Sirius XM Has Crossed the Line

A feeling of pleasant surprise turned to horror this morning after I started up my XM-subscribed car. At first, I was greeted with some of my favorite Sirius music channels, like 1st Wave, on the air. Then I discovered that most of my favorite XM channels were gone.

What the --

"Effective immediately, and for the first time, XM subscribers will hear SIRIUS' dynamic and exclusive music, news, talk, sports and comedy shows and channels, and SIRIUS subscribers will have access to XM's equally diverse and unique content," read the Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) press release.

This normally would seem like a good thing, until you scroll a few lines lower to smack into the reality of the situation.

"With this new programming lineup, subscribers will receive the same number of music and non-music channels on the SIRIUS and XM services as they have in the past."

Obviously, if the number of stations remains the same, every new arrival means an existing station is getting the boot.

It's easy to follow the logic. More content overlap means lower staffing costs. It doesn't have an impact on the royalties that Sirius XM will pay out to the record companies, since that is based on a percentage of total revenue, but it does make it easier to hire fewer DJs and station managers.

Unfortunately, making XM and Sirius more alike is a terrible marketing tool. Wasn't this the same company that was trying to get subscribers to pay $4 more a month for a "Best of Both" program? Sirius XM will still sell the plan (since the overlap doesn't include the premium talk content like Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey), but isn't this programming change an incentive to downgrade to the cheaper plan that costs $6 less a month and lets users cherry-pick 50 stations?

After all, if Sirius XM is cocky enough to think it knows which channels are superior by giving others the boot, two can play that game as it pertains to my eardrums.

Why do this, Sirius XM? This is so terrestrial. I'll be surprised to see the monthly churn of self-pay subscribers hold steady at 1.7% after this move, which is likely to ruffle more than a few feathers.

As free Internet radio apps begin popping up on Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) smartphones with unlimited data plans, why stick around? As music subscription services like RealNetworks' (Nasdaq: RNWK  ) Rhapsody and Best Buy's (NYSE: BBY  ) Napster grow more portable, does Sirius XM really want to alienate a subscriber base that is already experiencing decelerating growth?

I've been a Sirius subscriber since 2004 and an XM member since 2006. I realize I'm not like most of the 18.9 million subscribers in having dual accounts, but the overlap today makes it less likely that I'll stick with both tomorrow.

I'm sure many listeners will love the changes. The problem is that many won't. With more than $1 billion in debt to pay back next year, does Sirius XM really want to ignite the venom, uproar, and online petitions that accompany forced changes?

I would say "no," but what do I know? I'm not the one trading for a quarter these days.

More news than static on Sirius XM:

Am I wrong? Am I right? What do you think of the channel changes? Post your thoughts below.

Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Best Buy is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Best Buy and Apple are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:06 PM, JMM37IN wrote:

    I also carry dual subscriptions. I have been waiting eagerly as a subscriber and share holder for this change.

    I now get consistent programming on the same channels in each of my vehicles. My children love the Kids combination, I like the sports combination, except missing FoxSports still on Sirius. I found my music channels or the new alternative and reprogrammed the presets...done. In a week I won't even know anything happened.

    As a share holder I was thinking this would have to help with retail. At least people can buy a receiver or give one as a gift without having to worry if it will work in 6 months. Does this not guarantee all the receivers out there will keep working? No worries about having to buy new hardware.

    Just my humble opinion.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:12 PM, doughboy2345 wrote:

    Thank God they're trying to save some money! As a shareholder I love to see this move and as a lifetime subscriber and really only listen to the Howard channels all day, I'm happy as a clam!

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:16 PM, jayemm wrote:

    We're not interested in reading one user's views on this forum. I read Motley Fools to get some analysis, not a single viewpoint. Rick is manipulating this platform to spread his negative views on SIRI. If he wants to do that, there are plenty of boards out there to do it. Please do not misuse this area to do so. You will only degrade the perceived integrity of Motley Fools.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:21 PM, bigdaddytbo wrote:

    I am so happy that they added the GOOD Sirius channels to XM. I am a lifetime subscriber to Sirius, I have two other Sirius accounts and just got XM in my new car. I have been trying to figure out how they were going to get the real "best" of both stations together. I think they did a great job. Bluesville and Deep Tracks are now available on Sirius and so many great stations are now on my XM system in my car. With an hour and a half commute each way to work and home, it is truly the BEST of both.

    I am also a stockholder and I am very pleased with what they have done. I just wish they would have told us about is so we could have spread the word before it happened. I love Sirius and am getting to like some of the XM content. This was a good move and I hope Mel keeps looking at ways to actually improve the content and the service. This also allows all the portable Sirius receivers to continue to be worth keeping. At least we don't have to buy new radios in the future to keep the great service and great music around.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:22 PM, zeropointzero wrote:

    haven't we known this would happen for almost 2 years???????

    get rid of all the redundant channels and redundant staff!!!!!!!!

    cut costs save money!!!!!!!!! cut costs, save money, and clear the air on content for the new consumer!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:29 PM, jo2the3rd wrote:

    I have been a subscriber to Sirius for over 5 years. I feel I am a typical subscriber because of my history. During those years, I never listened to any of the stations that were removed today. I may be a rare case, but I believe that those who truly frequent those channels are even rarer. As a shareholder I fully support this decision to "trim the fat". I strongly feel that these channels will not be missed and the newly added are greatly welcomed. I still feel ill about the "Best of" packaging. That is the bigger scam going with this company. Everything should be on every radio for the price I've been paying. I don't agree with the "add-ons". If Sirius XM is interested in keeping subscribers and shareholders they would try their best to be as consistent as possible. As we all know, change cause fear, and fear cause lower stock prices. They need to get their act together and provide all content on all radios for the price they signed up for in the merger deal. Once they do this, there will be no more wondering if subscribers are going to accept the next configuration they decide to rollout, because everything is there all the time. The only one who will have to worry is those who are being cheap and participate in "a la carte" packages".

