Sirius Satellite Radio Hires Ex-Viacom CEO, Stern Bashes FCC and Religious Right on Letterman

Kind of a brief surreal moment — I’m watching the Late Show with Letterman and Howard Stern is busting away on the FCC, Bush and the religious right. Letterman is decrying the fact that 3 companies own 60% of radio stations (hmmmm, what about Infinity/Viacom/CBS?). And then I read that former Viacom boss (and Stern boss) Mel Karmazin has been hired on as CEO of Sirius Satellite, which will be Stern’s new home in 2006.

Clearly Sirius is looking play the big media game with Karamazin, and Stern is nothing if not a relentless salesman.

Now, I’m not going turn into a Stern cheerleader, but it is nevertheless nice to hear a semi-rational discussion about radio ownership consolidation on network television. Nevermind that Stern’s appearance was partially devoted to promoting Sirius. (Why he’s allowed to promote Sirius on Viacom-owned CBS when he isn’t allowed to do it on his Viacom-owned radio show, I don’t get. But who really cares?)

Of course, when you think about it, there are only two satellite radio providers in the US, which would make it more consolidated than terrestrial radio, wouldn’t it?