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Thread: Letter to FCC, Congressman Rush

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  1. #1
    Newman is offline
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    Thumbs up Letter to FCC, Congressman Rush

    To Whom It May Concern:

    There has been a lot of talk lately regarding Minority Ownership in conjunction with the Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Radio (“The Companies”) merger. Not surprisingly, the large majority of this discussion is coming from African American Congressmen and businessmen.
    My question to you is “Why?” The Companies currently have one of, if not the most, diverse programming lineups available to be heard on one service (if the merger is approved). It would be difficult to find anything comparable, even if you include cable and/or satellite TV. All you have to do is pick what you want to listen to, and you have it.
    African American Programming
    Sirius Channel 106 – The Foxxhole – Comedy and more presented by Jamie Foxx
    Sirius Channel 43 – Backspin – Old Skool Rap
    Sirius Channel 71 – Jazz Café – Smooth Jazz
    Sirius Channel 72 – Pure Jazz – Classic Jazz
    Sirius Channel 73 – Spa 73 – New Age Jazz
    Sirius Channel 74 – SIRIUS Blues – Jazz/Blues
    XM Channel 70 – Real Jazz – Traditional Jazz
    XM Channel 71 – Watercolors – Contemporary/Smooth Jazz
    XM Channel 72 – Beyond Jazz – Modern Jazz
    XM Channel 73 – High Standards – American Standards
    XM Channel 74 – Bluesville – Blues
    XM Channel 101 – The Joint – Reggae
    XM Channel 169 – The Power – African American Talk
    Hispanic/Latino Programming
    Sirius Channel 90 – Universo Latino – Latin Pop Mix
    Sirius Channel 92 – Bumbon – Reggaeton/Tropical
    Sirius Channel 181 – ESPN Deportes – Spanish broadcast of ESPN
    Sirius Channel 182 – CNN En Espanol – CNN in Spanish
    XM Channel 91 – Viva – Latin Pop Hits
    XM Channel 92 – Aquila – Regional Mexican
    XM Channel 93 – Caricia – Spanish Oldies
    XM Channel 94 – Caliente – Tropical
    XM Channel 102 – Sur La Route – Spanish Pop Hits
    XM Channel 126 – CNN en Espanol – CNN in Spanish
    XM Channel 147 – XM Deportivo – Spanish Sports Talk
    Other Nationality Programming
    Sirius Channel 11 – BBC Radio 1 – New Music from the U.K.
    Sirius Channel 93 – Bande a part – New French-language Music
    Sirius Channel 94 – CBC Radio 3 – Canadian Indie Music
    Sirius Channel 95 – Iceberg Radio – Canadian Adult Alternative Music
    Sirius Channel 138 – Premiere Plus – Canadian Current Affairs
    Sirius Channel183 – The Korean Channel – Korean Language Radio
    Sirius Channel 185 – Canadian Weather Network – Canadian Weather
    Sirius Channel 187 – Sports Extra – Sports radio French Language
    Sirius Channel 188 – RCI Plus – International Talk French Language
    XM Channel 131 – BBC World Service
    XM Channel 159 – ATN – Asian Radio
    XM Channel 244 – Canada 360 – News and Information
    XM Channel 245 – Quoi de Neuf – News and Information
    Religious Programming
    Sirius Channel 66 – The Spirit – Christian music
    Sirius Channel 67 – Praise – Gospel Music
    Sirius Channel 159 – The Catholic Channel
    Sirius Channel 160 – EWTN Global Catholic Network
    Sirius Channel 161 – FamilyNet Radio – Christian Talk
    XM Channel 32 – The Message – Christian Pop and Rock
    XM Channel 33 – Spirit – Gospel
    XM Channel 34 – enlighten – Southern Gospel
    XM Channel 170 – Family Talk – Christian Talk
    Political Programming
    Sirius Channel 144 – SIRIUS Patriot – Conservative values
    Sirius Channel 146 – SIRIUS Left – Liberal talk
    XM Channel 130 – POTUS ’08 – Unbiased Presidential Campaign Coverage
    XM Channel 166 – America Right – Conservative Talk
    XM Channel 167 – Progressive Talk
    In addition to regularly scheduled programming, The Companies both have regular specials dedicated to diversity. Simply looking at recent press releases will show you this.
    Sirius & XM Press Releases
    SIRIUS Satellite Radio Signs Mark Thompson, Trailblazing African-American Political
    Talk Host and Human Rights Leader to host a daily 3-hour show.
    SIRIUS Satellite Radio To Honor Black Music Month With Dedicated Programming
    SIRIUS Satellite Radio To broadcast Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Live
    SIRIUS Satellite Radio To Observe martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Special talk and
    Music Programming
    SIRIUS Satellite Radio Celebrates Black History Month
    Talk Radio Star Joe Madison “The Black Eagle” Joins XM Satellite Radio
    XM’s ‘The Power,’ The Only National African-American Talk Radio Channel, Expands
    Lineup With New Shows
    39th Annual Dove Awards To Broadcast Live On XM April 23
    XM Satellite Radio’s Presidential Election Channel ‘POTUS ‘08’ To Broadcast
    Nationwide From Philadelphia’s Landmark Restaurant Pat’s King Of Steaks on Pennsylvania Primary Day April 22
    XM Radio Joins With EWTN Global Catholic Network to Launch ‘Papal U.S. Visit ‘08’
    Channel On XM
    XM Celebrates Black History Month With Original Programming and Specials Featuring
    Gamble & Huff, Aaron Neville, Natalie Cole, and Many Others

