John Tully is one half a traditional "roll up the sleeves and dig through the facts" journalist, one half a new media political activist and blogger, and 100% his own original thing after combining the best of both worlds. I can't count the times he's tipped me off first to the story that soon came to dominate the news cycle."
Howard Stern‘s sidekick is finally in rehab. Artie Lange, who’s long overindulged with drugs and drink, was scheduled to attend close pal Bob Saget‘s Comedy Central roast on Sunday night, but never made it to LA. Instead, he checked himself into an intensive outpatient rehab program. A source said Lange “felt awful for not being there for Bob, but needed to make his health a priority.” Lange also canceled his stand-up shows this weekend, but plans to return to his regular gig on Stern’s Sirius radio show when it returns from hiatus. Lange’s rep, Lewis Kay, confirmed the news.
Get well buddy; we all love you-JT
Sirus said that its quarterly net loss narrowed to $104.1 million, or 7 cents a share, from a net loss of $144.7 million, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier.
At XM, the net loss increased to $129 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $122 million, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier.
Sirius’s acquisition of XM is still awaiting the approval of the Federal Communications Commission. The Justice Department approved the deal in March.
The company, based in New York, added 322,534 net subscribers and ended the quarter with about 8.6 million, up 31 percent from 6.6 million one year ago.
The Washington-based XM, whose program lineup includes Major League Baseball and Oprah Winfrey, said it added 303,000 net subscribers and ended the quarter on March 31 with 9.33 million subscribers. That is up from 7.91 million in the first quarter of 2007.
Revenue rose to $308 million, which was lower than the average analyst forecast of $313 million.
XM and Sirius hope to persuade regulators that their merger would provide consumers with more choice in radio programming and could lead to lower prices in some cases.
Shares of Sirius closed up 14 cents, or 5.1 percent, at $2.87 on Nasdaq.
XM closed up 50 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $12.30, also on Nasdaq.
In its decision, the Department of Justice determined that an XM-Sirius merger was not anti-competitive. The Justice Department argued that other media companies such as Clear Channel (CCU, Fortune 500), CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), or even Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) with its iTunes software and iPod music player served as alternate options for music and media customers.
The Department of Justice did not place any conditions on the merger.
“Since we determined that there was no competition between the companies, we did not need to set any conditions as such,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas Barnett during a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon.
But the Federal Communications Commission must also approve the deal. The FCC has yet to make a decision on the merger and it could decide to place conditions on the deal. A spokesperson for the FCC was not immediately available for comment.
Since Sirius and XM are still awaiting approval from the FCC, it is unclear exactly what a merger would mean for consumers. Both companies charge their customers a $12.95 per month subscription fee for their most basic packages. Some have feared that if Sirius and XM are allowed to merge, the two companies would raise the monthly price.
However, the companies said last year that they would be willing to offer a so-called “a la carte” price plan where consumers could pick certain packages for less money.
The merger would combine the nation’s only two satellite radio companies and create a company with about 14 million subscribers. It would bring together Sirius’ most well-known content, including shock jock Stern and National Football League games with XM’s Major League Baseball as well as programming from Oprah Winfrey.
Currently, subscribers for either Sirius or XM can only receive broadcasts from one of the two services with their satellite radios. But in a statement Monday, XM reiterated that radios owned by its current subscribers would not need to be replaced in order to continue receiving programming.