Fans of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) won't like this, but this morning's Wall Street Journal taps Mark Wienkes as the top analyst covering the broadcasting and entertainment industries for 2008.

Wienkes was one of satellite radio's more vocal and pessimistic critics last year. He turned heads in December 2007, when he downgraded shares of XM to "sell." Then he really got investors talking in October 2008, when he slapped a price target of $0.25 a share on the freshly merged Sirius XM.

In retrospect, that call was generous. Sirius XM's stock price bottomed out at $0.05 fewer than four months later.

In awarding the analyst slot to Wienkes, WSJ ranked all 33 analysts in his area of specialization based on the performances of their picks and pans; Wienkes stood the tallest. He was bearish on terrestrial-radio network Westwood One, a stock that eventually was delisted and today trades for a handful of pennies. When he was down on Sirius XM, it also proved to be a nightmare for longs, shedding 96% of its value in 2008.

If Wienkes remains his sector's rock star in 2009, Sirius XM won't be a factor. He retired his rating on the company -- along with terrestrial penny stocks Entravision (NYSE:EVC) and Entercom (NYSE:ETM) -- in December.

That's good news for Wienkes, since Sirius XM shares have roughly tripled so far in 2009 -- even though the stock is still light-years away from the $3.03 price tag it fetched at the beginning of last year.

Sirius XM is no longer on a near-term deathwatch, after Liberty Capital (NASDAQ:LCAPA) beat out EchoStar (NASDAQ:SATS) to provide a critical cash infusion three months ago. Sirius XM's results are also improving nicely, though net subscriber counts shrank during the first quarter.

Automotive and economic recoveries should get Sirius XM back on the growth path, but for now, this is a story of cost containment. There was a troubling amount of insider selling last week -- disappointingly filed as we headed into the holiday weekend -- but we will have a little more color during tomorrow's annual shareholder meeting on Sirius XM's near-term direction.

Trading in Sirius XM will remain volatile. However, with Sirius XM likely to close out 2009 with positive stock gains, it's a good thing that Wienkes got out on top, just as Sirius XM was bottoming out.

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