Sirius Satelite Radio
CLS was retained by Sirius Satellite Radio to help with communications surrounding their proposed merger with XM Satellite Radio. When details of the merger were first announced, criticism from some consumer groups and an intense, well-funded opposition mounted by the trade association representing terrestrial radio stations led the media to pronounce the merger “dead on arrival.”
But CLS quickly got to work educating key audiences and turning the tide of negative press coverage. Central to this effort was building a proactive outreach program to gain the support of third party organizations. From the League of Rural voters to the NAACP and diverse organizations representing women, minorities, consumers, rural interests, and religious groups, CLS helped build a chorus of support for the merger and leveraged their endorsements with media and policymakers.
Central to gaining regulatory approval was demonstrating that the merger was clearly in the consumer interest. To help drive this message, CLS also managed a national public opinion survey which found that 70 percent of respondents thought programs offered by the combined company would be a good deal for consumers. The results of the survey were heavily leveraged on Capitol Hill and with the media.
CLS also developed and managed two merger websites that became repositories for all pro merger material and a resource for generating supportive comments from everyday consumers to regulators and Members of Congress. In just a short period of time, tens of thousands of letters were generated as a result of the sites.
After pushing back against traditional radio’s highly adversarial campaign against Sirius and XM, a majority of the nation’s leading newspapers began editorializing in favor of the merger. The transaction was ultimately granted approval by the Department of Justice as well as by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – the final hurdle in the regulatory process.