NEW YORK — Mel Karmazin, long-time president/CEO of Viacom, has been named CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, succeeding Joe Clayton who will continue as chairman.
In a prepared statement Clayton said, “The hiring of Mel Karmazin is the final piece in the turnaround of Sirius that began when I joined the company three years ago. My contract was ending on December 31, and I advised the board of directors that I was willing to stay on for a transitional period.When Mel left Viacom, we all felt we had a unique opportunity.”
Clayton added, “I am very confident that Mel will accelerate the very positive momentum that we have established at Sirius in the past two years. Our recent announcement of the signing of Howard Stern, our exclusive relationship with the National Football League and the partnerships with automakers such as DaimlerChrysler, Ford and BMW are all indications that satellite radio has a central role in the future of broadcast media. We fully expect to achieve the subscriber projections we have given to Wall Street for this year.”
Karmazin said in the statement, “This is a perfect opportunity for me because I want to lead a growth company that can reshape the landscape of the radio business.I took Infinity Broadcasting and Westwood One to leadership positions in the industry and am confident that Sirius will become a market leader in short order.I will inherit a first-class management group led by co-presidents Scott Greenstein and James Meyer.I look forward to working closely with Joe Clayton and the strong team that he has assembled.”
In his career in broadcasting Karmazin promoted the careers of both Howard Stern, who will be joining Sirius, and Don Imus, whose morning talk show continues on WFAN and MSNBC.