Sirius And XM Smoosh Their Channels Together, And No One Is Safe
Today, Sirius and XM unveiled their merged lineups, and the carnage on the music side is definitely going to cause a lot of hue and cry among subscribers to both services. While it’s to be expected, since the two services did have a fair amount of overlap as far as music formatting went, picking through what’s been kicked to the curb is still pretty ugly, especially since some of the casualties seem to be XM’s very deep playlists. A rundown of the changes, and links to both lineups in case you’re wondering what the heck happened to Ethel, after the jump.
• Both services get new channels from their former competitors: Sirius gets the triple-A channel The Loft, the gospel station Enlighten, and stations branded with Willie Nelson (classic country) and B.B. King (blues); XM adds BBC Radio 1, E Street Radio, Little Steven’s Underground Garage, and Shade 45, among others.
• All the decade-specific channels have been rebranded XM-style: Sirius Gold is now ’50s on 5, ’60s Vibrations is ’60s on 6, Totally ’70s is ’70s on 7, Big ’80s is ’80s on 8. Also, XM’s channels devoted to the ’40s (on 4) and ’90s (on 9) have been added to the lineup. However, according to commenters over at satellite-radio clearinghouse Orbitcast, the names may look like XM, but the slimmed-down playlists with “nothing but the most common hits that have been played to death” are all Sirius.
• Collegy-rock station Left Of Center’s brand has fallen to that of XMU–a possible compromise for that channel’s program director and music director being let go. (Similar compromises were made with a few of the decades-centric channels, perhaps facilitating the change outlined above.) Apparently the shows programmed by music bloggers are still intact there, at least for now.
• XM’s alt-rock stations Fred, Ethel, and Lucy are all gone, and replaced by Sirius’ slate of alt-rock stations. And there are no stations devoted to punk at all on the newly combined lineup.
• XM’s standards station has been rebranded as “Siriusly Sinatra.” Siriusly?
• Fans of XM’s three Latin stations are all being directed to Sirius’ one remaining Spanish-language channel; Aguila and Caricia’s former 24/7 programming has now been consolidated into a single Sunday show for each format.
• On the flip side, fans of Sirius’ one lite-rock station now have their choice of three formats devoted to smooth music. Um, yay?
• Hey, everyone gets four holiday-music stations! Including one devoted to Hanukkah music!