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:30 PM, stevemiller106 wrote:

    I am extremely disappointed in XM Radio's apparent transition to mainstream radio. As a 6-year subscriber, I've seen a number of ups and downs, but the decision to eliminate the channels which I listen to is deeply saddening. From the beginning, I've listened to XM Radio as an alternative to mainstream radio (the original satellite radio concept) rather than as a supplement to broadcast radio (their apparent strategic direction). With the elimination of World Music in 2004 and XM's inability to find a "genre" for XM Cafe, Fine Tuning, and Audio Visions; I'm at a loss as to what I'm supposed to listen to now. These 4 channels represent what I considered the heart and soul of satellite radio--an ability to listen to music I can't find on broadcast radio. By restricting their audience, they've restricted their markets even further. There is obviously enough capacity to broadcast multiple channels, but they've decided to concentrate on rock and roll, Sports, and talk at the expense of quality and broad audience appeal. What happened to "Something for everyone?" There really isn't much left for anyone who wants to listen to truly non-commercial music.

    Until my subscription expires in the next 2 months, I'll keep listening to what I can, but I can already see the demise of satellite radio on the horizon. Rather than using the possible synergies of XM and Sirius, poor programming choices and continued financial manipulations will slowly strangle a great idea. I expect more and more subscribers to jump ship. This really doesn't make any sense at all.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:33 PM, BooyahSirius wrote:

    Rick..Rick...Rick...you sound like either someone who can't stand change, or a woman scorned, I can't tell which. We've known this was coming for a while now. What's the big deal. Do you really think they should maintain duplicate programs after the merger? These changes were necessary and you know it...even if you won't admit it. Suck it up, dude.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:33 PM, jo2the3rd wrote:

    I would like to know what your favorite XM channel was. Because I can give you a better channel that replaced it. The article is very slanted toward making Sirius look unsteady. I agree whole heartedly with zeropointzero. We've know this was coming and there it is no big deal.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:41 PM, J56D wrote:

    Your fool community has 3762 outperforms and 918 underperforms for SIRI. It has a $.30 share price and yet you keep inventing different ways to bash this stock. The market has taken a serious beating lately and there must be great buying opportunities. Your own website claims that Sirius is no longer ratable because "SIRI doesn't currently meet the $100M market cap / $1.50 stock price minimum. It seems to me that the mangey fool seems to spend a lot of time bash a $.30 share price stock.

    Why is this?

    Do you have a hidden agenda? It sure seems that way.

    Do you lack new investment ideas? It sure seems that way.

    Are you afraid of new investment ideas being wrong like your call on XMSR to your paid subscribers at over $30 a share?)? It sure seems that way.

    Do you have to mention SIRI in every article in order to get hits? It sure seems that way?

    Is the mangey fool a joke? It sure seems that way.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:53 PM, riz2121 wrote:

    This website has become nothing more than a sideshow for this "fool" to attempt to get hits by constantly writing meaningless garbage about SIRI. I am honestly embarressed for the author and this website. Who didnt know this was going to happen????? Get a clue or get a different job!!!

    Oh and a sidenote to the author..the Gay channel is still available on Sirius..so cheer up ;-) !

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 4:55 PM, TickDickler wrote:

    I'm with you Rick. Sirius Subscriber since 2004. When I heard of the change this morning I had tunnel vision as I stared down at my unit. My absolute favorite channel which represents I'd say 60% of all of my listening "Left of Center" was gone. I flipped around, Alt Nation, Hair Nation, Stern (which of course was still there), Oh, and the Catholic Channel. Okay maybe I didn't check all of those channels. But my fav, gone. I listened for a bit and the music seemed about the same. So my verdict is out on whether to stay or go. Unfortunately I'm paid for 3 years. I own tons of worthless stock and hope this doesn't hurt the stock price but then again, it can't get much worse. They should have the DJ's speak briefly over the next few days about the change between songs on the stations that have been blended. Sell us on what exactly is different and what to expect from that particular channel that will remain the same.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 5:22 PM, inetport wrote:

    I too have dual accouts until Friday when my Free XM (from a new car) expires. This solves one problem NO need to even consider extending XM. I've had Sirius for 5 years now

    For Rock stations Sirius has/had a much better line up

    Classic Vinyl and Rewind are still there in Name but listening today it seems more like Top tracks and big tracks. This may be ok but Buzzsaw is Gone This station is worlds better then boneyard which will replace it in Jan. They have moved AC/DC to replace Buzzsaw and Boneyard until 1/15. What takes over on 1/15 is unknown until Jan. Right now it looks like boneyard with the bone yard DJ's (they could save money by dumping them like they did to the buzsaw DJ's) but with the buzzsaw shows listed.

    I guess in Jan I may need to determine if it is time to save the money, cancel my 4 sirius subscriptions and just use the MP3 function of my overpriced stiletto to listen to the music I may not be able to hear on Sirius anymore. I went away from commerical radio to avoid 20 min blocks of commericals and have a better selection of the music I want. 8 gig of MP3's could easily last quite a long time and save a lot of $$ if buzzsaw is history

    Considering I already lost a ton onmy Sirius stock this may be a way to recoupe some of my lose

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 5:48 PM, TMFBreakerRick wrote:

    jo2, my XM faves were mostly the I Love Lucy-named rock stations -- Lucy, Fred, Ethel. 1st Wave, Alt Nation and Lithium are the Sirius versions, but they don't appear to have as deep the play lists as XM. The Verge is one of my faves that I don't find a near match on the Sirius-side imports. I also miss Cinemagic, though I just checked and see it's coming back in January supposedly.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 6:06 PM, latebloomer100 wrote:

    And when I went online to see if I could figure out this madness there was this wonderful spreadsheet of stations that were supposed to fill the void left by the disappearance of Beyond Jazz (XM ch 72). There is nothing even remotely like the departed Beyond Jazz on the dial anyplace. And their recommendations are stations that never made it to my buttons and never will. And what happened to Cross Country (XM ch 12)? That lame Outlaw Country is a faint ghost of XM Cross Country. Who said Sirius had better programming? Probably some bungling Sirius employee, that's who. I am really considering my options right now. I can't see paying $13/month for something I don't like.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 6:40 PM, BigVincent wrote:

    Understanding the harsh reality that SIRIUS/XM has to make some quick financial decisions, this is probably the best that could be done.

