Karmazin Gets Sirius as Satellite-Radio CEO

In a move that reunites shock jock Howard Stern with his long-time boss and champion, Mel Karmazin, Viacom Inc.’s former president and chief operating officer has joined Sirius Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. as CEO.

He replaces CEO Joseph P. Clayton, who will stay on as chairman of the board.

“The hiring of Mel Karmazin is the final piece in the turnaround of Sirius that began when I joined the company three years ago,” Clayton said in a prepared statement. “When Mel left Viacom, we all felt that we had a unique opportunity.”

Karmazin stepped down from Viacom in May following reports of various clashes with chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone. He was succeeded by co-COOs Tom Freston, formerly chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, and Leslie Moonves, formerly chairman and CEO of CBS.

The move marks a return to radio for Karmazin, who rose to prominence as the founder of Infinity Broadcasting Corp., which is now part of Viacom.

“This is a perfect opportunity for me because I want to lead a growth company that can reshape the landscape of the radio business,” Karmazin said in a prepared statement. “I took Infinity Broadcasting and Westwood One [Inc.] to leadership positions in the industry, and I am confident that Sirius will become a market leader in short order.”