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Edition #32: The latest from SiriusXM.
A list of layoffs thus far, SXM pivoting towards streaming?, tons of events, and much much more.
Saturday, March 11th, 2023
Hello, one and all! Welcome aboard to the SeriousXM newsletter. It has been a whirlwind week that first began with the news of SiriusXM layoffs which we FIRST broke on Twitter, mere minutes and hours before any other outlet started reporting on it. Not only did an anonymous source tip me off to it, but this anonymous person (who I’m keeping anonymous to protect the worker for fear of retaliation) is a fan of my coverage in this newsletter, meaning that I’m doing something right.
That gave me a boost in confidence to continue to work and cover SiriusXM as no one else can… or will. If you like what you see and want this coverage to continue, then do me a few favors…
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If you want BREAKING SiriusXM news coverage FIRST, like the news of the job layoffs, then follow the newsletter on Twitter. When I’m not curating and publishing this newsletter, breaking coverage will come first there.
Also, let me inform you that I will do a special edition to catch you up on the previous month’s news. That will come this weekend. Let’s first do this week’s news so that we don’t fall much further behind.
The Latest News
SiriusXM’s rates are going up next week.
Even though this announcement was made last week, its good to put it here as this week’s main story to let you know that rates for SiriusXM’s packages are going up. Not by much, but they’re going up. And after this week’s announcement of layoffs, you see why they’re doing so.
Because SiriusXM’s page about this can be confusing, here’s the simple version to understand it all.
First, rates will go up on Tuesday, March 14th. It will apply to purchases made on or after that date, plus renewals of existing subscriptions processed on or after that date.
Who gets impacted? Pretty much every subscription package that exists EXCEPT for the streaming ones. Platinum, Music and Entertainment, Music Showcase, News, Sports and Talk, the Advantage plan, the A La Care plan, etc. all will see a rate increase.
How much will it increase? Depends on the package but the standard rates will go up by just $1 per month.
For the record, this will NOT affect those under the lifetime plans. Prices will remain the same. Also, any promotional rate will NOT be affected by the rate adjustments. If you’re currently on a trial or promotion plan, you’ll be charged the new rate once that trial ends on or after Tuesday, March 14th. If you have a streaming package, this will NOT affect you.
Also, infotainment services from SiriusXM such as traffic, Travel Link, and Aviation will NOT be affected. However, its Marine service will be affected, and that will also start on Tuesday, March 14th. This includes all of the following…
SiriusXM Marine Inland, SiriusXM Marine Coastal, Sirius Inland, Sirius Mariner, Sirius Charter, XM Skywatch, XM Fisherman, and XM Sailor packages will increase by $3/month.
SiriusXM Marine Offshore and XM Master Mariner packages will increase by $5/month.
SiriusXM Fish Mapping package will increase by $10/month.
Sirius Marine Voyager package with Music and Entertainment and Platinum packages will increase by $6/month.
The promotional rates won’t be affected either for the infotainment services.
The initial list of SiriusXM layoffs.
This week has been a whirlwind for SiriusXM that started off with the announcement that we FIRST broke on Twitter Monday morning. 475 people, or 8% of its workforce, have been laid off by the company. Due to unfortunate economic challenges and investments made by the company, SiriusXM had to deliver pink slips to those workers. Even its podcasting business was affected, with reports saying that one podcasting team saw its staffing numbers cut in half.
While there really isn’t a complete list of workers laid off out there to the public, I here at SeriousXM have been researching, digging out, and compiling a list of workers who have been laid off thus far. This list is compiled from radio industry websites, forums, and a continually updated Reddit thread regarding this situation. This is just an initial list here, but for sure there will be more names coming out and more lists to follow in the upcoming weeks and months ahead so stay tuned to this newsletter. For now, here’s what I know of so far…
Steve Leeds, longtime V.P. of Talent and Industry Affairs. He first joined Sirius (when it was a separate company) in 2004.
B. K. Kirkland, director of music programming for The Groove (SXM 50). He first joined the company back in 2001 (one of the company’s early hires). B.K. has let All Access share his number so you get in touch with him if you’re one of those companies looking to hire him: (301) 928-9385.
Lou Brutus, senior director of music programming for a handful of channels. He also first joined the company back in 2001.
