Sirius XM dumps disc jockeys on 50s on 5 and 90s on 9 channels
In a move that's modest but still frustrating, SiriusXM satellite radio has taken the disc jockeys off two more music channels, 50s on 5 and 90s on 9.
As it happens, this erases several jocks that New York listeners know, including WAXQ (104.3 FM) morning man Jim Kerr, Pat St. John and Norm N. Nite, all of whom hosted shows on the '50s channel.
SiriusXM saves a few bucks in salaries here. The main goal, presumably, is making those channels music-intensive — a trend that has permeated all of music radio over the last 10 years.
The thinking is that listeners want music, not voices.
Me, I like both. I like the idea, even when it's an illusion, that a person rather than a machine is sharing this musc with me.
To relics like me, a good jock is as much a part of radio as the music itself, and I suspect someone at SiriusXM knows it. From Outlaw Country to the Elvis and Springsteen channels, hosts still talk, and I assume that's because listeners want them. They're part of the package, part of the deal we've always had with the radio.
That's why stations like Z100 and Hot 97 keep jocks in the mix even when they want the more-music brand.
The disappearance of more jocks at SiriusXM also feels disheartening because it takes satellite radio another small step away from what make it so distinctive in the beginning.
XM, in particular, positioned itself as an alternative to terrestrial radio. It played a wide range of music you'd never hear on commercial stations, and it hired jocks like Matt the Cat, a young guy with an old-time personality.
When XM and Sirius merged, a lot of that got squeezed out. Playlists tightened, hosts vanished, older and less well-known music was replaced by newer and more popular. It felt as if someone had hired a top-40 consultant and was holding focus groups.
Since satellite radio used to lose money and now makes money, you could argue these have just been smart business decisions.
It also must be noted that satellite remains a good alternative to commercial radio. It still has music and hosts and programs you won't hear elsewhere.
It just has fewer of those things — and every time it whacks jocks, especially on the channels whose audience grew up on jocks, it loses a little more of its "radio" feel.
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Sirius XM Satellite Radio Personalities
Sirius Satellite Radio offers an ever-growing list of hosts across its various channels, especially since its 2008 merger with XM. Many of these hosts are well-known DJs, talk show hosts, and celebrities who sometimes anchor special shows. In some cases, they may oversee programming on individual streams or channels.
Here's a list of some of the more interesting Sirius XM personalities.
Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Personalities
- Howard Stern: Stern has been broadcasting on Sirius XM Radio since 2006 after spending 20 years at WXRK in New York City. He's called himself the "King of All Media."
- Sirius NFL/88: Check in here for live NFL games in season and broadcasts from all teams' training camps during the preseason.
- Mojo Nixon: The psychobilly musician no longer records and it's been years since he's played live, but he hosts a variety of shows on Sirius: "The Loon in the Afternoon" on Channel 60, and "Mojo Nixon's Manifold Destiny" on Channel 90.
- Shooter Jennings: Outlaw country and Southern rock singer/songwriter Jennings has hosted "Shooter Jennings' Electric Rodeo" on the Sirius XM Outlaw Country Channel since 2005.
- Hillbilly Jim: "Hillbilly Jim's Moonshine Matinee" has been available on the Outlaw Country Channel—Channel 60—on Saturdays since 2005. You'll get music and hear some of his fonder WWF memories between songs.
- David Johansen: American singer, songwriter, and actor David Johansen hosts "David Johansen's Mansion of Fun" on The Loft, Channel 30.
- Dave Marsh: Author, editor, and music critic Dave Marsh hosts the show "Live from E Street Nation" on E Street Radio.
- Nina Blackwood: The former MTV video jockey hosts "80s on 8 with Nina Blackwood" on channel 8.
- Marky Ramone: Formerly the drummer for the punk rock band The Ramones, Marky Ramone currently hosts "Punk Rock Blitzkrieg" where he's been in place since 2005.
- Chris "Mad Dog" Russo: Sports radio announcer Russo signed up with Sirius in 2008. He now has his own channel, Mad Dog Radio, where he hosts "Mad Dog Unleashed."
- Kevin Hart: Popular comedian and actor, Kevin Hart hosts "Straight From The Hart with Kevin Hart" on channel 96.
- Jeff Foxworthy: Along with Larry the Cable Guy, they host "Jeff & Larry's Comedy Roundup" with covers of their stand-up routines among some of their other favorite comedians.
