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The New CEO at Sirius XM and Why It Matters

Stocks in this article: SIRI P LMCA CBS

But that doesn't mean Mel's worldview wins and you stand still.

Flush with cash, halt these symbolic gestures of returning cash to shareholders. Maybe buy back a few shares -- hey, everybody else is doing it (!) -- but think of Sirius XM as a growth company with massive opportunity. Invest your cash accordingly.

Hire a CEO for the future.

If you're going to go with an "old" traditional radio guy -- fine, just make sure it's one that is present and accounted for vis-a-vis new media.

Throwing out some names: One of the founders of Premiere Radio, the network that syndicates/has syndicated Limbaugh, Jim Rome and other big-name talent, Kraig Kitchen; an old radio boss of mine, new media consultant and former radio VP/GM Jim Meltzer; or another guy I used to work for -- one of CBS (CBS) Radio Dallas-Ft.Worth's top dogs and former ESPN Radio executive Bruce Gilbert.

I enter these names in the mix -- and Liberty would be smart to do its due diligence on each -- not merely because I know them (the latter two are personal friends), but because each would be damn good for the job. Other like names I am unaware of undoubtedly exist on the open market.

They respect the history and tradition of radio, but, unlike Karmazin, do not want to preserve it in a mausoleum.

If SIRI doesn't go that route, it needs to do what struggling old blue chip tech companies need to do: Hire a tech-oriented visionary who has never listened to terrestrial or satellite radio in his or her life.

The future of radio is online. On the Web. IP delivery. Multi-platform in every way. Satellite radio needs to cease being labeled as such. Use that model where it works -- with your core, as a selling point for coverage, etc. But embrace new ways of doing things to expand your audience and competently compete through the decade and beyond.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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