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Layoffs Hit Sirius XM

Reports say 50 to 80 people affected

Satellite radio forums were buzzing this week about the impact of cuts at their favorite satellite music channels.

Sirius XM laid off at least 50 employees this week, the Washington Post reported. Other published reports have put the cuts at around 80 people. Most are believed to be from the XM half of the company.

The organization itself wasn’t commenting about the personnel reductions.

The cuts includes on- and off-air workers, according to two affected employees who spoke to the Post.

The specter of staff reductions had been surmised by industry observers since the conclusion of the merger of the satellite companies. The company has already shed some XM executives, as we’ve reported. Most of the management team for the merged entity comes from Sirius, which acquired XM in the deal.

President/CEO Mel Karmazin told attendees of an investor conference recently that rather than $400 million in savings from merging, the company has found $425 million for 2009. The company projects posting an adjusted loss of $350 million this year. It has some $1.1 billion in debt due in 2009.