    Consolidating channels that sold both companies as respective competitors before the merger is the way to go.

    It was sad to see the loss of the punk channels on both XM and sirius, but then again sirius added more punk content to it's faction radio station line up.

    The only problem that I see is change. What cult music listeners/subscribers hate is change. People in general hate change, unless of course it deals with politcs.

    Financially as a share holder and subscriber of SIRIUS I couldn't agree more that this is the smartest decision that SIRIUS/XM could make with the difficulties of our market place. It reduces over head and free's cash flow. I wouldn't doubt by any means that this could infact increase churn, but to new subscribers that don't understand the old system of satellite radio it is an advantage at accelerating subscriber growth, in a sluggish economy.

    Look at the upside to things. I am a subscriber because I hate commercials and love music. You will always have a loyal subscriber base of people that feel the same way. I rarely listen to Howard stern, or Bubba the Love Sponge, and still I don't complain that right now I have to spend $12.00 as a subscriber, when in the near future I can pay $6.00 just for the music content. When you buy satellite radio, you are buying a luxurious commodity that allows the listener to hear that content in which they want to hear, without the anoyances of repetitive commercials that are decibels louder than the music you hear.

    The truth is SIRIUS/XM has to take 2 steps back before moving forward with content, well that is atleast until there is some disposable income available. One day we may see things go back to the way it was, but for now as a subscriber and share holder I am at piece, and comfortable with this hard realistic business decision.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 6:40 PM, splintar wrote:

    Go ahead Rick. Please get rid of it and go away. I am so sick of listening to you talk out of both sides of your mouth.

    You don't get it. If you are unhappy go plug in your i-tunes and listen to whatever you want where you can. But it won't be in your car for a long time without hoops and horrific hardware, and it won't be seamless or infinitie like SAT RAD.

    Oh, and it also won't be free.

    Get lost and do us all a favor.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 7:19 PM, MikeRehling wrote:

    You are the biggest Fool, and biggest whiner!!! I am an XM subscriber and am THRILLED with the changes. I got all my sports teams in one place, I have all my news in one place, I now have Howard, I have added many new stations, and I never listened to the one you were on. PLEASE go back to terrestrial radio where they give you so many options. These post have become increasingly banal. What a child you are!

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 8:30 PM, TheAbbevilleKid wrote:

    I have to chime in with all the positive comments here. I have been with Sirius since they began. They've changed their channel lineups several times. I too awoke this morning to find my receiver being updated. After a brief search of the channels I usually frequent, I found none that were taken away. I applaud Sirius for trimming the channels down. It was about time that they started to streamline their selections and started focusing on giving their customers what theyve been accustomed to, a fantastic alternative to mainstream terrestrial radio. No gripes from me, and I currently hold two lifetime subscriptions on two seperate receivers, as well as bi-annual subscriptions for my parents.

    Keep up the good work SiriusXM

    As a side note, I also own 200 shares of this company. At .25 cents a share, I may even pick up a few hundred more.

    TheAbbevilleKid

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:09 PM, SemiCrazy wrote:

    I too turn on my XM radio to find that all of my fav were gone. I was all for the merger until this morning. Internet radio is sounding better all the time and most of it is free. I also just got my 1st ipod and as soon as i figure it out I think I will be cancelling my subscription that I have had since 2004.

    SemiCrazy

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:18 PM, interioraffair wrote:

    motley fool

    business week

    have shown themselves multiple times to be

    hired guns of goldman sachs when they are shorting

    a stock to have their mud journalists cast slings and

    arrows at their prey.

    this is just another obvious case.

    its beyond pitiful

    god man, if you are going to be a hired assassin, at least first learn how to shoot a gun.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:18 PM, interioraffair wrote:

    ........

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:20 PM, uhappyowner wrote:

    I have been with Sirius for over 4 years and love it. I subscribed to XM last April for 2 reasons. To get MLB and to help, in a small way, Sirius-XM by giving them another subscriber to count.

    The BEST channel I listened to was Sirius Gold (Channel 005). It was far superior to XM's 50's on 5. So, when I woke up to find this inferior "fifties on 5" on BOTH Sirius AND on XM that was the final straw.

    I am cancelling my subscriptions. I am through rooting for the company that obviously has its head up its ass. I also have 40,000 shares unfortunately, at an average price of close to $3.00/sh. So, my original $110,000 investment is now worth approximately $11,000.

    Thanks a shitload, Mel!!!!

    I will hold on to the shares since it is foolish to sell now. But, after todays decision to pull the channels I liked, without asking any subscribers their opinions, well thats the last straw.

    I cant believe that such a promising idea, and such a great product turned to crap so quickly.

    Maybe somebody should be sued!!!!

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:44 PM, riz2121 wrote:

    Unhappy..As shareholder u should get this move...

    Why would they keep two of basically the same channels and have to pay double the amount of $. It makes no sense to do that...all of the Sirius channels they integrated XM with are basically the same crap. I personally wish they would fire all these clown DJ's and just play music and save enen more $!

