By Brandon Matthews
Wednesday night, Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) CEO Mel Karmazin appeared on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS. The extensive interview began with a recap of the merger process and Liberty Media’s (NASDAQ:LCAPA) rescue of Sirius XM earlier last year. Some discussion ensued in which Karmazin was able to detail the nearly $1 billion swing to profitability the company realized in 2009 from merger synergies.
Karmazin and Rose then began a discussion of the history of radio and other media companies. He detailed his belief in the necessity that great content drives growth. Karmazin sees little growth potential in traditional media and explained that advertising based media is having a problem monetizing its content.
Much of the interview turned into a commercial for the content available on Sirius XM Radio, such as the NFL and Howard Stern. In fact, the recent television ad was discussed and aired live on the show. Focusing on Stern, Mel stated that Howard is a “great partner” while explaining that negotiations have not begun and that Stern’s contract does not expire for another year. Karmazin called Stern “the single-most influential, most successful radio personality in the history of radio.”
Karmazin made a point that Sirius XM will seek to continue its partnership with Howard Stern. He explained that Stern is able to provide 4 to 5 hours a day of live content that is funny and entertaining, compared to comedians who are barely able to put together a single one hour piece.
To view the entire interview, including discussion of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, click the photo above.
Position: Long SIRI