you mel and jon zellner for taking The Beat off.
==END QUOTE==

Reads this line again and again and laughs every time! :P

In all seriousness, SXM did a huge compromise with this channel and it's now not like The Beat OR BPM. I base this on XM people saying it's too much like The Beat, and you saying it's too much like BPM. :)

if when the merged left channel features thomm hartmann (live and 3 hours), stephanie miller (live and 3 hours), randi rhodes (live and 3 hours) and mike malloy (live and 3 hours) and none of lynn samuels or alex bennett i'll be cool with that.

while i lean left politically i cannot listen to that channel because of essentially bennett, samuels, no live hartmann and barely any miller and no rhodes at all. that is one of the poorest programmed talk stations in all of satellite radio pre and post merger.

yes, someone find the X Country studio and flip the switch on. Then throw the autopilot switch.

Instant improvement of channel 12,63.

2 months and stale Outhouse Country is starting to smell like one.

At least the phone lines/ request lines should work there as we were promised Rogue Calls coming back, but NY has yet to get their phone lines figured out to take calls.

Agreed. Guess there's a reason we picked the same name.

Whichever one is cheaper, I'd imagine.

I agree as well as all my friends who were XM subscribers. AltNation & 1st Wave are too repetitive & watered down with crap! When there is nothing to listen to & I have to dig for my ipod or pop in a CD! It's BAD!

I can't believe SiriusXM will replace an artsy channel like Cinemagic with a lame Disco channel. Cinemagic is like PBS & NPR. It's classic & educational. There's plenty of rock & techno/disco channels in the lineup. But, there's no replacement for the quality content of Cinemagic. it's like watching a movie without video. my wife & i were so happy to know it was coming to sirius since my leased vehicle a few years ago came with XM & we became hooked. Once i turned in the lease, we changed to Sirius. What a tease to give us Cinemagic for a short time before ripping it away from us! Please bring back Cinemagic!!!!

Fine Tuning was the best. Why is it gone? Won't the "music Managers" of Sirius/XM pay attention to what the old XM listeners and their own ears hear? Fine Tuning was absolutely the greatest - all genres, like going through your own music library and hearing new ones selected by Ben Smith. Where are you?