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:45 PM, bndfishing wrote:

    I cannot agree more and will be canceling my 2 subscriptions. This canceling of some of the best XM channels was a poor decision made by Jon Zellnar jon.zellner@xmradio.com I hope investors and subscribers react the same and tank this company.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 9:55 PM, Mot666 wrote:

    I signed up with a lifetime subscription when Howard signed to Sirius. For that alone I will be getting my money's worth. I am however, very disappointed they deleted the Punk channel...And I see XM deleted theirs too. It seems silly considering there are about 5 "classic" rock stations and about 4 "hip hop" stations. So much for variety.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2008, at 11:29 PM, crimus wrote:

    i have worked for sirius satellite radio or Stream Global for two years now and i would like to say thank god i will be going to apple the first of the year! As a employees view of this whole merger or whatever i would like to say that it gets very old fast having customers calling in angry about the channel line up or the price. all the prices are online and if you have an email which i would say 89% of people have can be placed on the account to receive a newsletter about sirius changes. also there is a request line that the subscribers contact to leave feedback about channels and request songs SO THE WHOLE CHANNEL CHANGE WAS ACTUALLY UP TO THE SUBSCRIBERS so if you complain you dont like the line up then obviously you didnt call into "vote" so you cant talk.

    in conclusion F*ck Sirius Satellite Radio! the company is going no where the customer service must improve otherwise the customers that are paying sirius (the whole reason its a company) will all cancel and stop activating radios.

    hopefully it continues and cool guys like the VP of customer service Michael Moore keeps his job but the company is in trouble and the way that its going, if it continues sirius will fail and everyone that works for them will be outta a job

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 3:26 AM, edfalc wrote:

    i am strictly a shareholder at this point and have held off almost 2 years from becoming a subscriber because i didnt want to have to buy both...

    tomorrow morning i'm going to my local Radio Shack and finally signing up as a sub...

    AFTER i buy an additional 25000 shares at the open...........

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 8:01 AM, Fredlee009 wrote:

    This is a great move by Sirius. Eliminate the differences between the 2 companies will help quell consumer confusion over the 2 products. This is a synergy they always meant to do, and should not be a surprise to anyone following this company, except our author, who apparently has been living in a cave. To not know that this was always in the plans, relegates this authors importance on the subject to a kindergartners(no offense to the little ones, id actually listen to you first over this guy).

    I hope Rick loses his job in this economy and for writing drivel like this. I never click on links at this site, dont look at ads, just comment on stupid authors who take credibility away from the site(which is a great concept except for the obvious bribes this man gets from someone to write dirt on this company). Or he has some kind of personal financial position(a short possibly) to worry about. Not sure, but its definately one of those(or he just likes urinating off Sirius stockholders).

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 8:12 AM, bw5011 wrote:

    When I first heard about the merger, I was excited that they would join the two stations and give you more channels. Truly, this would be the best of both worlds. So yesterday, I get in my car and my favorite channels are gone. I am pissed. I paid the extra money for the little Sirius channels a couple weeks ago so I could get the NFL stuff. I said ok they are going to bring channels in and charge a little more. I was ok with paying for the extra content, but I did not want to lose my channels. My presets included Suite 62, 64 The Groove, 65 xL The Rhyme, 66 xL Raw, 67 The City, 68 The Heat, 71 Watercolors, 77 Audio Visions, 83 XM Chill, 122 CNN, 140 ESPN, 130 P.O.T.U.S. 08! Ok WTF, they labeled every one of the urban stations HipHop/R&B, which is B.S. they don’t call every one of the other stations Rock/POP. They replaced channels that do not even play the same content. The Rhyme played ol'school Hip Hop and that’s it, RAW played new music and some DJ's did scratching and mixing, took calls and requests, it was really live. Suite 62 played up to date R&B only. Audio Vision played music for your soul; it was the only thing that keeps me from having road rage in the morning. The stations they replaced them with don’t play the same music at all; they play music that you hear on FM every 20 minutes. And nothing, I mean nothing can replace Audio Visions. However made this decision sucks, which is why your stock suck. The only people do not care is mostly the Sirius people because mostly you have the same content. XM folks are out looking for a way to get the music they want. Hell, if I got to pay for it, I will have the things that I want. I do not even know what else they screwed up because after I was in total shock how what they did to the Urban Channels, I was like I need to calm down and went to 77 and it was some B.S. Sirius Content. I was pissed and then remembered, I have an 6 CD Changer in my car and IPOD, I will give them until my subscription runs out to get it right. If they don’t I will let it roll. I have unlimited data plan on my phone and will just listen to Pandora or something like it for FREE. There are a lot of people pissed off about The Rhyme and RAW, just to start and we will see how many partitions go up and how complaints piles in. They must have forgotten that we paid for this service and can quickly cancel. And to the people that are saying they this was needed, there stations were not affected. And to the person talking about being a shareholder, you should know what this is going to turn people away making the stock go down further.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 9:46 AM, raymcc85 wrote:

    This article was weak. Eight channels were "lost." Were these really most of Rick's favorites? The reality is the music stations were consolidated from duplicates. It seems SIRI did a good job picking the best playlists and djs (and getting rid of some that were not that great). Kudos to SIRI. I hope the talk stations also get a similar overhaul as well.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 10:19 AM, frdbronco73 wrote:

    I'm pissed. The channels that I liked were replaced with channels I don't like. I was hoping for twice the channels so there was more chance of finding a good song at any given time.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 10:38 AM, gardnersf wrote:

    I love it. There were several channels I wanted from Sirius that were different form XM. Margaritaville and Elvis. Now, I also see the Grateful Dead channel, the ESTREET channel adn others.

    I agree the Fred, Ethel, Lucy mix is a little different, but there is still plenty of content for me.

    Aslo as a shareholder, this was the rigth thing to do. Costs must be consolidated. Now, nothing is stopping them form reaactivating channels they dropped now. So, if you really like Audio visions, then contact them via feedback regulalry, and have other listeners do the saem. Companies want that kind of feedback. They really don't want to piss off customers.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 10:45 AM, TrippyWeekender wrote:

    Rick,

    Does the word NAIVE ring a bell?? You've been touting this merger louder than anyone for years. Did you think it would happen without carnage?

