So XM and Sirius have announced they're going to merge
I couldn't help but be struck by a statement from a member of the National Association of Broadcasters
. The NAB is planning to fight the proposed combo, and its executive vice-president, Dennis Wharton, had this to say: "In the coming weeks, policymakers will have to weigh whether an industry that makes Howard Stern its poster child should be rewarded with a monopoly platform for offensive programming," he said.
Excuse me? Perhaps Mr. Wharton should look at his own business. It's not as if local radio stations -- the vast majority of which are owned by giant national conglomerates -- have a sterling reputation for programming. Music stations are boring, talk stations air the same programs with different hosts (if they're not picking up a nationally syndicated arch-conservative or arch-liberal, they have their own versions) and news stations all too seldom beat the local bushes.
Yes, I'm biased. I subscribe to XM.
But I subscribed for a reason: Local radio stations weren't meeting my needs. So I pay for a service -- and I'm very satisfied.
I don't know what the merger will bring, or if I'll lose some of my favorite channels or personalities. If so, I can reconsider my subscription. And if I do, I'll be listening to a lot more CDs, because I'm never going back to local radio.
Perhaps the NAB -- and local advertisers -- should ponder that