- Larry the Cable Guy: He hosts with Jeff Foxworthy as mentioned above, but also hosts his own program "Larry the Cable Guy Weekly Roundup" on channel 97.
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In honor of Women’s History Month, SiriusXM is shining a spotlight on the women who bring their unique perspectives, talents, and personalities to our airwaves. From talk and sports to entertainment and music channels, celebrate the strong, trailblazing women making their voices heard, playing your favorite songs, and beyond. Read more about them below and tune in to hear what they have to say on air!
Host: Happy Hour with Heather B. on SiriusXM FLY
Co-host: Sway in the Morning on Shade 45 & Heather B. Live on SiriusXM Urban View
As one of the original “seven strangers,” Heather B. learned firsthand about getting real during the first-ever season of MTV’s The Real World. This casting made Heather B. the first Black woman to appear on a reality TV show as MTV kicked off some of the groundbreaking reality shows it’s known for today. Heather B.’s perspective as a trailblazing, Black pop culture figure is evident across SiriusXM FLY (Ch. 47), Shade 45 (Ch. 45), and SiriusXM Urban View (Ch. 126) channels, where she shares meaningful commentary and spins hip-hop classics.
“There’s no way I could’ve imagined, as a female hip-hop artist who was just looking for a microphone at the time, that being on the very first season of MTV’s The Real World would not only bless me with a megaphone, but change the way the world would forever view television.” —Heather B.
Host: ’80s on 8
As one of MTV’s first-ever VJs (and the first female MTV VJ), Nina Blackwood spent five years introducing some of the most impactful music videos in pop culture history. But despite MTV’s channel-defining debut of The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” Blackwood has been keeping the spirit of radio alive with her daily show and the Big 40 Countdown on ’80s on 8 (Ch. 8), as well as the all-new I Want My ’80s podcast on the SiriusXM app.
“Just as that rocket blasting off the launch pad signified, I personally would never be able to look at my life the same way again and would forever be linked with the extraordinary age of video music. One small step for a woman … one rockin’ leap for womankind!” —Blackwood
Host: Debbie Gibson’s Mixtape Show on The Blend
To this day, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress Debbie Gibson remains the youngest female artist to have written, produced, and performed a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single with her 1987 song “Foolish Beat,” released when she was 17 years old. These days, Gibson takes over The Blend (Ch. 16) with a mix of music tailored to a specific theme for an hour every other week.
“It was clear when I started in the recording industry there was, at that time, a prejudice against young artists and females, especially when it came to the writing and the producing side. I knew that I had a clear artistic vision and the musical knowledge to articulate it, so going No. 1 two years in a row with songs I wrote and produced definitely broke some ground for the future of female writer-producers. It felt like a victory that was bigger than myself!” —Gibson
Dr. Nieca Goldberg
Host: Beyond the Heart on Doctor Radio
Since the beginning of her career, Dr. Nieca Goldberg, MD, has endeavored to advance women’s healthcare, particularly in promoting the understanding of women’s coronary and cardiovascular issues. This led to the creation of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Health in 2011, which Dr. Goldberg founded (and also formerly served as medical director) to ensure women’s well-being is prioritized. Goldberg is also the Senior Advisor to Women’s Health Strategy at NYU Langone Health, a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, Medical Director of NYU Women’s Heart Program, and Co-Medical Director of the 92nd Street Y’s Cardio Rehab Program.
Goldberg brings this passion to her Doctor Radio (Ch. 110) show, Beyond the Heart, on which she answers cardiology questions on everything from stroke risks to heart-attack symptoms through a female lens.
“A winning formula for success is to be honest with yourself and with those you interact with. Open your heart to different ideas and new experiences. If something doesn’t work out, move on and another door will open. Success is a marathon, not a sprint.” —Goldberg
Host: Classic Vinyl, Deep Tracks, The Beatles Channel & The Loft
After witnessing the birth of punk circa 1973 in legendary rooms like Max’s Kansas City and CBGB, Meg Griffin helped usher in a new wave as a club DJ and on her radio shows with original mixes of artists like Patti Smith, The Ramones, Talking Heads, and Blondie. Before her time on Classic Vinyl (Ch. 26), Deep Tracks (Ch. 27), The Beatles Channel (Ch. 18), and The Loft (Ch. 710), Griffin first worked with SiriusXM’s Howard Stern on WRNW in ’75. She has also been recognized as one of rock’s groundbreaking DJs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio exhibit.