    Hope you enjoy feeling the hand of Mel up your keister.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 11:16 AM, nofool1985 wrote:

    I would agree with most of the sane comments here. Rick seems to have it out for SIRI. Like his opinion matters on the value of this copanies stock. You should apply at CNN Rick. They love biased reporting. You'd go straight to the top.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 11:21 AM, bw5011 wrote:

    Everybody has an opinion. Shareholders, everyone of you are living a dream the stock is at $0.259...Like they make good business decisions....Sirius is going to go down unless somebody else come through and buy them out and change all its programming and piss off Sirius customers like Sirius did to XM and their customers.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 11:50 AM, Bobjr94 wrote:

    XMs death started when they pulled fungus 53 for an ac/dc channel 2 months ago to promote there new album and a 24 /7 metallica channel to promote there new album. What total sell outs.

    From now on it only the biggest bands with the biggest labels that will be played.

    Now they have pulled all the channels that played anything out of mainstream. XM=FM & FM=XM only difference is you have to pay for it and the sound quality is less than free radio. No chance of hearing anything new and exciting.

    They no longer want the 55 and under crowd, the hell with all you kids.... 24 7 ac/dc, 24 /7 greatful dead, 24 / 7 bruce springsteen, 24 / 7 led zeplin, 24 / 7 elvis ???? I am 34 and these people were all playing before I was born.

    A new 24 /7 catholic radio, 24 /7 DR radio (yes, radio for doctors), a Jimmy Buffet channel, a Sinatra channel...

    Its just a waste to pay for this now.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 1:09 PM, unclefuka wrote:

    I totally agree with this article, where is the user choice? who decides on what content should stay and what content will go? that was a very poorly executed decision... I am not an XM subscriber and have no interest for any XM stations. I was always for Sirius with Howard which initially drew me into satellite radio, but it worked out that all the music stations on Sirius were amazing. Users no longer have a right to choose what they want... Chill, Boombox, Area 33/38, these stations are dead or have been merged into other stations, this is what made Sirius so great...

    I have 3 subscriptions currently, after this change, I have canceled 1, and once howard is gone I will cancel this all together... I can get my content elsewhere ... Up until yesterday you couldn't shut me up about the music content on Sirius. Now I am so disappointed my worst fear happened with XM because I always felt Sirius content was way more appealing to me... I know many others who feel the same sentiment. I am sure XM people are pissed too about some of there stations gone as well...

    Fix this immediately.. Consumers want to choose and not be slammed into a mishmash of your greatest hits...

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 2:17 PM, nofool1985 wrote:

    funny....i'm sure the 2% of nay sayers are right and everyone else is wrong. satellite radio is here to stay.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 2:20 PM, farmlife wrote:

    We tried to cancel our XM last night but as of this morning all 3 were still working. I called XM three times today and all three times when transfered to the department that handles cancelations I was "disconnected."

    I wonder if they will leave us as customers until closing bell so they will not have to report a loss of customer base? Is anyone else finding this to be the case?

    As you can tell, I have no idea on the market but from the consumer side Sirius-XM have a flawed system and will no longer be geting our monthly stipend as they have for the last 4 years.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 2:23 PM, bw5011 wrote:

    nofool1985, guess what this is not the only site like this.. there are blogs, forums and plenty of other people that are pissed, on both sides....people speak volumes over the net,, did you pay attention doing the election..

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 3:09 PM, jpb64 wrote:

    I am with you 100%, Rick. You will surely get slack from shareholders holding on to their penny stock dreams. I'm also a shareholder since 2003 (pity me), but loosing Beyond Jazz means they lost me. Cancelled last night, effective when my current term ends.

    There are better music alternatives out there now.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 3:35 PM, nofool1985 wrote:

    bw5011....I paid attention more than you apparently did during spelling class.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 3:36 PM, nofool1985 wrote:

    And bw5011.....keep watching your mailbox for that check from Obama.....LOL.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 3:45 PM, bw5011 wrote:

    nofool1985, i dont need a check, but you probably do..., i did not spell some words right.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 3:46 PM, bw5011 wrote:

    who cares....i do pay for this service though and now it sucks..

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 5:35 PM, bricoy wrote:

    The comments here show why the most creative, edgy XM stations have been eliminated or had their content "mainstreamed". Those who consider XM subscribers out of touch with market reality reflect a stockholder/MBA perspective, the same point of view that company managers use to initiate and defend moves that piss off customers. "It'll save money, improve efficiency." GM was the master of this strategy, called "cutting corners saves big bucks." Apparently, it's strictly effective in the short term.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 6:25 PM, WWallstev wrote:

    They will not get anymore of my money I'm through with xm.they cancel the only americana music anywhere for more lame country music don't we have enough of that.This whole country has gone nuts.Money is all that matters!I hope they go belly up.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 7:56 PM, jpb64 wrote:

    In the crowded world of entertainment, where one needs to stand out in some way to succeed, they are becoming just what they feared - irrelevant.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 10:09 PM, jxk009 wrote:

    my wife and i are very upset and saddened that sirius xm replaced sirius kids stuff with xm kids programming and renamed the station. "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." our kids loved that channel and now it's been abruptly replaced with entirely different children programming that i don't find compatible with our taste. please sign this petition if you feel the same way, and feel free to pass it on:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-sirius-kids-stuff.h...

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 10:22 PM, captnkid1967 wrote:

    its called research and marketing those channels probably didn't have a large # of listeners. and thanks to the FCC and DOJ they are forced to make cuts somewhere and besides 80's rock rules

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2008, at 10:42 PM, bricoy wrote:

    From Sirius's 2007 10K:

    Sirius had an accumulated deficit of approximately $4.4 billion. XM Radio’s outstanding debt was approximately $1.5 billion. Covenants in each companies debt limits the transfer of cash between them. And Sirius has a $300 million note due in February 2009.