Ron Ross is an on-air talent who hosted mornings on SiriusXM and XM beforehand for 16 years. First, he did Flight 26 and then spent the last years with the company at The Pulse (SXM 5). If you want to hire him, contact (240) 344-3820 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kyle Cantrell is an on-air talent who has spent the past 21 years with SiriusXM (with their predecessor XM starting in 2002), first with the classic country channel Roadhouse before spending the next 18 years programming Bluegrass Junction (SXM 62).
Kellie Pickler, a country music superstar whose shows and segments were replaced by "SiriusXM Music" on The Highway (SXM 56).
Trace Adkins is another country music superstar whose shows and segments (including the Weekly Throwback 30 Countdown) were taken off-air from Y2Kountry (SXM 61). He was also the voice of the channel, heard on sweepers and idents.
Bill Zimmerman, an executive producer from Mad Dog Radio (SXM 82) since the channel literary started back in 2008.
Gabrielle LaSpisa, a digital producer for Busted Open on Fight Nation (SXM 156) who’s been around for five years.
Jen Silverman, executive producer of entertainment programming (I couldn’t find much about her) who’s been with the company since 2010 and was even heard at times on Entertainment Weekly Radio when that channel used to be around.
Joe Tolleson, program director of SiriusXM F.C. (SXM 157) who’s been with the company for ten years.
Roger Coletti, executive producer of Volume (online-only on SXM 780) who’s been with the company since 2016 and helped launch Volume during that time.
This is just a SMALL smither of layoffs learned by SeriousXM. There’ll be way more names to be announced in the coming weeks and months so stay tuned for more.
Adam Sachs gets a promotion.
However, despite all of that, SiriusXM did make a promotion for an even bigger role to one of their own.
The Wrap is reporting that former Team Coco President Adam Sachs is now Senior V.P. of Entertainment, Comedy, and Podcasts programming for the company. This a new role that’ll help bring SXM’s podcasts with its entertainment and comedy programming to help stream all audio programming from those divisions, regardless of distribution method.
Sachs joined the company in May of last year thanks to the acquisition of Team Coco, Conan O’Brien’s production/podcast company.
SiriusXM offering a deal for its Platinum plan.
Yet, despite the rate hikes and the layoffs, SiriusXM is hoping you subscribe to its top-tier satellite plan.
If you sign up right now, according to this article from CNET, you can get the first three months of Platinum for $1 which, compared to the usual $23/month, would save you $68 over those three months. This will also include Stitcher Premium and Pandora as well. There’s no set expiration date for this offer.
Is SiriusXM aiming toward a streaming future?
According to one article from Inside Radio, it sounds like it.
Now, of course, SiriusXM will still be around for the long haul on traditional plans, but its looking to grow its customers this year at a point where they are using its streaming plans, not its conventional plans since more cars are becoming internet-enabled. Inside Radio is reporting that SXM is planning to relaunch its streaming product by the end of the year, possibly around Q4 2023.
This news actually comes despite sister product Pandora seeing its reach shrink from 52.3 million monthly active users in 2021 to 47.6 million last year. How would it turn it around to adopt something like this for its streaming product? Nobody knows as of yet. Stay tuned.
SXM app now thinks about Channels You May Like.
This started almost a month ago but I thought I’d bring it to you here in this edition.
SXM has introduced a new update to its app where it may recommend channels that you may like from the selection you currently play with. Its based on your favorite list of channels to then determine what else you may like from its 330+ ad-free channels (traditional, online, and Xtra).
Its currently available now on the redesigned SXM app but it will also be available soon for car users who have the SiriusXM with 360L Radio device installed.
SXM is devoting a new radio program to helping those incarcerated.
So there’s a program out there called The Last Mile which helps those incarcerated in prison help find successful steps to become a better, more meaningful contributors to society, by developing careers for currently incarcerated students.
SiriusXM has taken that program and developed it into a new radio program, The Last Mile Radio. It premiered last weekend and will air every Saturday at 12 Noon ET (9am PT) with repeats Sundays at 9am and 3pm ET (6am and 12 Noon PT) on Triumph (SXM 111). It will also air on Sundays at 4pm ET (1pm PT) on SiriusXM Urban View (SXM 126).
