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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Don & Mike to Sirius...

Based on several fairly reliable sources, we are reporting that the Don & Mike show, originating from Washington DC’s WJFK 106.7 FM, has signed on to a 3 ½ year contract with Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI). This deal is estimated to be valued at over 9MM in cash and stock, and was originally spearheaded by the top chief Mel Karmazin himself.

Don & Mike will begin their contact with Sirius in late spring 2006 and will be broadcasting from Washington DC in studios that are currently being expanded now for some of the local political programming that is being developed for Sirius. Part of this deal was hinging on the replacement of Jeremy Coleman, currently acting as Vice President of Talk, Information and Entertainment Programming at Sirius. Jeremy, who has been in this role since mid 2003, is being replaced at Sirius which is opening doors to this deal, which had been on the backburner for months.

Don & Mike are expected to broadcast on channel 103, which is currently being held for additional talk programming. Insiders are speculating that Don & Mike will be introduced to the national radio audience via a Stern interview, though this appears to be pretty unlikely given recent clamping down of the Sirius promotion machine, aka Howard Stern.

We do have confirmation that the plan is for Don & Mike to announce the details of this deal on the air in early December 2005. Insiders are expecting a less tolerant response from Infinity than what we have seen in the past. There is a strong potential for Infinity to suspend Don & Mike immediately and for D&M to cut their Westwood One contract due to out clauses that currently exist based on syndication minimums that are not being met today.

Either way, the long term view for WJFK is to switch to a conservative talk format. With the longer term locked contact with Bill O’Reilly and recently signed deals with Jay Severin and The Junkies, this station has no options to move to the Jack format, which is missing in the DC market. Only time will tell if our sources are accurate, and we will keep you updated. As always, it is important to remember this information is speculative and should be used with caution. The inside information was obtained through more than one source, though the multiple sources are public knowledge.

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