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Muzak, the kings of elevator music and innocuous background shopping ambience have filed for bankruptcy protection. They are allegedly carrying debt of between $100-500 million and are in hock to the major record labels. That’s bad news for companies who are seeing their revenue increasingly siphoned off by illegal downloads.

Meanwhile the combined Sirius XM is awash in such enormous debt, reportedly around $3.25 billion according to the New York Times, that they are exploring a bankruptcy filing of their own. These difficulties may force the satellite radio giant to jettison such top dollar talent as Howard Stern and Martha Stewart.

Adding to Sirius XM’s woes is the sorrowful state of the automobile industry, as many potential subscribers are new car buyers and car sales are at 27-year lows. Digital media company EchoStar is a major holder of Sirius XM’s debt, making them a possible takeover target.

Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.

Tagged as: muzak | sirius xm

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