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NAB President Asks Karmazin To Nix Merger

National Association of Broadcasters President David Rehr has written personally to Siruis Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin to ask him to withdraw the application to merge with XM.

Rehr appeared to be reacting in part to reports that Karmazin had labeled the NAB's lobbying against the issue "disgraceful," according to a press report cited in the letter.

Rehr called that indictment "misguided." He conceded NAB had paid for published studies taking aim at the merger, but also pointed to "hundreds" of comments filed at the FCC opposing the merger, "all without prodding from NAB."

Rehr took the opportunity to take aim at the merger's backers and to reiterate NAB's view that the merger would be a government bailout for financial missteps and create a monopoly that would lead to higher prices and less choice.

 "Mr. Rehr’s actions speak more clearly than his words. Anyone so determined to stop the SIRIUS-XM merger must fear the competition that will result," said a Sirius spokesman. "We're thrilled to have the support of such a wide range of diverse groups, representing rural, African-American and Latin consumers. Given how traditional media has historically underserved these constituencies, it is disappointing - but not surprising - that NAB would try to be dismissive of the significance of their support."