    Washington Post October 16, 2008: Sirius XM Radio laid off at least 50 workers yesterday, including on- and off-air talent at channels with formats ranging from oldies to modern rock ...

    Radio-Info October 15, 2008: Most of the layed off staffers are at the XM music channels, according to the industry website. "It looks like Mel's concentrating on the talk formats, which are the ones where he can sell ads." Especially hard hit are urban, ethnic, and innovative DJs, "all the great people."

    Another round of cuts was said to possibly be coming in early November ... right about now, in fact. I'd say it's the day the music died.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 2:05 AM, yakman829 wrote:

    If they would not have paid all that money to that sophmoric foul mouthed Howard Stern or Okrah Windbag, they may be in better shape. Im pissed over the lost of X-country and some of their other stations. 0.25/share, I hope it goes to 0

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 8:32 AM, 1fromtrenton wrote:

    While I understood that stations that were considered repetitive would be combined with either XM's or Sirius' channel winning out, I find it truly upsetting that in the Latino genres they took a combined 5 stations and rolled them into one. While I am no fool and know that the cuts were needed to stop the bleeding, I think their decision making process was horrible. To give an example imagine if they would have combined a hip-hop/R&B station with a Rock/Pop Station with an Easy Listening station. The outcome would be considered CRAP and that's what they got. I had put several radios in my online shopping basket to buy for Family members because they really enjoyed the Sirius experience when we rode in my car, thank God that I turned on my radio at home. I would have been embarrassed to give them this as a gift when they get more variety on terrestrial radio.

    Good job at ticking off the fastest growing audience in your target demographic Mel!!!!

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 8:39 AM, cmakk wrote:

    the one true thing i loved about xm radio was the music, which was vastly superior to fm radio. with the deletion 65, the ryme and 72, beyond jazz, why should i pay for stuff i can find on my fm dial? beyond jazz with russ and michelle prompted me to start buying music again.

    i can't wait for moja to launch, then i say bye bye to xm.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 10:03 AM, VFCsHouse wrote:

    The biggest inconvenience wasn't the combination of the channels, it was scrolling through the channel lineup trying to find the Playboy morning show! It's about time they combined the duplicate programming, they need to save the money and start realizing the synergies of the merger!

    I'll miss a few of the stations that are now gone, but there's enough on there to keep me listening.

    http://vfcsstockhouse.blogspot.com

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 10:07 AM, JMM37IN wrote:

    Be patient. The formats will evolve to match the customers requests/demands. The number of channels to each format, including Latino, jazz, etc....will change. Shows will come and go. Relax. I would like FoxSports on my Sirius receiver, but I am not going to cancel becaus eit is not on there yet.

    All of the negative comments about can not wait to get rid of the service.....go ahead and get rid of it. It has been a total of 4 DAYS now. I am sure what ever you are looking forward to replacing it with is going to be PERFECT from day 1. SiriXM is not going anywhere.

    I will keep my 3 subs and give receivers and subs as gifts this holiday season. Happy holidays!

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 11:07 AM, djangobonamassa wrote:

    i love sirius! but maybe howard stern should give a little help and take a cut! all that money while the company is falling. you think he cares. i always listen to howard andlove the show but how could he sit back and watch siriusxm fall. cut his job not the other hard workin people. also take care of kayla she deserves more respect!!!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 11:30 AM, rnr4545 wrote:

    I agree that duplicates needed to go, and have not had time to see what has happened with some of the best channels.

    I think they handled this very poorly from the listener's point of view.

    One thing that very much concerns me is that they scrapped the Sirius Disorder channel. I think this hurts both musically and on the business side.

    Car companies often build cars that get the respect of enthusiasts because they know that the enthusiasts are called upon for advice by lots of people who know they know all about cars.

    Disorder fans are the same way. They know a LOT about a LOT of different types of music. That is why they listen to the station. I would bet they also are very familiar with the whole line up.

    As Gladwell in the Tipping point might describe them, the Disorder fans are mavens. Wikipedia describes this way: "'Mavens' are 'information specialists', or 'people we rely upon to connect us with new information.' They accumulate knowledge, especially about the marketplace, and know how to share it with others.'"

    Sirius/XM, you've made the mavens upset. Chances are they were your best free salesmen.

    And not that long ago in FM such stations that catered to maven music lovers often built a 2-4 market share, not a lot, but very respectable and very influential. Big enough to generate huge concert audiences in local towns. A good example is the HFStival.

    It shows whoever is in charge does not know who the trendsetters are and what they like, which is what worries me most.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 12:54 PM, doc1951111 wrote:

    sad that it's come to this

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 1:00 PM, GoBigBlueXLIII wrote:

    I LOVE the XM/Sirius merger!!!!!!!! I am the happiest person on earth because of it. When I bought my car it had XM installed in it. Being a huge baseball and football fan, I was excited to get the Mets on the radio here in VA but when the NFL started I was mad that I could not get the NY Giants down here.

    Bring on the merger and now all the sudden I get the best of both worlds. Baseball in the summer and football all season long! The music is good on both Sirius and XM so if they need to cut out some of the stations, it only makes since not to have two similar things on the air.

    I actually overheard a table at my restaurant last night say that they both had XM in their car and that they loved the changes. Also they were talking about how they never even listen to music anymore becuase there is SO much other stuff to listen to like talk radio. I personally keep it on CNBC all day!

    Anyway, I love this company and wish that it was doing better because I am addicted to it. I think a good idea for the company would be for them to offer free installation and a free radio for those who sign up for a two year contract. Kinda like Dish Network and Direct TV. Who wants to put up the expense of a radio and installation upfront? I think if SIRIUS hired their own mobile units/staff, to install in cars they could get a lot more subscribers. I know I would put it in my second car and pay the monthly fee if that were the case.

