The list of Emergency Alert System monitoring sources has grown by two after the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the use of two free preview channels on the SiriusXM network as alternate monitoring assignments for national alerts. The move means that local radio stations or emergency management agencies can monitor Sirius channel No. 184 or XM channel No. 1 in order to trigger local EAS equipment. The decision is based on what IPAWS division director Antwane Johnson said has been the “on-going relationship” between the satellite radio company and FEMA.
SiriusXM became part of the Emergency Alert System in 2005 when FEMA installed equipment at XM Radio’s Washington, DC studios, creating a Primary Entry Point or “PEP” station. That’s the network of 77 mostly AM stations that have a direct connection to FEMA and act as a primary broadcast source for national EAS messages. “That equipment remains in place to this day,” Johnson pointed out in a letter to the company. In addition to SiriusXM, the government also works with iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks to relay EAS messages from its satellites.
For FEMA the approval of SiriusXM ensures there’s one more satellite-delivered distribution point for critical disaster or emergency information to broadcasters and directly to listeners. “While all SiriusXM subscribers will receive national EAS messages regardless of what channel they may be listening to at the time an alert is issued, use of the two above described channels will ensure that any national-level EAS message is received and further distributed without regard to whether the radio receiver is currently, or ever was, subscribed to a SiriusXM satellite radio service,” Johnson said.
FEMA is in the midst of a multiyear, multimillion dollar upgrade of its PEP facilities. Last month it unveiled upgraded facilities at iHeartMedia’s “News Radio 700” WLW Cincinnati. The government installed a pod-like remote broadcast facility alongside WLW’s transmitter tower. The fenced-in, shed-like 8-by-20-foot structures include all the things needed to broadcast remotely, including a studio, backup transmitter and generator, as well as facilities for a two-person staff, such as a 60-day supply of food and water, bunks, and an air filtration system. The idea is that it is a broadcast facility that is survivable in case of not only natural disasters like a hurricane, but man-made radiological, biological, or electromagnetic pulse events as well.
FEMA expects to spend about $1.5 million on each of the PEP stations that it upgrades. Roughly one-third of the 77 PEP stations still needed to be hardened, with iHeartMedia news-talk KOA Denver (850) said to be near the top of the list of stations to go next.
In a $3.5 billion all-stock transaction, SiriusXM bought Pandora in September 2018 and the deal was finalized on February 1. Venus just moved from channel 3 to online channel 303. A new channel, Pandora Now, will launch on channel 3 at 2 PM Eastern time April 4 -- and no, I have no idea what the format will be. We will find out tomorrow.
Well, we now know the format of the Pandora NOW channel: current hits and "trending songs." Here is what was played in the first hour, alphabetized for your convenience. Chart positions are included for songs that are on this week's Billboard Hot 100.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Channel 3 - Pandora NOW
Bad Liar - Imagine Dragons (56)
Be Like Me - Lil Pump/Lil Wayne
Happier - Marshmello/Bastille (6)
I Am Who They Say - NBA YoungBoy/Kevin Gates/Quando Rondo
I Can't Get Enough - Benny Blanco/Tainy/Selena Gomez/J Balvin (85)
I Wanna Know - NOTD/Bea Miller
Last Hurrah - Bebe Rexha (98)
Mine - Bazzi
Please Me - Cardi B/Bruno Mars (5)
Robbery - Juice WRLD (37)
Put A Date On It - Yo Gotti/Lil Baby (46)
Shallow - Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper (10)
Sicko Mode - Travis Scott (18)
Sweet But Psycho - Ava Max (20)
Talk - Khalid (40)
Thank U, Next - Ariana Grande (21)
Undecided - Chris Brown (91)
Who Do You Love - Chainsmokers/5 Seconds Of Summer (52)
Wow - Post Malone (2)
7 Rings - Ariana Grande (1)
I've listened to Slacker. We all kind've got into listening to it here: DAB, Hank the dwarf and many others. I even got a G2 when they came out. I eventually got bored with the selection and even more the lack of interaction. After all these years, I have yet to be bored with SiriusXM.
This is from RadioInsight.com, April 16 -- and who knew SiriusXM had an "ecosystem"?
SiriusXM talk shows head to Pandora as podcasts
The integration of Pandora into SiriusXM's ecosystem has taken another step forward as content from SiriusXM's spoken word channels will come to Pandora in podcast form. The podcasts will vary from full-length episodes of shows to best-of segments. It follows the launch of Pandora NOW as a playlist/station hybrid on both services and bringing Pandora-like playlists to SiriusXM app subscribers since the SiriusXM acquisition of Pandora was completed a few months ago.
The full list of shows included are:
Jim Norton & Sam Roberts Interviews
Larry The Cable Guy Weekly Roundup
Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius
Straight From The Hart with Kevin Hart
Unmasked with Ron Bennington
A Comic Mind hosted by Jeff Foxworthy
Andy Cohen Deep & Shallow Interviews
Sway In The Morning
Jenny McCarthy's Celebrity Dirt
Debatable with Mark Goodman & Alan Light
Feedback with Nik Carter & Lori Majewski
Jeff Lewis Rants
The Hoda Show
Reality Checked: News & Feuds with Amy Phillips
The Jason Ellis Show
Entertainment Weekly Celebrity Spotlight
Michelle Collins Pops The Question
Joel Osteen Radio
Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk
Mad Dog Unleashed
Schein On Sports
RadioInsight columnist Sean Ross does not seem to be overly impressed with Pandora NOW but he acknowledges it's a great channel for 18-year-olds who want to hear unedited current hits while they're driving.
I expect the number of employees increased. I wonder how the day-to-day operations of the Xtra channels are staffed. The playlist seems to change a little each week and substantially each month.
The diversification of the extra channels is a welcome change of pace for my receivers. Expanding the selection list from 150 to 250+ is quite a lineup for different listening tastes within a category of music or talk.