XM Radio Caps National Launch Today With Celebrations in New York and Seattle

By | December 7, 2001 at 12:00 AM

XM Satellite Radio, the leading satellite radio provider, capped its national launch today with celebrations in New York and Seattle in a coast-to-coast culmination of XM’s final 25-city “Power of X” “listen and ride” rollout tour.

XM broadcast live today from blues legend B.B. King’s club in New York, where XM presented jazz great Wynton Marsalis with the first New York XM radio as an early holiday gift, and from the Experience Music Project in Seattle, where XM presented the museum with the first Seattle XM radio. The radios can enable any car or home stereo to receive XM’s 100 coast-to-coast channels of music, news, sports, and entertainment.

“XM has now brought the Power of X to the entire country, coast-to-coast from Seattle to New York,” XM President and CEO Hugh Panero said at a news conference at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in midtown Manhattan, where he was joined by Marsalis, legendary New York radio personality and XM host Jonathan Schwartz and other celebrities.

“XM’s 71 music channels will deliver the most diverse selection of music ever broadcast on radio,” Panero said. “XM is thrilled to celebrate the completion of our national launch with jazz icon Wynton Marsalis, one of the most influential musicians of this generation, and Jonathan Schwartz, the foremost authority on American Standard music. It’s appropriate too that we’re celebrating our nationwide launch in New York at B.B. King’s, the greatest blues musician of all time, and at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, America’s premier music museum.”

XM’s television commercials, including a spot featuring B.B. King, will run today on the big screen atop Times Square. XM will dedicate “Bluesville” (XM Channel # 74) to King all day today and “Real Jazz” (XM Channel # 70) to the Marsalis family, all accomplished jazz musicians and composers: Ellis, the father, and sons Wynton, Branford, Jason and Delfeayo.

“XM’s “Power of X” listen-and-ride tour rolled across the entire U.S. with events in 60 cities, capped by a final-phase, 25-day, 25-city tour in such major centers as Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco and Washington DC, before culminating today in New York and Seattle. XM initiated its nationwide launch Sept. 25 in its lead markets of San Diego and Dallas/Fort Worth, expanded in mid-October across the entire Southern U.S, and Nov. 12 across the entire continental U.S.

More than 100,000 XM radios will be on retail shelves for the Christmas selling season to meet demand for what has become one of the hottest products of 2001. XM has been featured as a holiday gift by publications ranging from “US News & World Report” to “Playboy.” XM was named an “Invention of the Year” by “Time” and won “Popular Science’s” 2001 “Best of What’s New” Grand Award in the electronics category. XM won several awards at the 2001 International Consumer Electronics Show, including “Best of CES” in the automotive category. As “Fortune” reported on XM, “Satellite radio is the best thing to happen to car radio since FM emerged some 40 years ago.”

Beginning at XM’s New York event, Schwartz broadcast a live two-hour special on XM’s American standards channel “Frank’s Place” (Channel 73) from King’s club. Schwartz regularly hosts his show from XM’s West 57th Street studios at the Steinway Building.

In Seattle, Smithereens founder and lead singer Pat Dinizio, who heads up “Unsigned,” XM’s unsigned artists channel (Channel 52), headlined XM’s celebration, broadcasting live from the Experience Music Project. Dinizio and Unsigned Music Director Billy Zero performed and interviewed unsigned area artists.

XM radios are available throughout the New York metropolitan area at The Wiz, Best Buy, Circuit City, Sixth Avenue and P.C. Richards. Throughout the nation, XM radios are also available at other major electronics retailers.

XM will transform radio, an industry that has seen little technological change since FM, almost 40 years ago. XM provides music to soothe the mind and information to fill it. XM’s programming lineup features 100 coast-to- coast digital channels: 71 music channels, more than 30 of them commercial- free, from hip hop to opera, classical to country, bluegrass to blues; and 29 channels of sports, talk, children’s and entertainment. XM also brings to the car, for the first time on radio, the same diverse selection of 24-hour news sources available in the home on cable and DIRECTV.

XM offers 13 channels of news and information covering the latest national, world, business, financial and technology developments from premier partners and its own programming staff, such as CNBC, CNN Headline News, CNNfn, Fox News, ABC News & Talk, USA Today, Bloomberg, BBC World Service, C-SPAN and its own XM News. These channels extend the reach of America’s most trusted and popular hosts and commentary from TV and radio – including Maria Bartiromo, Art Bell, Sam Donaldson, Dr. Dean Edell, Sean Hannity, Brit Hume, Jim Lehrer, Joe Madison, Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reilly, Tim Russert, Tony Snow and Brian Williams – to motorists everywhere across the United States, ensuring they are never out of touch with the latest news.

Leading manufacturers such as Sony, Alpine and Pioneer offer a broad array of XM radios including models that easily enable any existing car stereo system to receive XM service (the Pioneer Universal Receiver and the Sony Plug-and-Play) and over 20 models of new AM/FM/XM systems offering many other great features. General Motors last month rolled out factory-installed Delphi-Delco XM radios in Cadillac DeVille and Seville models, and will expand to more than 20 GM models next year.

XM’s strategic investors include America’s leading car, radio and satellite TV companies – General Motors, American Honda Motor Co. Inc., Clear Channel Communications and DIRECTV. For more information, please visit XM’s web site: http://www.xmradio.com.

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