    Above, I have listed 51 separate channels that The Companies have dedicated to broadcasting diverse content which include music, news, sports, and talk. This is 51 channels out of a combined 300, which represents nearly 20% of their available spectrum. In addition to that, I have pointed out 11 separate press releases that have been released since the beginning of 2008 that signify the diversity of programming that The Companies have sought. Recently, however, there are several people and groups that apparently feel that this is not sufficient.
    On May 5th, news was released that two prominent Congressmen wrote a letter to FCC Commissioner Kevin Martin praising The Companies for pledging to lease eight channels to minority owners. These two Congressmen were identified as Congressman Towns (D-NY) and Congressman Rush (D-IL). Today, however, Congressman Rush retracted part of that statement, stating :
    “I wish to disassociate myself from a letter to [Martin], dates May 5, 2008 and signed by Congressman Towns and me, which I stated that I fully supported ‘XM’s and Sirius’ voluntary commitments, [that] the combined company will agree to provide under long-term leases eight channels on the combined system (four on each system) to minority owners. While I certainly believe it’s important to dedicate channels for minority ownership, I do not believe a mere eight channels out of 300 total in the combined entity represents an ‘important and realistic effort to address the dearth of minority ownership’. In reality, I firmly believe that XM and Sirius can designate far more channels than eight for minority ownership.”
    I am curious if Congressman Rush has ever listened to satellite radio and knows what all it offers. It would appear as if he had, because he goes on to say:
    “the merger will create new opportunities for diverse programming that has been overlooked by terrestrial-radio broadcasters.”
    Congressman Rush is absolutely correct. The merger will create new opportunities for diversity. In fact, a large number of independent groups have come out in favor of this merger because The Companies have promoted diversity. Which groups?
     NAACP
     Second District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
     Hispanic Federation
     Independent Women’s Forum
     Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA)
     League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
     National Council of Woman’s Organizations
     National Latino Farmers and Ranchers
     New York State Federation of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
     National Black Chamber of Commerce
     The Latino Coalition
     Women Impacting Public Policy
     Women Involved in Farm Economics
     Many, Many more

    My question, however, does Congressman Rush care about the CONTENT of the channels, or simply the OWNERS of the channels? According to the article, he points out that “people of color” make up 35% of the American Population and says, “I see no reason why a combined XM-Sirius satellite radio company should not dedicate a number of channels for minority ownership that is more reflective of the general population. [emphasis added]. Perhaps Congressman Rush is not aware, but the current President and Interim CEO of XM Satellite Radio is Nate Davis, an African-American.
    So, which is it? Are we supposed to care more about the content that is being broadcast or the people who own the station? To me, I could care less who owns the station. To me, it matters what is being said and what is being played. As indicated above, some of the most powerful and popular minority interest organizations have supported the merger based on what is being broadcast.
    Do you know what the greatest thing is though, Congressman Rush? If you are more concerned about minority ownership in Satellite Radio than what is being broadcast, it is a publicly traded company and you can always buy shares. Congratulations, you are now a minority owner of a Satellite Radio Company.

