Rumor: Sirius XM combined lineup to be delayed - Orbitcast

Rumor: Sirius XM combined lineup to be delayed

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Sirius XM Radio

The combined music offering by Sirius XM Radio Inc. is expected to be delayed by nearly two weeks, according to anonymous sources.

The new channel lineup, originally rumored for a November 5th release date, is said to include 50 music channels resulting from the combined resources of both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. It is unclear which channels will "survive" from either service.

Sirius XM Radio's combined lineup is now said to be scheduled for a November 14th launch date, the sources told Orbitcast. The full changeover of the channels will occur over that weekend, between Friday (11/14) and Monday (11/17).

This news comes on the heals of an additional - but small - round of layoffs of on-air staff (reportedly including XM Flight 26's jock "PJ" UPDATE: PJ is still employed at Sirius XM - my deepest apologies) and off-air staff yesterday.

63 Comments

It appears that it's not so much a merging of programming as it is Sirius just dumping XM channels in favor of their own channels.

I do not know when it happened but it looks like the Flight 26 myspace page is all but deactivated. Here it comes (BIG SHOCKER) Flight 26 will be replaced by Sirius Hits 1. Which means that it will be hard to find a good pop station because all Hits 1 plays is rap. And for anyone out there who wants to call me out for my criticism of Hits 1, I have listened to it many times as I have it on Dish Network(Gotta love living in the middle of a cornfield) and 99% of the time when I have it on the fair majority of the music is rap and that is just absolutely ridiculous, put that crap on its own station.

You know... I loved having Sirius and I love having XM. But, I'm not really happy about LOSING XM Channels in place of Sirius.

The one thing I always loved about XM was the depth of the playlists. Sirius was NEVER deep, BUT very dependable...

Losing flight 26 over Sirius hits 1 IS NOT an equal tradeoff. SH1 sucks. Too much rap crap. If I want to listen to rap or crappy pop, I'd listen to the Hip hop stations. Ugh.

And while I'm on my stupid soapbox that will NEVER be heard by Sirius XM.... What is this 50 music channel crap? There's what? 60 on Sirius and 70 on XM? THAT IS WHAT I'm PAYING FOR. My month bill BETTER GO DOWN if your removing music channels!!!!!

Ok, off box... Sadly... Off box....

I agree with the poster ( Rob ) above . I think it will all be Sirius's music channels , and I can't see that they (Sirius ) would cut their own channels from the supposed new line-up . I don't know either , what this 50 channel line-up stuff is .

can you say titanic?

They dillute our shares by 67 million, tell us car radios won't support the entire xm/sirius service for 15 years, and now this.

Are they trying to crash and burn?

I knew Mel was a genius, but I didnt realize how evil his plan was...

You are kitting about SH1, right? I _HATE_ RAP and actually like SH1. They do have it, but it's nowhere as bad as 20 on 20 or anything like that.

If anything, it's good - for me, Sirius has better music than XM anyway (I have both)and it will be nice to actually listen to music I know when I'm in the wife's car which has XM.

No way Sirius Hits 1 is replacing Flight 26. They aren't even the same type of station. It might take out either (or both) of Hitlist and/or 20 On 20, though, as a top-40-for-top-40 takeout.

Flight 26 is a female-leaning modern-rock/AAA hybrid that has no close analogue on the Sirius side. (Yes, there's Spectrum, but that skews a) heavily male and b) heavily AAA, hold the modern-rock please.) It's also among the most popular stations on XM. (XM For Business customers seem to like it, as well; aside from Lucy, it's the only XMFB channel I ever hear playing at bars and restaurants.) It's not going anywhere, except onto Sirius systems.

MEL has to go enough said

Agreed. Flight 26 is a top-rated XM channel. I consider it actually a lot more of a Hot AC format than modern rock/AAA, and it's as close to FM-on-satellite as you get on XM, which is right up Sirius's alley. I say Flight 26 stays.

But here's what's hard to figure. Mel goes and talks to carmakers about interoperable radios -- why? Why would you bother putting radios in cars to get both Sirius and XM when the services are going to have the same stuff. I say it's more likely they'll eventually dump one platform (probably Sirius) and keep one. Similarly, what is the value of a la carte when both services will be the same?