“The greatest impact for me was how passionately this music of truth, poetry, activism, and rock ‘n’ roll was received by the audience I played it to. All of the energy that I put out via two turntables and a microphone came back to me like a boomerang of love.” —Griffin
Host: The Karen Hunter Show on SiriusXM Urban View
In 1988, Karen Hunter joined the New York Daily News as its first Black female news columnist. Since then, Hunter has won a Pulitzer Prize, taught journalism at New York University, launched her own book-publishing imprint, co-authored five New York Times bestsellers, and now hosts The Karen Hunter Show on SiriusXM Urban View (Ch. 126), where she leads discourse on the issues facing Black Americans today.
Host: The Hoda Show on TODAY Show Radio
Co-host: TODAY with Hoda and Jenna
Though Hoda Kotb boasts a storied background in broadcast journalism, one particularly groundbreaking moment occurred in 2018 when she and Savannah Guthrie became the first pair of women to anchor NBC’s TODAY Show. In the years prior, Kotb served as a correspondent for Dateline NBC in 1998, released a bestselling autobiography, won multiple awards for broadcasting and reporting, and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. During The Hoda Show on TODAY Show Radio (Ch. 108), she starts the week off right with Monday morning inspiration, celebrity guest interviews, and updates on current events.
Analyst: SiriusXM NBA Radio
Sarah Kustok broke ground as the first female full-time solo analyst for an NBA team’s broadcast after being promoted by the YES Network for her Brooklyn Nets sideline coverage in 2017. When she’s not busy contributing to Nets Magazine, Kustok hosts No Look Pass on SiriusXM NBA Radio (Ch. 86) and offers her expertise to several other shows and specials on the channel.
Host: Deep Tracks and Classic Rewind
Carol Miller was a pioneering woman in radio during the progressive rock era. Currently in her 50th year on commercial radio, she was featured as one of rock’s groundbreaking DJs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio exhibit. Now, Miller — who authored Up All Night: My Life and Times in Rock Radio in 2012 — lends her expertise to Deep Tracks (Ch. 27)weekend mornings at 9am ET and Classic Rewind (Ch. 25) where she queues up deep cuts and some of her favorite cassette-era rock.
“Fifty years ago, I was hired as a token woman DJ, and the boss wanted me to be called ‘Cinderella.’ I wanted to be accepted as myself, your friend on the radio, playing the rock music we all loved, and I’m grateful to have been able to do just that over the decades.” —Miller
Host: Have a Nice Day on Rock The Bells Radio
Shante holds the unique honor of being the first female rapper to have a hit single with “Roxanne’s Revenge,” which she recorded at only 13 years old. In the years since the hard-hitting, seven-minute freestyle was released in 1984, Shante has mentored young women in hip-hop, made appearances on Ego Trip’s Miss Rap Supreme, was the subject of the biopic Roxanne Roxanne, and more. She currently plays music, interviews hip-hop hitmakers, and shares exclusive stories during Have a Nice Day on LL COOL J’s Rock The Bells Radio (Ch. 43).
“My first record was a freestyle, and I feel like it allowed other female artists to come in with a sense of freedom. I consider hip-hop more than a genre, but my culture as a woman. It has given me strength, a platform, and a purpose. Hip-hop has given me a place in history. If I had to sum it up, hip-hop saved my life.” —Shante
Host: Bevelations on Radio Andy
After leaving behind a career as a fashion-advertising director, Bevy Smith has gone on to become a Gracie Award-winning radio-show host, motivational speaker, TV personality, brand ambassador, pop culture aficionado, and published author of her memoir Bevelations: Lessons From a Mutha, Auntie, Bestie. In her daily Radio Andy (Ch. 102) show, Bevelations, she imparts her wisdom straight, no chaser — while sharing stories about entertainment, dating and sex, women’s issues, and much more.
Host: Randi Zuckerberg Means Business on Business Radio
Businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg has years of experience under her belt as the former spokesperson and director of market development for Facebook, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, editor in chief of Dot Complicated, and author of five books, including two children’s books. Zuckerberg also works to inspire future generations of female leaders with her animated series, Dot., centering on a young girl using technology to enhance her experiences and education. During her Business Radio (Ch. 132) series, Randi Zuckerberg Means Business, she discusses the latest trends and topics in business while drawing on her experience as both an entrepreneur and mother.
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