Sirius XM Radio: Merged On-Air

It's official. The merger of XM and Sirius is a done deal, and the new system is up and on-the-air. How do you think they've handled the transition?

I was the first to complain (okay, among the first) online about the new XM channel lineup. What can I say - I liked what I had, and I don't do well with change.

For me, the transition was somewhat smooth. The first day, my XM receiver had no clue what was going on, but once I had it scan for stations, it "found" some channels and my presets were surprisingly still somewhat accurate. My chick-talk station had changed  names, but the Broadminded Broads were back, as was "Good Morning, America Radio" for my morning commute. XM Classics was replaced with Symphony Hall, but the DJ had made the switch too. Best yet, my presets had similar styles of music, even if the channel name had changed.

There were other changes, and they weren't as bad as I feared. . .

XM's VOX channel was replaced with Metropolitan Opera Radio. This is a nice improvement. Flight 26 was nixed, but the replacement channel plays similar music.

Now on XM, we all get Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville, The Grateful Dead Channel, Eminem's Shade 45, Marky Ramone's Punk Rock Blitzkrieg, and more.

For additional fees, you can get the "Best of Sirius" package with Howard Stern, Martha Stewart, NASCAR and NFL. Sirius subscribers can get the "Best of XM" package with Oprah, Opie & Anthony, NHL, and NBA. 

USA Today had interviews with fans, unhappy subscribers, and Sirus XM execs. "We feel pretty confident we have a fairly unique lineup now of breadth and depth," says Scott Greenstein, chief content officer for Sirius XM.

Using one channel for both services should reduce fees so that satellite radio can remain a viable option. If the survival of the species depends on the combined channel lineup, then I'm willing to try to find what I like in the new list of channels. The good stuff is still there - I just have to figure out what it's called now and where it went. —Leslie Shapiro

USA Today