Recently I accused FCC commissioner Jonathan Edelstein of "selling out" his normally-left-leaning values, in that he was willing to approve the XM-Sirius merger if various conditions were met. Conditions that were stricter than what had been originally proposed, but frankly, were ultimately meaningless in the face of a government-sanctioned monopoly...which is what XM/Sirius are.
I personally feel this merger is bad news no matter what conditions are imposed, hence my feelings about Edelstein.
Well, I give Edelstein some credit back. When it became apparent that fellow Commissioner Tate was the real sellout and cast the swing vote in favor of the merger...WITHOUT the extra conditions...Edelstein voted against it, after all.
This is still horrible news, but at least Edelstein gets some street cred back.
Quick reminder: both XM and Sirius have been paying quite a lot of money to NPR and other public radio content providers for the rights to air said pubradio programming. With a monopoly in place, you can bet that gravy train will be coming to an abrupt end pretty soon. This is bad news since that revenue was helping a lot to pay for other new initiatives, and it couldn't come at a worse time overall-economy-wise.
BTW, technically this is not over just yet. Various factions - like the NAB and NPR - can and no doubt will sue to block the merger. The merger will almost certainly be frozen until the court case is resolved, which will take months or years. In other words, long enough to see a new President into office. If Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama wins, by law that will shift the makeup of the five FCC commissioners, from three Republicans and two Democrats, to the reverse of that. It might even force the current FCC commissioner/chairman, right-wing, secrecy-obsessed, and under-Congressional-investigation Kevin Martin, out entirely.
Needless to say, an FCC commission with a Democratic makeup might be a lot more inclined to block the XM-Sirius merger. Even with Obama in the White House, I wouldn't take it to the bank, but it could happen. We'll see...