    As the years go by and more and more people buy new cars with the radio installed and if they give a free three month subscription like they did on my car, people will become addicted to it like me. I believe in this company and want to buy some shares of it, which is how I found this article.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 1:09 PM, GoBigBlueXLIII wrote:

    Oh, and I personally never listen to Oprah, Howard OR Martha... Seriously, there is so much other stuff on here that what's the point of paying so much money for three people?

    Mad Dog Chris Russo is the only one worth paying!

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 3:03 PM, fatkevin wrote:

    mr4545-- I couldn't agree more. Sirius to me was Disorder and that was the hook I used to engage friends and new subscribers. Johansen and Larry Kirwan, the old Dave Mac (miss him greatly), and Vin Scelsa, though I hear rumors that he's still around. I fired off a letter to them expressing my disappointment and threats of cancellation. I guess I'll probably be listening to more internet radio (KPIG and RadioParadise) at home and creating more mix CDs for the commute. Now I'm discouraged about their future (and future stock purchases- I'm still in at an ungodly $5.95). It still might fly but I won't be listening.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 5:10 PM, PeterZenger wrote:

    I agree entirely that the changes are not good. I am afraid that the "harsher" side of Sirius is invading XM. Below is a note I sent today to the folks at their POTUS channel via this feedback page.

    http://www.xmradio.com/help/emailus.xmc?ch=130

    -----

    I understand that with the merger there are many programming changes that occur.

    I wanted to let you know that I am concerned about the direction of the POTUS channel. This morning at 8:30 EST it was very jarring to hear a harsh shrill "station identificatioN" for POTUS that then sequed into the "big music" of the morning briefing.

    I also did not enjoy the segment somewhere between 8:35 and 8:45 wtih Pete Dominick interviewing someone about the auto industry. It sounded too much like the shouting heads on cable news. I am not looking for shouting heads in the morning. What I have always enjoyed about POTUS is the in depth interviews and analysis with political insiders. During the election this would involve interviewing Democratic and Republican spokespersons, but not having them on at the same time for an argument. POTUS to me is like an enhanced NPR. If this devolves too much, I may look to cancel my subscription and just return to listening to my local NPR affiliate.

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 7:51 PM, mp3man2000 wrote:

    I have four Sirius subscriptions because I really enjoyed the electronic music channels. I was shocked last Wednesday morning when I found my favorite channel 39/Boombox, replaced by pop2k (pop hits of the 2000s)??? Great, just what I wanted, MORE access to top40!? I can get that from any three FM stations in my home town for FREE. If something is not done about this, I plan on canceling all four of my subs next month. Verizon aircard + open source Shoutcast = 10,000+ channels! I found a PDF that can be printed and mailed to the CEO of Sirius XM regarding this stupid decision. Here is the link if anyone is interested.

    http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=071021406318827...

  • Report this Comment On November 14, 2008, at 11:51 PM, unkabert wrote:

    I think the recent changes are a huge backward leap in their programing. It looks like the new lineup was put together by bean counters without any considerations to what the customers want.

    I have 3 Sirius subscriptions and will probably not renew them. Bring back Disorder!

    Bigger is not always better!

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 2:33 AM, DemianBohemian wrote:

    Yet another worthless Motley Fool article mentioning SIRI...

    The Motley Fool recommended XM as a stand alone company to their paid subscribers at over $30 a share and have been bashing the combined company down in the pennies day after day. What kind of pump and dump operation are they running? It's quite amazing that they release so many articles day after day with the SIRI ticker symbol in them. They have lost all credibility and are now fishing for hits.........

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 10:45 AM, m1942f wrote:

    As a non-owner of the stock and a Sirius listener only because I drive a car belonging to a guy who won't listen to the really good local classical station (not classic rock - good music) so it is stuck on endlessly repeating SM65 Old Country which I can stand to listen to - Sirius classical is so bland it is almost elevator music - I have to say that reading these makes it obvious that stockholders who are Sirius subscribers favor the merger and think the XM listeners aren't worth having. It is the XM listeners who are up in arms here and elsewhere and the specific complaints as here http://consumerist.com/5087231/sirus-xm-merger-reveals-true-... really seem to cut at the core of diversity. Sounds like Clear Channel saying it has 50 different formats, none of which play local music.

    And the person who suggests going to land based radio with lots of stations hasn't listened to the same dumb stuff on station after station here on earth.

    But the person who is really wrong is the one who claims it takes a ton of hardware to get iTunes on a car radio. A visit to any electronics store (and Wal-Mart) will reveal half a dozen devices no more messy and complicated than a Sirius add-on radio that will play into the FM sound system from any sound source with an earphone jack.

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 12:48 PM, WeymouthDave wrote:

    Wel I will be cancelling my subscription until the ala carte choice comes available.

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 1:09 PM, greenmeansgo1 wrote:

    I find it funny that the smaller fish was able to eat the bigger one. Sirius was worse in every way. Yeah, I know they're calling it a merger, but it's being run by the Sirius people. I've been an XM subscriber since 2002 and thought the competition sharpened XM into the better contender. After this merger I know why. I'm not at all happy with what I've been hearing on the Sirius channels.

    I feel sorry for anyone who owns stock in this company. Because XM was better in every way, all the things that made XM better are now gone, along with direct competition between satellite radio providers. The people who thought the only way to survive was to eat their competition and kill variety will alienate a lot of people. The people who run Sirius will be able to do what they think is best without having to compete. They can bring commercials back to their music channels, ax the more obscure channels and shallow out their programming even more to draw in mainstream dunces who they think don't know any better.

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2008, at 2:11 PM, sensij wrote:

    I'm not a shareholder, but I have been a subscriber to Sirius for 3 years. I just called Sirius to cancel my service because my car had been stolen and I don't plan on replacing it for a while.

    I was on hold for close to 10 minutes waiting for an operator, who informed me that they have been *swamped* with cancellations since the merger this week. she was excited to finally talk to someone cancelling for a different reason!

    just wanted to contribute my observations from the street...

