Home Urban/M - Urban/AC Sirius XM’s Fate at Stake in a Radio Cliffhanger – NYTimes.com

Sirius XM’s Fate at Stake in a Radio Cliffhanger – NYTimes.com

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Mel Karmazin, the irrepressible chief executive of , worked his phone all last week from his corner office on the 37th floor of the McGraw-Hill building, just above Howard Stern’s studio. “Get John Malone on the line,” he shouted to his assistant. Ten minutes later, he was calling “Charlie” — as in Charles W. Ergen of EchoStar Communications, the owner of Dish Network.

John Malone, who was at the Allen & Company media conference last July in Idaho, has had talks about a XM deal.

“We gotta find a way to make this work,” he would say to just about anybody who would listen to him.

Mr. Karmazin, a born salesman, wasn’t just jabbering — he was battling to prevent bankruptcy at Sirius XM, the satellite radio giant he had fought to create by merging Sirius and XM Radio less than a year ago.

Mr. Ergen, his longtime nemesis, had cleverly bought up $175 million of Sirius XM’s debt, knowing full well that Mr. Karmazin couldn’t afford the payments, so he could turn around and try to take control of the company.

DealBook Column – Sirius XM’s Fate at Stake in a Radio Cliffhanger – NYTimes.com.



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