Satellite Safe (For Now)

TECH THURSDAY

Today, a wrap-up of what has been a perilous week for my beloved satellite radio. Readers of this blog know that I am a big fan of Sirius-XM, after receiving it as a gift from my husband at Christmas.

Yet last week, disturbing reports began appearing about a possible hostile take-over. The villain so to speak was Charles Ergen, CEO of EchoStar, which operates DirectTV.

Rumor had it Ergen wanted to buy and cannibalize satellites for his own ends. Can’t you just hear the Hollywood version of this story? HISS … BOO.

Enter satellite’s White Knight: Liberty Media. Of course everything’s relative, and these guys want to make money. But somehow, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin persuaded John Malone of Liberty to step in with a cash infusion just before a large debt payment was due (to Mr. Ergen, it should be noted).

So for now, satellite radio is safe, sort of.

And so are our stations — Sirius-XMU, AltNation, First Wave, Lithium.

Some people will say why do we need satellite when there is streaming Internet?

I say, who wants to download podcasts, or listen to stale, computer generated playlists on some streaming servers.

With satellite, the music choices are impeccable, the program categories surprising and dynamic.

And of course, satellite is the only place you can hear Howard Stern in the mornings. I know, Cringe.

But he’s just side-splittingly funny. And he represents, like it or not, what it means to have freedom of speech. Real freedom of speech. That allows you from time to time to make jokes about body parts and functions without someone else’s values determining what you can and can’t say. Yep, sometimes the show is out of bounds (prank calls) and I just turn down the volume. Other times, I just sit there and say, thank goodness, someone can make me laugh today.

So a hopeful week after all, despite the bad news everywhere.

DUST UP OVER FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY TERMS CHANGE. Never quite understood it, but protested it anyway.

TOMORROW: Figuratively Speaking Friday.

Comments are closed.