In addition to the new show, SXM has also developed a fellowship program for TLM alumni which will help train in radio production with one such apprentice for example preparing for a role in the audio industry just by receiving hands-on training working on the program.
Other than the SiriusXM 1st Traffic and Weather channels which I FIRST broke and reported in this newsletter, there has been another slight change that took place last month.
ESPN ended its partnership with SiriusXM for the ESPN-U Radio channel as the five-year agreement between both unities for this specific channel expired. However, ESPN still has content remaining on the platform, including ESPN Radio (SXM 80), ESPN Xtra (SXM 81), and ESPN Podcasts (SXM 370).
The channel was first launched back in 2010 as SiriusXM College Sports Nation and since then, has been the home to college sports play-by-play and live talk.
No changes have been made to its lineup or its play-by-play coverage. However, its good to know that, according to Cord Cutters News, ESPN’s College GameDay has been moved from Channel 84 to ESPN Xtra on Channel 81.
The Apollo Theater Channel.
You only got one weekend left but since last month on February 14th, SiriusXM got together with the Apollo Theater for its own limited-run channel that’s been running since February 14th on the SXM app. The channel will go off the air after this weekend.
It features SiriusXM Apollo shows, those who’ve been inspired by it, and classic performances from the Apollo stage. It also includes classic R&B and hip-hop performances from the iconic Showtime at the Apollo television series.
This was a series of channels devoted to the celebration of Black History Month on SiriusXM that included Black Music Forever and limited-run channels devoted to The Notorious B.I.G. and Whitney Houston.
Meghan Trainor has her own limited-run channel.
If you love Meghan Trainor, good news for you. She now has her own limited-run channel on SiriusXM.
Since last Tuesday, March 7th, the channel has appeared on SXM 14 and will continue until Monday, March 13th. However, it will remain on the SXM app until April 7th. This channel replaces The Whitney Houston Channel which ended its run on Monday, March 6th.
This will feature her hits, personal stories, and even a variety of classics from well-known artists including Dolly Parton, ABBA, and Stevie Wonder, among others plus well-known artists from the past two decades including Beyonce, Harry Styles, and Madonna, among others.
St. Patty’s Day-themed music.
I live in a town where there are basically no people who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day so I’ll probably be the only one celebrating St. Patrick’s Day next Friday, dressed all in green. But I won’t be the only one…
SiriusXM will too celebrate it with its annual pop-up holiday-themed music channel focusing on modern and contemporary Irish music to get you into the holiday mood.
It will feature artists like The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys (by themselves but also featuring Bruce Springsteen), Flogging Molly, and much more. The pop-up channel is available now on the SXM app.
An Oscars-themed limited-run channel.
SiriusXM is helping you prepare for this weekend’s Academy Awards (a.k.a. The Oscars) with its weekend-long Awards Show Radio that’ll air until tomorrow on Channel 109. Host Jess Cagle will present interviews with Oscar nominees such as Jamie Lee Curtis, James Cameron, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Jerry Bruckheimer, and more.
Time to get to the events portion of this week and is there a lot to tell you about so let’s get right to it.
Women’s History Month at SiriusXM.
This month, SiriusXM is honoring Women’s History Month with a multitude of program specials and events.
Queens of Hip-Hop is right now on SXM 105 until March 15th plus the SXM app year-round. This has Cardi B, Lola Brooke, Coi Leray, Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot, and more.
Queens of Pop is on SXM 14 for one week starting March 21st plus the SXM app year-round. That’ll have Beyonce, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and more.
Queens of R&B is on SXM 105 for one week starting March 22nd plus the SXM app. That’ll have Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Sade, Beyonce, H.E.R., Lizzo, and more.
Women of Country is right now on SXM 55 until March 28th plus the SXM app year-round. This has Dolly Parton, Reba, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and more.
Women of Dance is on SXM 14 for one week starting March 14th plus the SXM app year-round starting March 16th. That’ll have Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Nora En Pure, Dua Lipa, and more.
Women of Jazz is on SXM 105 for one week starting March 15th plus the SXM app year-round. That’ll have Samara Joy, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones, Alice Coltrane, and more.
Women of Rock has already aired its limited run on SXM 105 but is on the SXM app now for the entire year. That’ll have Linda Ronstadt, Melissa Ethridge, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, Courtney Love, Phoebe Bridgers (who already has her own show on SiriusXM), and more.
