XM Satellite Radio Recruits US TV Talkshow Queen

13 February 2006

In a $55 million (€46.14m; £31.51m) three-year deal US talkshow queen Oprah Winfrey will launch a dedicated channel on XM Satellite Radio.

The Oprah and Friends radio show is set to launch in September. Such is the power of her brand that news of the signing boosted XM shares by 5.6% to $25.99.

Enthused a Bank of America analyst of the Winfrey commodity: "It is considered by many to be the leading celebrity brand. XM get one of the most influential personalities for her audience comprising primarily of women."

Some 49m TV viewers weekly watch the Oprah show, while the O Magazine has 2.6m subscribers.

XM rival Sirius Radio currently has the edge in the celebrity-signing game, having enticed Martha Stewart by waving $7.5m in dollar bills in her direction, plus a share of ad revenues.

But the queenly duo's deals are but mere petty cash alongside Sirius's $500m five-year payout to schlock shock jock Howard Stern, whose talkshow launched last month.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff