NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In an interview with CNBC midday Thursday, Sirius XM (SIRI - Get Report) CEO Mel Karmazin told viewers that "shock jock" Howard Stern has been a great partner and that he believes that Sirius XM is still the best place for him to be.

"I'd love to have Howard stay," Karmazin said. "It's been a great relationship," and the company has made a lot of money with him.

Utimately, of course, Karmazin said, the decision is Stern's.

Karmazin told viewers there's nothing really "high on my issue list," at the moment, despite the increasing competition for the radio market, as the choices for listeners continue to grow with technological advancements, Internet radio, and the existing terrestrial radio offerings.

Karmazin said he believes that one thing that really sets Sirius XM apart, aside from its programming, is that it has a subscription-based business model, while Internet and terrestrial radio competitors are more ad-driven, which Karmazin believes is a more challenging business model.

According to his figures, there are about 12,000 terrestrial radio stations in existence, and thousands of Internet services, like Pandora, for example.

Sirius XM bonds have been trading better these days, as the company removes liquidity concerns by investors. Karmazin said he believes that the company will continue to thrive, especially with the rising U.S. auto sales, and that he's expecting a 50% growth in subscribers.

Karmazin appeared a day ahead of preliminary additions and deletions to the Russell indices, which experience a reconstitution every year, and are considered to be benchmarks for institutional investors. Sirius XM bulls are confident that the company will be on that preliminary list.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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