By Demian Russian
Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) CEO Mel Karmazin spoke in New York at the Reuters Global Media Summit today. Karmazin said that Liberty Media Chairman John Malone and CEO Greg Maffei should be very happy with the 2009 deal when Liberty took a 40% stake in the Satellite Radio service provider by lending the company $530 million to save it from bankruptcy. Karmazin said, ”They could call me and say ‘Mel, I love the company so much, I want to buy the whole company. They haven’t called and I don’t suspect they will.” Karmazin went on to say that although their are many who would like to take over the company, he doesn’t know of any potential suitor that would be willing to pay the high premium that would be required.
Karmazin indicated that he had a good relationship with Liberty’s Malone and Maffei, but said that if Liberty was to take a controlling stake in Sirius XM his role would have to be clearly defined. ”I’m not really good at working for somebody, I just could not be a #2…I’m just not good at that,” Karmazin said. Commenting on whether he would continue on when his current contract with Sirius XM ends at the end of next year, Karmazin said, ”It depends on whether this company needs me as much or if I could make as much of a contribution someplace else or here. I’m going to work every day — the only time I would stop is if I felt like I couldn’t do it as well as somebody else.”
Following his presentation at the Reuters Global Media Summit, Mel Karmazin sat down for an interview with Reuters’ Fred Katayama. Karmazin discussed Sirius XM’s coming price hike, saying that while there were internal discussions of an even higher price increase, he was on the conservative side. Karmazin characterized the coming price hike as a “modest increase” in a “tough economy.” Karmazin also discussed auto sales, subscriber growth and Satellite Radio 2.0.
Video: Mel Karmazin talks to Reuters’ Fred Katayama following his presentation at the Reuters Global Media Summit
Sirius XM’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Frear is scheduled to speak at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on December 5th, 2011.
Disclosure: Long SIRI
Contact the author: DemianRussian@SatelliteRadioPlayground.com