Is Howard Stern's rowdy radio show becoming the next hot spot for stock trading tips? Last week he beat Sirius Satellite Radio
Yet now some investors are dissecting comments that Stern made later, suggesting that his deal with Sirius didn't necessarily mean an end to his relationship with his friends at Viacom
That birthed two juicy rumors. The first was that former Viacom COO Mel Karmazin would be joining Sirius. That makes sense. He left Viacom four months ago, and while his name has been tossed around as a possible successor to Michael Eisner at Disney
The second rumor is a bit more radical. However, it was more widespread and had even the New York Post wondering whether Viacom would just flat-out acquire Sirius.
A merger would make sense on the most basic of levels. Viacom stands to lose the most with Stern's departure. It's not just that the show is highly rated in its syndicated markets; it's more dire than that. If Stern's switch to Sirius causes a migration away from free radio, Viacom's Infinity Broadcasting will be dealt a brutal blow.
Sirius and XM Satellite Radio
So why is no one bringing up a third option? Come 2006, Sirius and Stern will need more than word-of-mouth to promote the show to those who have yet to subscribe. That's where Viacom's many cable properties like Spike TV, MTV, and Comedy Central make sense to keep Stern visible beyond the realm of satellite radio. What kind of deal is possible? Will it involve Viacom taking some of the money it made in unloading Blockbuster
Perhaps. But Viacom swallowing Sirius whole? I don't think that Viacom can afford to be that hungry -- or that Sirius is that anxious to be served on a plate.Will Viacom join Sirius in cashing in on Howard Stern's success? Will satellite radio really have an impact on traditional radio? With 1.2 billion shares, is a reverse split in Sirius' future? All this and more in the Sirius discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz likes the move by Sirius in landing Stern and doesn't feel that it is overpaying for his services. He owns shares in Viacom and Disney.