Washington D.C., October 12, 1998 -- Radio listeners nationwide who have grown up with AM and FM will soon have an alternative XM. American Mobile Radio Corporation (AMRC) President and CEO Hugh Panero today announced that the company has changed its name to XM Satellite Radio Inc. (www.xmradio.com). He also unveiled programming agreements with USA TODAY, Bloomberg News Radio, Heftel Broadcasting Corporation, Salem Communications Corporation, AsiaOne and C-SPAN Radio, to provide audio channels for the XM service.
"First there was AM, then FM and now XM Satellite Radio. Our new name represents the next band of radio and the future of the industry, offering diverse programming, coast-to-coast coverage and digital-quality sound," said Panero. "Our new name, combined with this first wave of programming partners, demonstrates the momentum of the company and excitement about satellite radio."
XM Satellite Radio Inc., based in Washington, D.C., was founded as AMRC in 1992 and obtained one of two satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) licenses from the FCC in October 1997. The company expects to begin offering up to 100 satellite radio channels in 2000.
"With XM, listeners will enjoy the clearest, hottest, hippest and most provocative radio entertainment, seamlessly across the country," said Panero. "Wherever they live, whenever they want, in any style they can imagine blues, classical, Tejano, rock, oldies, jazz, R&B, country, gospel, news, talk XM Satellite Radio will provide the quality programming, choice and convenience that today's consumers demand."
A Wave of Major XM Programming Deals
Underscoring his message, Panero announced programming deals with a number of top media companies from the cable TV, newspaper and radio worlds:
USA Today, the nation's largest selling newspaper, will brand and help produce an exclusive news and information channel;
Bloomberg News Radio will deliver the latest financial and business news, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week;
Heftel Broadcasting Corporation, the country's largest Spanish language radio broadcaster, will custom-build five channels exclusively for XM;
Salem Communications Corporation, the nation's premier Christian broadcaster, will create three exclusive channels;
AsiaOne will target Asian Americans by exclusively producing two XM channels;
C-SPAN Radio will provide its signature audio coverage of public affairs events on Capitol Hill and around the country, often live.
XM™ Changing the Way America Tunes In
XM Satellite Radio will utilize two geostationary satellites to beam down to cars, homes and other listening environments up to 100 channels of music, news and audio entertainment to appeal to the diverse programming tastes of consumers across the country. The service will offer coast-to-coast coverage and digital-quality sound. XM radios will have access to AM and FM channels as well as XM. The company anticipates that consumer electronics companies will begin adding the ability to receive XM in car and home radios and audio systems in 2000. The satellite signal will be received using a palm-sized antenna. The company anticipates that radios capable of receiving XM will be available through a variety of retail electronics stores and, eventually, will become a standard option with new cars. XM Satellite Radio expects to launch in late 2000 for a monthly fee of $10.00, and will have both advertiser-supported and commercial-free channels.
Founded in 1992 as AMRC, XM Satellite Radio Inc. is owned by American Mobile Satellite Corporation (AMSC) and WorldSpace, Inc. As AMRC, XM Satellite Radio obtained an SDARS license from the Federal Communications Commission in October 1997. In March 1998, the company awarded a contract to Hughes Space & Communications International to build two powerful HS-702 geostationary satellites (the most powerful commercial satellites ever built) with payloads provided by Alcatel Espace. XM Satellite Radio plans to launch its satellites and begin providing a multi-channel, digital audio service with crystal-clear sound quality and an unprecedented variety of programming across the U.S. in 2000.