XM eschews Imus, other high-priced talent

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NEW YORK -- XM Satellite Radio Holdings is not interested in signing Don Imus nor will it seek more high-priced talent when it gets approval for its merger with rival Sirius Satellite Radio.

"Imus appears to have found a home that he's happy with, and he's back on the air, so I don't see any value from our standpoint," XM Satellite chairman Gary Parsons said Monday at the Reuters Media Summit in New York. "I don't see any interest in that at this time."

Imus signed with ABC Radio Networks, owned by Citadel Broadcasting Corp. after being fired by CBS Radio more than six months ago because of an uproar over an on-air racial slur.

XM Satellite and Sirius hope to get regulatory approval for their proposed merger by the end of the year.

Parsons said the combined companies should have a broad appeal with channels for shock jock Howard Stern, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, as well as sports, music and talk programming.

"We're not actually looking to add much of any new high-priced content to the platforms," Parsons said. "We have what we consider to be a very high-quality set of offerings that cost us an adequate amount."
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