Why is Sirius CEO Dumping Shares?

A sale of Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI) shares by chief executive Mel Karmazin has come even as Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) ramps up its attempts to gain a controlling stake in the radio. On Friday, Karmazin made two separate sales to give away 13.7 million of his shares, first exercising his options for 43 cents per share and then selling for $1.99 per share.

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Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission had dismissed Liberty’s application to take control of Sirius with its current stake of 40 percent. Now, it has almost 50 percent ownership of all outstanding shares, effectively putting a cap on the price at $2.15 per share. Over the last five days, the rate of return on Sirius stock has fallen 11.50 percent, while the price moved up 3.57 percent until now this year.

Sirius, whose 22.3 million subscribers make it the largest U.S. satellite radio provider, is meanwhile trying to expand its content base. The radio recently signed a contract with three-time SEC Coach of the Year Houston Nutt to provide expert analysis on its 24/7 college sports channel.

The radio is also launching a Pink Floyd Channel, a commercial-free music channel featuring music, interviews, and historic concert broadcasts from the Pink Floyd archives. The channel was announced on May 17 by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and will begin streaming on May 25. It will also be available on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for mobile devices.

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