Stern's Sirius XM Decision Imminent

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With just a few weeks left on his current Sirius XM contract, Howard Stern is entering a home stretch of star-studded appearances while we await news on the future of the show. He seems to be hinting at staying on satellite radio, but with the rise of internet, mobile and other distribution options, it’s possible he will get behind an even newer technology.

How do satellite radio and wifi/3G coverage compare? It seems people will be buying cars no matter what, maybe even at a greater clip if a green solution occurs. Sirius/XM’s relationships with the automobile industry might make the company a good bet alone (and Amarillo Slim says longshots are the only good bets).

Technically, satellite offers more reliable coverage, especially since it is also online. Sirius XM and Howard TV/cable systems seem to offer the best of both worlds, total control on content, reliable technically and a promo/marketing partnership.

Hinting the he doesn’t want to be his own boss has probably been Howard’s key comment on the negotiations – he told podcaster Adam Curry that he prefers to have an established sales/administrative structure around him earlier this year. Mel Karmazin and my friend Ross Zapin at Sirius XM offer a unique and excellent set of services, and I predict Howard returns to Sirius, maybe with slightly different hours. It’s not like they can afford to lose him, and his re-signing could be a media event to give the company a boost in the eyes of Wall Street and consumers.

Jay-Z and Billy Joel aside, Howard and Robin’s hour of “analysis” of Gary’s latest errant pitch on Jimmy Kimmel was “radio gold.” Millions await the outcome of the negotiations, probably equal to the entire audience of all three late night hosts combined.

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