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2008, at 2:13 AM, talkerbill wrote:

    Bravo for a great article...According to them disco is dead they retired Chrome and Strobe. The stock is not even worth a penny. What stupid fools are running the company..they know nothing about programing!

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2008, at 10:58 PM, geogate wrote:

    Article was dead on. I've got basically worthless stock, and the FMizing of Uncensored radio. If Sirius was so different than Terrestrial radio, why do your dj's have to talk over every song. WHERE IS MY UN-INTERRUPTED PLAYLIST.

    I'm cancelled as of today. You morons who keep supporting Sirius and XM keep talking trash, especially the fool who whined about connecting an ipod in a car. All the work that had to go into installing Sirius in my car when it look one plug in the cig adapter and one plug in the aux input to connect my ipod.

    Idiots.Why don't you go **** Mel's **** while you're at it.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2008, at 2:30 PM, momoboy1 wrote:

    The smartest thing Sirius XM has done! I am a shareholder and a subscriber. In consumer perspective, I don't want to pay double to listen to something that is double. As a investor, it doesn't do me any good to charge you twice to give you the same thing twice. In both perspectives, isn't the point that they combine in the first place? In reality, they are not changing your program; they are only changing your DJ.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2008, at 4:43 PM, scfff wrote:

    Merging like stations - OK

    Removing the channels that defined the satellite radio genre and set them apart from terrestrial radio - not OK

    The reason I became a subscriber was the ability to find non-mainstream content - there is still some available (Little Steven, etc.) but what will happen in the next wave of changes?

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2008, at 4:56 PM, JMixx2 wrote:

    I glanced over the comments real quick...I'm a 4x Sirius subscriber. I'm super upset over the change of censorship they did to the HipHop stations. I PAY to have new, uncensored music at my fingertips. Otherwise I could just listen to the radio! This is ridiculous. Was XM a weinie station that censored all their music? If you don't want to listen to swear words than don't pay for the service or don't listen to the station it's that simple. I'm starting to regret my lifetime subscriber status now that I have to buy more CD's to listen to un-cut music. Come on Sirius, buck up and play the music how we are supposed to hear it!

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2008, at 8:38 PM, Maxwell303 wrote:

    I have been with Sirius for 4 years, and I just cancelled my subscription. They even offered to give me 3 free months for both of my radios, but I declined. There were 4 stations (Left of Center, Purejazz, The Pulse, & Chill) that I listened to regularly, and 3 of them went away or changed drastically. I didn’t accept their offer because I get too frustrated listening to these “new and improved” stations that play crap! I haven’t heard one new artist since the channel change, and the REALJAZZ station hasn’t been playing any old school jazz like PUREJAZZ used to. Not to mention the new personalities are super boring.

    Well I guess ITUNES can get my monthly budget that used to go to SIRIUS. Such a shame. First Tower Records goes out of business and now Sirius sucks! Another day the music died.

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2008, at 9:02 PM, efy007 wrote:

    I am very disappointed with the removal of BOOMBOX and BACKSPIN. Sirius is supposed to provide genres that are not available on FM Radio. They did this, up until the merger. The above two stations provided music I enjoyed that I could not find on regular radio. BACKSPIN has been replaced with Hip Hop Nation, which has no old school hip hop! And BOOMBOX replaced with POP2K, which is just another mainstream music station. They suggest us BOOMBOX followers listen to Alternative Nation.... which is nothing like BOOMBOX! I am truly disgusted. I hope and wait to see if they see enough feedback that they adjust their lineup. But, if they dont, I will cancel as the stations I listen to just done exist anymore.

    If anyone here was a fan of BOOMBOX please sign the petition.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/boombox/petition.html

    If anyone wants to write the execs:

    mkarmazin@siriusradio.com

    sgreenstein@siriusradio.com

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2008, at 1:33 PM, alejrios wrote:

    Why is VIVA only available online???

    There is no comparable station left on XM... reggae, tropical, world (not us) hits, sound of africa... none is a valid replacement!!

    What a crock... i'm all for cutting costs... but c'mon... do some market research... fastest growing minority... and you are cutting out our music... not smart business.

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2009, at 3:33 PM, WMichella wrote:

    I called the corporate office (202-380-4000) yesterday (1/03/09) to leave a message of my discontent. Channel 83 needs to be reinstated. (I'm sorry, but 7 and 64 do not replace.) Since the merger I hear 1 song an hour that I want to hear. I don't hear Boogie Nights anymore like I used to.... The whole thing of playing no so happy mood songs is not going to keep me a subscriber. I'm not paying for 2nd rate music, right artist - wrong song, etc. So please lets get on the ball. I will discontinue if they keep playing.... We need to voice our dissatisfaction and hopefully we will get somewhere. HELP! I can find better music on the radio for free and there's not much there either, which is why I go XM in the first place. I'm not going to keep paying for it if it does not improve.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2009, at 6:39 PM, MotleyShark wrote:

    "I'm not a shareholder, but I have been a subscriber to Sirius for 3 years. I just called Sirius to cancel my service because my car had been stolen and I don't plan on replacing it for a while."

    I agree with you, as an XM radio subscriber whose portable receiver was stolen 3 weeks ago. unfortunately, they don't make that one anymore and I already paid an extra $40 way back when for the home kit. they offered me a different (read: newer but basic) radio for $10, but I respectfully declined. I'll get a replacement soon, and remain a subscriber, but no big hurry. I signed up for 1) sports 2) music 3) comedy/talk in that order...

    therefore, the music changes didn't hit me as hard as other people. I sure noticed my channels changed and did the "WTF" double-take the day it happened. but beyond that, I don't feel the pain so much as some people, since almost all my presets were intact, mostly just with different names.

    besides I'm in the car less than an hour a day and only listen occassionally at home, so I'm not hearing enough repetition or blathering to complain about.

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