There’s also special programming such as…
BPM’s Women’s History Month Weekend which is right now throughout the entire weekend on BPM (SXM 51). You’ll hear only women such as Alison Wonderland, Anabel Englund, Becky Hill, Nora En Pure, Charlotte De Witte, and more.
Debbie Harry: Punk Pop Pioneer is the Blondie co-founder talking about the band’s journey through a multitude of music genres. That’ll air March 20th-26th on Classic Rewind (SXM 25).
The Jody Watley Show on The Groove (SXM 50). A brand new show kicking off tomorrow, Sunday, March 12th.
A Linda McCartney Special featuring a tribute to Linda from her family plus Neil Young, Judy Collins, and Chrissie Hynde. That’ll air until March 16th on The Beatles Channel (SXM 18).
March of Metal Women on Liquid Metal (SXM 40) will feature females who dominate heavy music, such as those from Spiritbox, Lacuna Coil, Halestorm, Tetrarch, and more.
Rock Hall Conversations with Yola which is an in-depth interview with Yola, will air on Tuesday, March 14th on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio (SXM 310).
Women’s History Month Live Series over on B.B. King’s Bluesville (SXM 74). Throughout the month, there’ll be four live concerts from a female Blues artist.
#WomenOfTikTok with creator Tink who’ll celebrate the women that soundtrack the app from Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Raye, SZA, Kate Bush, and more. That’ll air from Wednesday, March 15th-Sunday, March 19th on TikTok Radio (SXM 4). There’ll also be TikTok Takeovers which are happening now until Tuesday, March 14th.
Chiquis Rivera will host her own special from now until tomorrow, Sunday, March 12th over on Aguila (SXM 761). She’ll present her musical influences plus present her new single Porque Soy Abeja Reina (Because I’m Queen Bee).
PopRocks (SXM 12) will feature a guest DJ hosted by a woman artist every week this month.
The Bridge (SXM 17) will feature male artists honoring iconic women artists such as Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and more. That’ll air March 23rd-26th.
Women of Utopia where every week in March, Utopia (SXM 341) will feature a guest DJ hosted by a woman artist.
The 70s on 7 will have a special countdown for the favorite female singers of the 1970s and that’ll air next Friday, March 17th featuring the Top 25.
I’ve missed doing this section so much. Its sports time! In the time I’ve been away, the NFL season is over, MLB spring training has begun, NBA and NHL playoff races are heating up, MLS, NASCAR, IndyCar, and Formula One have begun their seasons, and we’re super duper close to March Madness. A crazy time in sports, right?
SiriusXM launches a brand new sports community.
SiriusXM Sports has always been a thing. Now, they’re upping the ante with a SiriusXM Sports Community which is nothing more than sharing interviews and top sports radio moments across a plethora of social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
This will also include full-length podcast episodes, original digital series, memes, reaction shots, insider access with top stars and hosts, and more.
🏀: March Madness is almost here!
We are getting closer and closer to March Madness in college basketball! SiriusXM has nationwide access to live play-by-play of games from 29 (yes, you read that right… 29) Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I college basketball conference tournaments. They’re taking place this week as we speak. You have the following conferences with every game of their tournaments…
American Athletic Men’s
ACC Men’s and Women’s
BIG 12 Men’s and Women’s
BIG Ten Men’s and Women’s
BIG West Men’s and Women’s
Ivy League Men’s and Women’s
Mountain West Men’s
PAC-12 Men’s and Women’s
SEC Men’s and Women’s
West Coast Men’s and Women’s
Plus, championship games from…
America East Men’s
Big Sky Men’s
Colonial Athletic Men’s
Conference USA Men’s
Missouri Valley Men’s
Mountain West Women’s
Ohio Valley Men’s
Patriot League Men’s
Southern Conference Men’s
Coverage of every single game is provided to SiriusXM by Westwood One.
Tomorrow, Selection Sunday will be here and you can hear special coverage on Mad Dog Sports Radio (SXM 82) from 5-9pm ET (2-6pm PT), SiriusXM College Sports Radio (SXM 84) from 5-11pm ET (2-8pm PT), and CBS Sports Radio from 6-9pm ET (3-6pm PT).
