Fox Interview With Mel Karmazin


MEL KARMAZIN TELLS FOX BUSINESS NETWORK THAT STAN O’NEAL “HAS DONE A FINE JOB”

In a broadcast interview with FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, Mel Karmazin, Sirius Satellite Radio CEO, talks about Stan O’Neal’s departure from Merrill Lynch, the Sirius/XM merger and his attempted merger with CNN while at CBS. Below are the excerpts.

On whether the Sirius / XM merger will be approved:

“Yes, our stock went down today and our investor relations people told me that there was a disappointment that we weren’t able to get more clarity on where we see the merger. I told them the merger will happen. I believe the merger will happen at the end of this year. In February, February 19th, we announced the merger. It’s been almost ten months since we announced it and we think that the regulators are paying attention to it, looking at it and I hope that it will get done by the end of the year. I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t.”

On what will happen if the merger isn’t approved:

“I believe that Sirius goes on and continues to do its business plan. We announced today that we will be free cash-flow positive in the fourth quarter. Our losses are shrinking. We will be free cash-flow positive probably faster than cable television and satellite television.”

On former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal:

“I think that they have every right decide if they want to make a change and he has every right to resign if he wants to. I know him. I think he’s done a fine job and he’s a fine executive…I believe that there will be others and I didn’t think he’d be the first. I think there was an unfair amount on conversation today about his compensation. He didn’t get anything for being fired or exiting. All of the money he will leave with is money he earned during his tenure at the firm and the board of directors decided that that was the appropriate compensation for him.”

On his attempted merger with CNN while at CBS News:

“One of the things I tried to do is to take the CBS News organization, which is a great news organization and a very expensive operation and tried to combine that with CNN where we would have a 24-hour news channel. We would have saved significant amounts of information in the newsgathering.”

“If I were Disney or CBS and I didn’t have a cable network and I had a news organization, how could I not be thinking about the benefits that could be accrued for shareholders by combining CNN with one of those news organizations?”

On FOX Business Network:

“I think Rupert Murdoch is a very smart person and Roger Ailes is a very smart person and the reason they would want to do it is because they believe they could make money. This isn’t going to be a quick way to make a lot of money, but over time, think about the amount of money that FOX News Channel is making.”

 

 

 

 

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