There was a fire to put out at Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI). A story in yesterday's New York Post helped amplify a report in Inside Radio that suggested that the fast-growing satellite radio provider was in talks with Citadel Broadcasting (NYSE:CDL) to air part of the iconic Howard Stern show on terrestrial radio.

The deal would have mirrored the move by XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) as it spread the shock jock wealth by syndicating a chunk of its Opie & Anthony franchise to a hit-needy CBS (NYSE:CBS). As it stands now, XM's High Voltage channel runs the five-hour morning show, but the first three hours are cleaned up and simulcast through conventional CBS radio stations.

The problem? According to Sirius, it's not true. The company is going to be very protective of its Stern franchise, and it has little reason to fortify the medium that it's seeking to supplant.

Good move. Even if Stern commands a smaller listening audience and is a less sought-after Internet search, he's still the marquee brand in radio broadcasting. Besides, according to, Stern's Web page is still far more popular than that of other radio celebrities like Rush Limbaugh, Al Franken, and Opie & Anthony.

Over the past three quarters, Sirius has landed more net new subscribers than the larger XM. That created the incentive for XM to get Opie & Anthony back on old school radio. Giving mainstream audiences a taste, serving up its two stars on toothpicks like a Chik-fil-A sample at the mall food court, is an interesting experiment to win back momentum.

Stern and Sirius don't need to play that game. Love him or hate him, when it comes to Stern, odds are that you haven't forgotten him. So stick to your guns, Sirius. If anything, kudos for finding one more way to get Stern's name back in the papers.

Rick recommended XM to Rule Breakers subscribers last year. The stock is currently in the red.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a Sirius and XM subscriber, but he doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. T he Fool has a disclosure policy.