  2. #2
    rdl1972 is offline
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    My Letter to the fcc

    Dear Chairman Martin,

    I am writing you to voice my support for the FCC to approve the proposed merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. I am a blue-collar worker and small investor in Satellite radio.

    I have been a Sirius customer for a couple of years now and find it to be a great service. I believe in the service so much I decided to invest in the company. I am avid technology enthusiast, it is so obvious to me that Satellite Radio has intense competition and that this merger would not harm consumers. The two companies combined have about 17.5 million subscribers or 10 percent of radio listeners in the USA. Satellite Radio has to compete with Terrestrial Radio, Internet Radio, Ipod, and the forth coming Wi-Max. Satellite radio is far from an essential service. How can the Exxon/Mobil merger get approved and this deal cannot? Isn’t gasoline more essential to the American consumer than Satellite radio?

    When I look at these two companies, I see two companies that have invested billions and are hemorrhaging financially. These entities have yet to become profitable and are in real danger of going out of business, what a shame that would be. There is such a diverse and rich choice of programming available on Satellite radio. This type of programming would never be viable on commercial radio. Terrestrial radio is a wasteland of commercialized top 40 pop music; there is a market for something else.

    One last thing, should this merger be approved, is it really likely given the competitive landscape that Satellite radio will abuse their consumer base? Wasn’t it Henry Ford that discovered that it was more profitable to sell his Model T to the masses than to only a select few that could afford such a luxury? I think the powers that be in Satellite radio realize this too and that they know the key to higher profits is more subscribers and not higher prices. Let the merger go through and give these companies a chance to become successful.

  3. #3
    doobz26 is offline
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    We should lobby the commisioner of the NFL that since 65% of the population is white then 65% of the players in the league should be white also.

    I just don't get why the FCC is still listening to these special interest groups. I am not racist... but this whole minority ownership thing is really bothering me. Minorities are just as free as anyone else to own or run whatever company they want....

    Chester Davenport quoted in Business Week regarding the giving up of 20% of spectrum: "It solves, we believe, an issue the FCC has now with the merger" related to minority ownership and diversity of programming."

    That is the problem the FCC is having? That the company is owned by white guys? It is interesting that Newmann says XM's interim CEO is African-American. I did not know that.... and is there a law that says programming must be diverse? It already is first of all... but it's in sat rads best interest to appeal to as much of the population as possible. If the programming is not what people want at a price people want to pay people will cancel... and the companies go belly up.

    I just don't get it...

    I'm extremely fed up...

    And there isn't a god darned thing I can do about it....

    I'd like to kick K-Mart's ass...

    But I'll never be able too...

    Cuz I'll never meet him in person...

  4. #4
    doobz26 is offline
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    Interesting reading:

    http://www.fcc.gov/transaction/xm-sirius.html#pubnotice

    Check out:
    4/16/07 - Latino Coalition
    4/19/07 - National Black Chamber of Commerce
    5/11/07 - League of United Latin American Citizens
    6/5/07 - Hispanic Foundation
    6/11/07 - 2nd District of African Methodist Church
    6/20/07 - NAACP

    They seem to think the programming is pretty diverse and apealing to minorities. Apparently that isn't good enough. They have to OWN it as well.

  5. #5
    john is offline
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    Blame the right people

    doobz226, Dont blame the people that are for the merger. Blame the 2 democrats that are against it. It does no good telling Kevin Martin something he already knows. Try instead writing Adelstein and his other democrat buddy they are the ones that want/believe this kind of thing needs to be a part of satellite radio.

  6. #6
    cmule314 is offline
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    It's all just another example of governmental controls that have gone astray over the course of the last administration. If Cheney and Bush had some sort of investment in this arena then I'm absolutely positive that there would have been approval to the merger already.

    So in conclusion get your heads out of your deep assholes and approve this merger, there already is and has been diverse representation on both Sirius and XM and there will continue diverse choices for ALL.

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