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Visits to Portals Continue Over Proposed Sat Rad Merger

Karmazin, Solomon have been among those knocking on commission’s doors.

The lobbying for and against Federal Communication Commission approval of the satellite radio merger continues.

Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin and Richard Wiley, head of Wiley Rein, met with Commissioners Adelstein and Tate and their staffs last week to discuss the deal and urge its approval.

David Solomon — former FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief, now with Wilkinson Barker Knauer and an occasional RW contributor — met with staffers for Commissioner McDowell, Chairman Martin and members of the general counsel’s office recently on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters.

According to a commission filing, they argued that the agency “may not lawfully act” on the merger application “until after certain documents relating to the apparent serious wrongdoing by ‘executive and senior-level employees’ of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio regarding the operation of FM modulators/transmitters and/or terrestrial repeaters are made public and incorporated into the record of this proceeding.”

The companies and their receiver manufacturers apparently issued FM-modulated devices with power levels higher than allowable; some were said to have interfered with terrestrial radio signals. As RW reported, the FCC investigated and the devices were taken off the market and/or re-designed.

Both NAB and the satellite companies have said that some satellite terrestrial repeaters were in different locations or had different power levels than authorized.