This morning I got this in the mail:

February 20, 2007
Dear XM Radio Subscriber:

We want to share with you some exciting news:  Yesterday, in Washington DC, we announced XM Radio will be merging with Sirius Satellite Radio to form the premier digital audio service.

The merger will create a satellite radio company that will provide consumers across the country with more and better premium radio programming. The combined company will be able to compete better in what has become a very complex and dynamic entertainment market.

Where today our exclusive contracts mean you had to choose between baseball and football or Oprah and Martha Stewart, the new company will seek to ensure that in the future, you will be able to access both companies’ programming.  And, once we are fully integrated, those of you who have factory-installed satellite radio will no longer be limited to the programming provided by the exclusive satellite radio service chosen by their car manufacturer.

This merger should be completed in late 2007 or early in 2008.  Throughout the year, we will provide updates on how the merger is progressing and information will be available at our website, www.xmradio.com.

Between today and the merger date, as well as during the period immediately after the merger date, all of your services will remain the same.  The channel lineup, the customer service number, the great music technology, and the XM Radio web site will all remain unchanged and there will be no disruption to service.  But, if you have questions, information will be available and maintained on our website, and you can contact our Listener Care team at 800-XMRADIO, with questions and concerns.

XM Radio continues to be committed to providing you the highest quality audio entertainment and customer service available today.  After the merger, our new company will be able to offer you the most exciting listening experience in radio.

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Sincerely,

Hugh Panero
CEO, XM Satellite Radio

Forward Looking Statements
This letter contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the business combination transaction involving Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., including potential synergies and cost savings and the timing thereof, future financial and operating results, the combined company\’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations, products and services; and other statements identified by words such as "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "will," "should," "may," or words of similar meaning.  Such forward-looking statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of SIRIUS\’ and XM\’s management and are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of SIRIUS and XM.  Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in the forward-looking statement: general business and economic conditions; the performance of financial markets and interest rates; the ability to obtain governmental approvals of the transaction on a timely basis; the failure of SIRIUS and XM shareholders to approve the transaction; the failure to realize synergies and cost-savings from the transaction or delay in realization thereof; the businesses of SIRIUS and XM may not be combined successfully, or such combination may take longer, be more difficult, time-consuming or costly to accomplish than expected; and operating costs and business disruption following the merger, including adverse effects on employee retention and on our business relationships with third parties, including manufacturers of radios, retailers, automakers and programming providers.  Additional factors that could cause SIRIUS\’ and XM\’s results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in SIRIUS\’ and XM\’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2006, June 30, 2006 and September 30, 2006 which are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and available at the SEC\’s Internet site “,1]
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Sincerely,

Hugh Panero
CEO, XM Satellite Radio

Then there was some mumbo jumbo about Forward Looking Statements, as required by the SEC, which isn’t really all that important except to say that it disclaims them in the event that the merger might not happen or if they do merge and no longer want to offer their customers the benefits mentioned in the letter.

My discomfort and alarm in regards to this letter is that we have another megaconglomerate that has entered into Big 9 arena. Instead of what meager competition we had in the Sattellite Radio business, we now have one large conglomerate which will inevitably sell out to a larger megaconglomerate, and MSM will own a new emerging media. As a result, our emerging new media landscape will look and sound just like the dying ones of old.

I know, it sounds a bit morose and supposes a few things that are several years out, but look at history.  Newspapers are dying and terrestrial radio isn’t far behind. Then we’ve got the death of network and cable TV a few more years out.  The MSM, if it wants to survive, will want to diversify and invest in new media – and believe me, with that much money and that many lifestyles at stake, it will want to continue that gravy train.

Meanwhile, us the consumers of media, are left with the same boring personalities, the same slanted news, and the same idiotic reality shows with no real creativity and interesting programming.

/rizzn