Just in from Outer Space

Turning for a moment to the now super-hot realm of satellite radio, the NY Post and a few other places yesterday reported word that Florida Avenue-based XM Satellite Radio and its (one) competitor Sirius are in talks for a merger. Or, at least it’s possible. The talks, which have occurred from time to time, are being taken to a new level with the hiring by Sirius of former Viacom prez Mel Karmazin. As one source told the NY Post: “Mel is a roll-up guy, a deal guy.”

The NY Post explains that a merger between the as-yet-unprofitable networks would help alleviate widespread fears of “irrational” price wars and large marketing budgets.

Meanwhile as the dominant XM network launches two new satellites, the NY Daily News today is reporting that Karmazin also has plans to leverage Howard Stern, whom the network signed to a $500 million deal last fall, and grow aggressively the network’s advertising revenue, which currently accounts for only about $1 million out of $67 million in revenues.

(The NYDN story also updates with a quote from Karmazin denying any merger talks.)

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The Daily News today also noted that Sirius will be launching its new Maxim Radio channel this weekend during the Super Bowl. Now is it just us or would Maxim be much less interesting without the pictures?