Sirius XM Names Jim Meyer Permanent CEO, Boosts Subs, Profit in First Quarter

Jim Meyer CEO Sirius XM 2013 P

The satellite radio giant, controlled by Liberty Media, ended March with a company record of 24.4 million subscribers.

Satellite radio giant Sirius XM Radio on Tuesday reported improved first-quarter financials as it continued to add subscribers and named Jim Meyer its permanent CEO.

He had been interim CEO since December and was seen by analysts as performing well, making the permanent CEO job his to lose.

The company, controlled by John Malone's Liberty Media, said it signed up 452,890 net new subscribers in the opening quarter of 2013. In the year-ago period, it had added 404,596 subscribers. Sirius ended March with a total subscriber base of 24.4 million, an all-time high for the company.

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In comparison, the largest U.S. cable operator Comcast, set to report its latest results on Wednesday, had ended 2012 with close to 22 million video subscribers.

Sirius XM also reported a quarterly profit of $124 million, compared with $108 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $897 million from $805 million. The financials came in slightly below Wall Street forecasts.

Liberty gained control of Sirius in January after continuously raising its stake over a year until it crossed the 50 percent ownership mark. Mel Karmazin left as Sirius CEO a few months ago, leading to Meyer's promotion.

He was previously Sirius' president of sales and operations since May 2004.  Prior to joining Sirius, Meyer was president of Aegis Ventures, a general management consulting company that provided consultant support for Sirius.

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"After a thorough search of excellent candidates, we are delighted to name Jim as the CEO of Sirius XM, where he will continue to lead a very strong executive team," said Liberty CEO and Sirius chairman Greg Maffei. "Jim is a highly qualified leader and operator, and we look forward to working with him to build on Sirius XM's position as the innovator in audio entertainment…Jim's leadership, strategic vision and operating focus are exactly what SiriusXM needs today and in the future."

"I look forward to leading Sirius XM," said Meyer. "Sirius XM is a great service with world-class programming that comes from teams of focused and motivated employees. I am honored to be working with our talented management team as we continue to deliver the best content and services to our subscribers nationwide and enhance value for our stockholders."

During a conference call, Meyer addressed the relationship between the Liberty and Sirius management teams. "We very much see eye-to-eye on strategy and how to best execute that strategy," he said.

Discussing the potential for acquisitions, he said the company has been looking at possible deals carefully and would continue to do so, signaling any deal would have to create real strategic and financial value.

Meyer also vowed that Sirius would emerge as one of the highest-margin companies in the U.S. media industry.

Twitter: @georgszalai