Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Service To Our XM Subscribers

Other than one small part, this isn't connected to Ohio radio.

But we figured if the folks at Sirius XM won't do it, we'd give our readers who subscribe to XM Satellite Radio the heads up...the service's music lineup changes, drastically, tomorrow.

We won't get into the details, but we found a new leaked (PDF format) lineup here, and a leaked (PDF format) FAQ about the XM lineup changes here.

The links are from an unofficial fan site run by XM users, where users are discussing the changes here.

The FAQ says the revamped XM lineup will take effect late tonight/early Wednesday morning at 12 AM ET.

For now, it doesn't appear that the other half of Sirius XM, Sirius, will go through the same changes - though a couple of Sirius channels have moved channel positions.

The base reason for the XM changes?

You may have heard that a rather large boatload of XM Satellite Radio employees, from programmers to on-air personalities, have been laid off at the company's Washington DC headquarters. The layoff numbers are in the high double digits, from most reports.

New parent Sirius is based in New York, and it appears most of the changes are designed to merge the music channel offerings between the two services.

It doesn't necessarily mean that XM subscribers will now get the existing Sirius-based services. Some offerings are being shuffled around, and it looks like Sirius subscribers will encounter some programming changes (mostly), just not wholesale lineup changes like on the XM side.

But the apparent new goal of Sirius XM is to drastically reduce costs of providing those music channels...and it would appear that however everything lands, the music channels will be the same on both services at some point, if not starting tomorrow.

Despite the changes, XM subscribers will still have shell out extra for the "stars" of the Sirius lineup in "Best of Sirius" - Howard Stern, Martha Stewart and the like, along with sports play-by-play offerings like NFL games.

The updated lineup shows very few changes to the news/talk lineup, though XM users will get such formerly-Sirius-only offerings like National Public Radio's satellite radio channel, and World Radio Network, the 24/7 service offering English-language programming from various international radio broadcasters (Radio Netherlands, Germany's Deutsche Welle, etc.)

Unfortunately for us, Sirius' carriage of Canada's CBC Radio One - CBC's news/talk/information service - is not coming over to XM. We presume because it's tied directly to Sirius' deal with Sirius Canada, a separate entity, still, than XM Canada. If they found a way to put CBC Radio One on XM, we'd dump our Sirius equipment entirely.

And speaking of news/talk offerings, there's the small point that concerns this report.

Yes, that's Clear Channel talk WLW/700 "The Big One" still present in the XM lineup at channel 173.

We mention this because there are rumors going around that Clear Channel will pull WLW from the XM lineup later this year. Clear Channel programs a portion of the XM spectrum separately from the satellite firm.

Art Vuolo, Jr., the Michigan-based radio/video chronicler also known as "Radio's Best Friend", weighs in, in this column we found on Mike Austerman's excellent Michiguide.com:

(WLW has) been available on XM Channel 173, but not for much longer. The powers-to-be at Clear Channel, who owns "The Big One," will take it off satellite radio because they can make more money with other programming that they can sell advertising on.

We don't know where Art is picking this up from, but we would be sad to see WLW go off of XM.

The station's 50,000 watt signal mostly appears here only at night, and we like keeping track of one of the country's better news/talk outlets right here in our home state...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is another local tie-in to this as Kasper and Java Joel from WAKS both have airshifts on XM21 (KISS XM) which remains on the merged satcaster line-up.