Sirius XM says Liberty's Maffei is new chairman

Sirius XM says Liberty Media's Gregory Maffei has become Sirius chairman

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sirius XM Radio Inc. said Thursday that Gregory Maffei of Liberty Media has replaced Eddy Hartenstein as chairman of the satellite radio company's board of directors.

Sirius XM disclosed Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Maffei became chairman this month. Maffei, 52, is Liberty Media president and CEO. The change comes three months after the Liberty acquired majority control in Sirius XM and regulators approved the transfer of Sirius XM's broadcast licenses to Liberty.

Maffei has been on the Sirius XM board since March 2009. Hartenstein, 62, was the company's non-executive chairman since November 2009, and he still has a seat on the board. He is also the publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times.

Liberty Media is run by cable magnate John Malone. It bought a 40 percent stake in Sirius XM in 2009 after agreeing to lend the company $530 million, saving the company from near bankruptcy. It gradually acquired more of Sirius after that.

Sirius XM directors Leon Black, Lawrence Gilberti, and Jack Shaw resigned from the board after Liberty Media gained majority control. That allowed Liberty to gain control of the board of directors. Former CEO Mel Karmazin left the company in December ahead of the takeover. Mark Carleton, Robin Pringle, Charles Tanabe and Sirius XM CEO James Meyer were subsequently appointed to the board.

The company said Wednesday that Tanabe won't stand for election to a full one-year term. Malone, who has been on the board since April 2009, also won't run for a new term. Sirius XM said it nominated David Zaslav and Malone's son Evan, to fill those seats on the board.

Zaslav, 53, is president and CEO of media company Discovery Communications. Evan Malone, 42, has been a director of Liberty Media since August 2008. He also works as an engineering consultant.

There are 13 positions on Sirius XM's board. Shareholders will vote on the nominees at the company's annual meeting on May 21.

Shares of Sirius XM edged up 2 cents to $3.15 in afternoon trading.

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