Sirius Hits 1 can't replace Flight 26... it just isn't the right format to replace the other. If anything The Pulse might push Flight 26 away and becoming the Hot AC of satellite radio while all the 90s hits non-AC hits from The Pulse will move to the 90s channel.

I predict the pop channels to be this:
SiriusXM Hits 1 - Top 40/CHR
The Pulse - Hot AC
The Heat - Rhythmic Top 40
Hit List - modern hits (2000s to today)

Here is my take. If I wanted the crappy channels Sirius had. I'd have kept my Sirius Sub. I dumped Sirius within months of subscribing. Sirius customers may be happy, but XM customer will not!

SIRI issued another 67 million shares. Keep on watering down the dog shit koolaid

save the 60s on 6 :)

Does everyone seem to think that just because Channel A on XM and Channel B on Sirius are similar...and they axe A, that B won't pick up some additions to their playlist?

That would be the smart thing - emphasise a synergy of playlists. It seems to me that would keep people happy.

For those of you that only listen in your car, of course you'll be happy with the shallow repetitive playlists on Sirius. Some of us don't listne in our cars, and listen several hours a day. The repetition on Sirius is going to drive subscribers away if they just adopt the Sirius way of doing things completely. How this all is good for the consumer I don't know.

I see what is going on here, they will slowly dump XM channels and replace them with SIRIUS channels, then try to convince you that you are getting more value while they slowly nickle and dime you to death. This is a complete disaster in the making. XM programming was better where as with SIRIUS you could almost set you're clock the the repetitive crap on SIRIUS. I see ads on music channels making a comeback. This company has been ran right into the ground by incompetence and it is sad. I haven't bailed yet as I want to see how bad it will really get, like watching a plane crash.

I'm sure that's how it's going to be spun -- "we're 'blending' or 'merging' two channels, not replacing one with the other." I agree that it'd be the way to go, but will they actually do it? Sirius has always had a strong "hits" emphasis. Yet, despite the fact that Sirius listenership is heavily biased toward Howard Stern, and even with his big draw, Sirius still garners far fewer aggregate hours of listening than XM does.

So the numbers suggest XM's music philosophy is more pleasing to satellite radio listeners as a whole than Sirius's. The right decision given this would be to merge the channels so they more resemble the current offerings of XM than those of Sirius. To do other than this is to make a risky bet that the Sirius philosophy always was better, but people just did not recognize it for some external reason, and once they see the light they'll be delighted.

So, what does all this mean for the so-called "interoperative" receiver?

But what good is an interoperative receiver do if you have 50 duplicated music channels, plus FNC, CNN*2, TWC, FNT, CNBC, Bloomberg, and lots of traffic & weather channels -- all duplicated?

So, what does an interoperable receiver get you? NFL and MLB, and that's about it?

It will be interesting to see if they deliver on that 1 year commitment...

the axe is about to fall @ sirius

OK I saw this one coming. Those people out there that would mention 20 on 20. That station is marketed has a listener choice station and that would qualify it as a variety station. As for SH1 it is marketed as a AC/pop station, It is not considered to be a rap station to the common person, but yet they seem to play ALOT of it. Now I just threw all of this out there, I think that there will have to be some MAJOR MAJOR change to the company for this to survive. There is SOOOO much discontent among everyone and the potential of this company is ASTRONOMICAL!! I bet we see a buyout of the company and personally, I think it is the best thing that could happen at this point. Could someone please just buyout this failing corporation and get some people in there that are new to the situation and can make a company run PLUS, can satisfy the customers!

If this is true. On Mel part, this will be bad business, to change a format and try a Sirius disc jockey on xm. People were use to xm. Mel, I hope you red these angry letters. You would have more revenue, if Howard Stern either retire or just void his contract. I would listen to commercial free no D.J. ON AIR, over a idit Howard Stern.

Amen to that. Blame Sirius and xm for forking big bucks out on Howard Stern and Oppie and Anthony. Put, both companies into the red as business. Both xm and sirius be alright, if Ted Steven got his bill out sooner, over radio indecency. Or if congress can act know, to halt any further merger. Write to your local legislater. They must listen.

OK... Some like XM .. some like Sirius.. got that, Some like the axed channels, Many XM subs are upset. Many HATE the Sirius play lists.

Bottom line right now... the ship must be righted. From the standpoint of the CEO... AXE everything.. trim everything and make a friggin profit.