After that, let the tournament begin! Every single Men’s tournament game from the First Four to the Final Four and the National Championship game will be carried plus every single Women’s tournament game from the Sweet 16 to the Final Four and the National Championship game, plus some early-round matches.
⚽: NWSL Game of the Week
As part of Women’s History Month, SiriusXM is letting you know about the National Women’s Soccer League Game of the Week during the regular season taking place each week on Saturdays which you can hear on SiriusXM F.C. (SXM 157).
⚾: World Baseball Classic is also here!
Yes, there is MLB spring training taking place right now, but also… its the World Baseball Classic! Usually taking place every four years (delayed by two years for this edition because of COVID), the global baseball event is taking place right now and SiriusXM is offering that as well up until Tuesday, March 21st.
It will have national radio broadcasts for every Team USA game with 15 WBC games in total, including every game from Pool C from Phoenix plus the quarters, semis, and championship games from Miami. All of those games will be heard on MLB Network Radio (SXM 89).
There’ll also be access to games from Pools A, B, and D plus the quarters from Japan. Those will be aired on FOX Sports (SXM 83).
⛳: Rocco Mediate joins SiriusXM.
Six-time PGA Tour winner Rocco Mediate has joined SiriusXM to host his own golf-theme program, The Rocco Hour.
The program airs every Tuesday at 6:00pm ET (3:00pm PT) on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio (SXM 92).
On his debut show last week, Mediate previewed this week’s PLAYERS Championship which is taking place right now and this weekend on the channel. Coverage of the final round will take place tomorrow at 12 Noon ET (9am PT).
🏎️: NASCAR and IndyCar are back!
For another season, both NASCAR and IndyCar are back to serve its fans and SiriusXM is here for it.
First, with IndyCar: SiriusXM started covering it last weekend from St. Petersburg as the IndyCar season got underway. This season, as usual, it will include the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 set to take place on May 28th. All 17 races will be heard on SiriusXM IndyCar Nation (SXM 160) plus the SXM app. It will also carry Indy NXT races, which is a younger version of the main IndyCar league.
Not only that, but you’ll also have Brick-by-Brick on Wednesdays at 6pm ET (3pm PT) on NBC Sports Audio (SXM 85) plus IndyCar Nation on race days, and Off Track with Hinch and Rossi on Saturdays at 9am and 1pm ET (6 and 10am PT) on NBC Sports Audio plus race days on IndyCar Nation.
NASCAR is also back for the year. Four races have taken place so far this season, including The Clash at L.A. and obviously, the Daytona 500. This weekend, they’ll be in Phoenix.
Saturday, March 11th (Today)
4:30pm ET (1:30pm PT) - NASCAR Xfinity Series: United Rentals 200
Sunday, March 12th (Tomorrow)
3:30pm ET (12:30pm PT) - NASCAR Cup Series: Ruoff Mortgage 500
This week’s Driver2Driver channels are…
Joey Logano - #22 on SXM 980.
Kevin Harvick - #4 on SXM 981 (his final season btw).
Kyle Larson - #5 on SXM 982.
🏈: The XFL is back, y’all!
After a three-year hiatus, the XFL came crawling back last month. And of course, SiriusXM, being the radio sports leader, would carry this. One of two NFL alternatives (the USFL being the other), SiriusXM will carry every XFL game on their radio airwaves.
Here are this week’s matchups, with all games carried on ESPN Xtra (SXM 81).
Saturday, March 11th (Today)
7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) - Orlando Guardians vs. Houston Roughnecks.
10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) - San Antonio Brahmas vs. Seattle Sea Dragons.
Sunday, March 12th (Tomorrow)
4:00pm ET (1:00pm PT) - Arlington Renegades vs. St. Louis Battlehawks.
7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) - Vegas Vipers vs. D.C. Defenders.
Thursday, March 16th
9:00pm ET (6:00pm PT) - Houston Roughnecks vs. Seattle Sea Dragons.
This is a very long email but I hope its worth it! That’s it for this week’s edition. I will be back very soon with a special catch-up edition of the newsletter so keep your eyes peeled for that one.
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In the meantime, thank you for your patience and for continuing to support my newsletter. I really do appreciate it. Have a great rest of your weekend!