Proctology And Satellite Radio

I love the colorful Mel Karmazin. He's a brash, confident -- alright, over-confident -- success story and right now the never-ending-salesman that he is is doing what you'd expect him to do -- whip up interest in his company's lagging holiday sales by talking up a merger with competitor XM (again!). I laugh every time he does this. And I hope I never have to eat my words when I predict that a merger of the two satellite services will never happen. Or should I say, a merger of the two satellite companies should never happen. Even in a country where we are all supposed to live the American dream until we consolidate our assets and then wind up with -- the American nightmare. Mel says he likes mergers because they create shareholder value. I don't know. I cringe whenever I hear a CEO mention shareholder value. It's become as painful to hear as looking forward to an appointment with the proctologist. XM and Sirius should never merge. This doesn't mean they shouldn't merge with other partners but not with each other. As a satellite radio subscriber with three paid subscriptions, all I need is to pay one consolidated satellite company for fewer choices. Isn't this sounding like less is more all over again? Perhaps the satellite operators ought to wake up and attack the real problem -- no young listeners (i.e., customers) in the pipeline. Nothing is more important than that. Not more content deals. Not more Howard Stern channels. Not more sports. Or promotion. Nothing. Satellite radio doesn't need a merger -- a merger will fail (except for the investment banks on Wall Street who make money from them). Satellite radio needs more young listeners and from what I see they can't get them until they understand the peculiarities of the next generation.