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XM grows in southerly direction

XM Satellite Radio continued to push its new service forward on Thursday, expanding its launch to the entire southern half of the U.S.

XM Satellite Radio, which launched service in Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Diego on Sept. 25, now will be offered in cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Miami. It plans to offer service to the rest of the country next month. The company also said it had completed a $66 million funding package with Boeing.

The package includes $35 million in new debt financing with Boeing Capital Services Corp., and $31 million in "restructured obligations" with Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. "With this financing, our existing funds, and prudent management actions, XM is positioned to drive its business deep into the second quarter of 2002," said Hugh Panero, XM's CEO.

XM has existing funds in excess of $125 million, according to the company. XM's news contrasts with news this week from its only competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio, whose CEO stepped down to become non-executive chairman of Sirius' board of directors.

Sirius also is delaying its launch date until sometime next year. The date had been scheduled for this December.
- Paige Albiniak