Now from a guessers stand point, We know XM has a better Codec and if some channels are removed the sound quality can increase. what if the XM platform was planned on being a high end music service where the Sirius platform is more for the pop and top 40 crap , the sort of stuff that Non Audio files would listen to.

Now from an XM subscribers stand point... I AM NOT RENEWING MY SUBSCRIPTION.. hello slacker.

GO TO HELL MEL!

You would think that Mel would see the comments from XM subscribers and how passionate they are about their favorite channels. The number of Sirius subscribers who even come here and even defend the programming on Sirius are miniscule. How does he benefit by pissing off all these subscribers?

Does he think that we are all rubes and will just go along with whatever he wants? What a shmuck!

Does anyone know the fate of XM 73 (High Standards), XM 28 (On Bdway) and the DJs on XM 6? Thanks.

I don't listen to SH1 much. But when I do, I hardly hear any rap, just this emo-wannabe-faux-rock. I'd actually listen to it more if it did play more rap. At least it's not as pretentious as that faux rock crap.

There is only one channel that is safe......remember Mel's favorite channel is CNBC.

This is so sad.

It's a little like after a natural disaster when people ask, "Has anyone heard whether the houses are still standing in my neighborhood?"

I think at this point anyone who says he/she knows the fate of these channels is just repeating rumors. XM's decades channels have the "period" sound that makes them distinctive - I'd hope this would be kept.

With regard to 20 on 20: As a "hits" channel, that one will play more different types of music than something like a Flight 26, as you get songs from various genres (urban, country, modern rock, etc.) that do hit the charts.


These better survive !!!

Sirius - Margaritaville, Disorder

XM The Loft better

yes, by all means in 2009 we must keep the black music on it's own separate channel! Why not just chant "Segregation now!"
Hits 1 doesn't only play rap, although it would be justified to do so as rap music is one of the most "hit-filled" genres in current music.

shade 45 on channel 69 on xm ?

Actually SH1 is just like 20 on 20. The reason it plays rap retards is because rap is popular reguardless if you like it or not. I don't see SH1 replacing that channel though it would be more than likely the Pulse.

Maybe the plan all along was to unveil on 11/5, and implement on 11/14, so both date rumors could possibly be true.

I pray the info on Flight 26 getting dumped is wrong. It's one of the channels I like. And if what I read about Sirius Hits 1 is true, then it is more compared to Hitlist & 20 on 20 (like someone said).

And what the hell is this about going DOWN in music channels. I expect their to be synergies of similar channels, but aren't their MORE music channels on each platform now?

Come to think of it, what do I really care. I'll only be interested in 20 music channels probably, and that's not really my main draw anyway.

As long as I have channels with playlists like Squizz, Octane, Flight 26, AC/DC radio (as long as it lasts), Ethel, Lucy, Big Tracks, and the like, I'll be happy.

Yet, despite the fact that Sirius listenership is heavily biased toward Howard Stern, and even with his big draw, Sirius still garners far fewer aggregate hours of listening than XM does.
I get the distinct impression that Sirius is going to push their focus toward the Talk/Sports/News audience, and that whatever music channels left, if any, are merely an afterthought.

Or, more honestly, there only to keep the FCC and other regulators happy.

Longer-term, though, Sirius has probably lost the music-listening market to iPods, Slacker, BitTorrent, streaming Internet radio, etc. and I expect their future programming decisions to reflect this.

Strong rumor is XM 50 The Loft is staying. Other rumor: Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" will move to The Loft.

On the plus side, with talk, the company could sell advertising on most of the news/talk/sports channels and and use high amounts of audio compression, both of which they'd like.

But if you take Stern out of the equation, the ratings of many music channels exceed even the most popular talk channels, such as ESPN Radio, that a move to most- or all-talk would seem to make little sense. Plus, what do you put on more talk channels? As it is now, most of the talk listening goes to network stuff available elsewhere -- the special-interest talk does not command large audiences. So I am not sure how you run a satellite radio service where you're charging people a monthly fee to provide them with the same stuff they can get on the local AM station -- complete with the commercials.

just keep squizz and ethel i love the music on XM

The way I hear it, it is essentially XM's channels getting dumped in favor of Sirius. It appears to be the easy way out; centralizing control in New York, keeping control of the channels and their content, and keeping control of the air talent. Oh yes, and need I mention controlling the costs?

