Monday, May 21, 2007

XM Gets Political

May 21, 2007
Tyler Savery

XM Radio to Launch First National Radio Channel Dedicated to the Presidential Election

XM Partners with C-SPAN, other media outlets on 'POTUS '08' - a 24-Hour, Commercial-Free XM Radio Channel Devoted to 2008 Presidential Campaign

WASHINGTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- XM Satellite Radio today announced it will launch a new radio channel dedicated to the 2008 presidential election, marking the first time that a national radio channel has been devoted to a presidential campaign. The 24-hour, commercial-free channel, created in association with C-SPAN and other media outlets, will be called "POTUS '08." The channel's name (pronounced POH-tus) comes from the Secret Service code name for the President of the United States.

The channel will be "free to air" on XM, meaning that it will be broadcast free to all XM radio receivers. If a consumer has an XM radio but opts not to subscribe to XM, the consumer can still listen to the presidential election channel.

The presidential election channel will feature news updates, candidate interviews, complete speeches, debate coverage, latest polling results, fundraising status, and live call-in shows. The channel will provide free airtime for presidential candidates to speak to voters. Non-traditional media outlets, such as bloggers and podcasters, will provide content for the channel. It will also air archival audio of historic moments from past campaigns, tapping C-SPAN's rich political archive. Additional content will be announced prior to launch.

XM will preview the channel in June 2007 with live XM original coverage and a re-broadcast of candidate debates hosted by CNN. The channel will formally launch in September 2007 and air through November 2008, when voters go to the polls to elect the 44th president. More than 8 million customers listen to XM on satellite radios for the car, home, and portable use.

"This channel is a unique public service opportunity to provide our listeners with a commercial-free and politically neutral destination that is focused solely on this important presidential election," said Hugh Panero, chief executive officer, XM Satellite Radio.

"C-SPAN and XM Radio have been long time partners and are pleased to join forces to bring radio listeners up-to-date information about the historic and competitive 2008 presidential election," said Susan Swain, President and co-Chief Operating Officer, C-SPAN.

"POTUS '08" will be located at XM Channel 130. The channel is the latest in a series of temporary XM channels devoted to special programming. These "microchannels" on XM have included the Live 8 concerts, holiday music channels, and Red Cross Radio, which provided daily information to Red Cross workers in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina. "POTUS '08" is the most ambitious microchannel on XM to date, and the first devoted to a major news event.
position - Long XM

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5/21/2007 10:11:00 AM

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