Sirius XM Preparing for Bankruptcy

Satellite TV companies interested in Sirius XM

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    WireImage
    Howard Stern is all smiles here, but will he be smiling if Sirius XM goes under?

    Sirius XM Radio could file for bankruptcy this Tuesday if it cannot find a way to renegotiate its way out of $175 million in debt.

    The nation's only satellite radio service is currently looking for other investors to come into the deal and help the dwindling company. Sirius XM Chief Executive Officer, Mel Karmazin, is in talks with John Malone's Liberty Media Corp. about a near future transaction. Liberty Media owns DirecTV, a satellite TV company. The pairing of satellite TV and satellite radio under one umbrella would make a lot of sense for Malone.

    Sirius is trying to fend off Charlie Ergen, the chief executive officer of Dish Network Corp. and sister company Echo Star Corp. Ergen has already purchased $300 million in discounted bonds according to the Chicago Sun Times. Ergen now wants to take full control of the company, but Sirius rejected his offer.

    Sirius merged with one time rival XM radio 18 months ago. There are now a total of over 20 million subscribers, much coming via the car industry. Many auto makers have Sirius XM installed in the car. With the car industry hurting it's another mounting problem for Sirius.

    What Happens to the Star Studded Talent?

    If Sirius does file for bankruptcy, it can renegotiate the contracts with Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and others, according to MSNBC's web site.

    Stern, who is paid $100 million per year, is not worried about the fate of the company and his job.

    "As long as someone is paying our salary, we're here and I believe we'll get paid and that satellite radio will be here," said Stern on his radio show.

    Stern joined Sirius in January 2006 after leaving terrestrial radio because the rules were tightening. Stern liked the freedom of satellite radio where the FCC has no jurisdiction over the content of his show. The FCC has fined Stern through the years for his remarks.

    Christoper "Mad Dog" Russo recently joined Sirius XM after leaving his long time partner, Mike Francesa, and their 20 year gig "Mike & The Mad Dog" in WFAN in New York. He might be rethinking his move or renegotiating his $3 million dollar deal.

    Sirius also has deals to carry NASCAR races, NFL games, MLB, and hockey.