Is this cutdown in order to make refinancing the huge debt easier next year? Or is this terrestrial radio's method of destroying satellite radio from within to save itself?

That's definitely what the rumor mill is saying (dump XM channels in favor of Sirius), but I'd be surprised if it wound up being quite that bad. Keeping some variation between the two would seem the best business strategy because you still have two brand identities, so why not use this to appeal to different kinds of listeners and broaden the company's overall appeal? With today's technology it does not have to be all that costly to offer two variations of similar channels tweaked to appeal to different listeners, with different names, different playlists and a different "feel."

In response to your last question, I think they believe their costs for some of these channels are excessive in comparison to the number of listeners being served. While I love the niche channels and believe the must continue (such as my favorite, X Country), you probably cannot spend as much money on them as they have been doing. The formulas for these channels have been laid out, so possibly they believe some of the high-cost people can be let go without having the channel itself go by the wayside. I hope that's the case, anyway.

As a former XM shareholder, I just want to take this opportunity to thank Gary Parsons.

As of today, each [former] share of XMSR was worth $1.43.

You really helped XM shareholders with this merger, Gary.

I mean, really. Do you NOT think you could have kept XM above $2?

Personally, I have had both and I prefer XM to Sirius by a longshot for music. I do like SH1 and think that could replace The Hit List. I hope Flight 26 stays, as I really enjoy that station for at-work listening. That and 22 are probably my favorites. My favorite Sirius channel, Sirius Shuffle, was recently scrapped in favor of a 2nd year of Springsteen. The only talk I listen to is ESPN Radio, which both services currently have. MLB Radio is also a must for me and I was annoyed that it's the only sport not featured in the "Best of XM" package.

My favorite features on XM are the annual "It"; which, to my dismay, has yet to air or be scheduled to air in 2008 - I hope this is not a casualty of the merger. I also enjoy listening to the Casey Kasem replays on 7 & 8, and I hope they are retained. I wouldn't mind the original MTV VJ's being retained for the 80's station, so long as the XM variety, including their forgotten oldies, is maintained. I also like having 5 different options for Christmas music during the holiday season.

The only reason I have Sirius is it came with a free year in my car. I have been an XM subscriber since 4 months after launch and recently my Delphi boombox died. I am waiting to see what happens with this merger to see what I will replace it with or, based on what I'm reading here, IF I'll replace it.

Personally, I'm looking at buying an XMP3... but not if XM's about to get gutted.

I don't listen to a lot of channels: I channel-surf the news stations on the way home, and I have 6 music stations in my favorites. What this means, though, is that the stations I *do* listen to are that much more critical for me.

I don't think I'll join the "Slacker, here I come" bandwagon, but I might well cut back to a cheaper sub, drop my family plan radios, and use the difference to fund more iTunes purchases.

I have 3 XM radios' 2 in the car and 1 in the home. the reason I have XM is because there are no commercials, all music. If want talk radio, I can listen to over the air radio for that is all that seems to be on lately. I loved the XM music lineup, especially Soul St, Groove, and Suite 62, but I will cancel my service if I start hearing repetive music, lack of variety, and commericals. Please listen to us Sirius/XM Mgmt.

Tony:
I have two cars, each with XM. I have an XM walkman and two XMs on my home. I agree with you 100 percent. Please listen to us, Sirius/XM management. I love Jonathan Schwartz (XM 73) as well as Plash Plelps on XM6 and Mike Marrone on XM 50. Lose those and they lose me. I don't need to have a satellite radios to listen to a version of WCBS-FM where the same songs are played over and over. The deep selections are what make XM unique.

When I first subscibed to Sirius in 2005 I was disapointed in the same songs being played over and over on the 60s station. and no personality's. i kept it because Howard Stern was coming in a year.and I liked the Mtv 80s, and the vj's. I Went to the store and listened to XM 60's. I said I have to get xm because of all of the music. they played everything. and the Dj's and reverb. 70's had Bobby Ocean. I was upset when they let him go. I still had the 60's so i was happy. if anything changes on XM 60'S I will cancel my 4 xm subsciptions and my sirius subscription. and that is a promise! i will not pay a monthly fee for an i-pod. the dj's go i go.

I just hope that XM Radio keeps FRED ON 44 and doesn't drop it in favor of the very repetive Sirius FIRST WAVE.

I have both sirius and xm and my favorite channel is classic vinyl and when i had xm for the first time i did not like top tracks the equal to classic vinyl on sirius.In the past few weeks it seems like classic vinyl playlist is just like top tracks now it seems like the ex music program director of xm who is now head of the new siriusxm music is making sirius music channels sound more like xm channels don't give up you xm music lovers it seems like the new music channels will sound more like the old xm than the old sirius channels

I've had xm for years! and sirius for 2. I like xm music library better. When they straighten this mess out it will be nice to have the nfl and mlb and Howard Stern on all my sat radios.
I hope they keep channel 25 on sirius. The underground garage. Very different channel if you have never listened.

Sirius showed a definite lack of class when they let all the XM personalities go. They did'nt even let these people know that this was coming. There's no way that they have another soul station that can compete with Soul Street.
I don't see how I can keep my subscription and stay with Sirius. Their programs just don't compare with what they let go.

Hmmm ... as customers that PAY for our XM Radio services, you think maybe Mel & Company would've sent out a survey/questionnaire to ask US what channels and personalities should stay or go. Typical broadcasters mentality: "F*** 'em. We're the only satradio company now. Ha ha!" Same attitude is what killed AM and now FM.

Absolutely true - what we are seeing from this new company appears to be the same contempt for listeners that is shown by traditional broadcasters. The only difference is, advertisers are the customers of terrestrial stations, not the listeners, so while they're approach is offensive, it's understandable.

With satellite radio, listeners are the customers, and these paying customers do not have to keep paying for whatever crap you dictate they're going to have.

They better keep beyond jazz...I listen to it everyday and love it!

They better keep beyond jazz...I listen to it everyday and love it!

I opted for XM due its better presentation of music format -- deeper catalogue, better speciality programming, etc. If the new channels just play the hits, I'm gone. Already, XM has laid off Matt The Cat, Country Dan Dixon and others. These are the ones that draw listeners to the service. The absence of the Eddie Stubbs repeats and Opry encores would have a negative impact on the subscriber base.

Demian- You must not have heard that according to Michelle and Russ, Beyond Jazz, one of the , if not the BEST channel on XM, has been killed as of 11/14!!! This channel is so outstanding in content, diversity, and true real interesting music, that it is sad that only Mainstream dumbed down commercial music is going to be left. Please express some outrage over this since you are here more than I am.

Sincerely,

SteveXM

Personally, I'd love to see "The Boneyard" killed off for Sirius' "Buzzsaw" (yet somehow would love to see Sirius XM retain Eddie Trunk in some capacity). Obscure is OK, but not what I seek on my hard rock channel.

What will become of XM channels (more or less talk/health oriented) 155, 157, 158?

Will they be available to Sirius subscribers?

As a 5-year subscriber to XM, I have decided to give the service a serious listen through this weekend and then make a decision about cancelling my subs. Most of my favorite XM stations have been yanked, having been replaced by (what I've heard are not as good) Sirius channels. I believe, like another poster here, that Sirius simply wanted to dump XM channels in favor of their own. How'd Sirius get the upper hand in this deal anyway? Oh, well, off to give the new iPod Touch a better look...

And they wonder why we want to see the CEO's burn . . . R.I.P. Boombox

The dumped Disorder, which was the only station I really liked on Sirius ... replaced it with the Loft, which is not even close to the quality of Disorder ... what a bunch idiots. The merger is a disaster for both XM and Sirius subscribers

I have had sirius and xm since they came out I think I am on my third receiver for xm and fourth for sirius. Each service had its benefits but since the new line up I have my own library of music on mp3 and cd with the personalities on xm and the requests on select channels of xm gone there is no need in having either service.
After looking at all the remarks of other unhappy subscribers, on about 30 different sights and talking with people over the past 2 days, this sirius merger might be there own demise. So Mel better act fast to save his sinking ship or it will be sunk.

Lets face it, they have us right where they want us. "O you dont like our service anymore, well good luck finding another sat. radio company!" IF I WANTED SIRIUS CHANNELS, I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT SIRIUS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! HOW COULD THE FCC LET THIS HAPPEN!!!