Hugh Panero

President and CEO

XM Satellite Radio

As one of the pioneers of pay-per-view TV, Hugh Panero learned that "people will pay for their passions." In fact, he says, "with great content, people are going to pay for anything."

He's now using that lesson to build XM Satellite Radio into what he hopes will be one of two subscription services that will "reinvent [and] revolutionize [radio] and make it sing again."

XM's programming plan is to take popular terrestrial formats and "blow them out," says Panero. Rather than one oldies station, he says, XM might offer an oldies channel for each of the past few decades.

Panero, 44, was hired to lead the Washington, D.C.-based XM (then called American Mobile Radio Corp.) in June 1998. He had held the same post at PPV network Request Television, which he joined in early 1993.

While at Request, Panero turned down at least one offering that inspired a great deal of passion: a PPV special featuring the recently acquitted O.J. Simpson.

Beginning in 1982, Panero held several positions at Time Warner Cable, including vice president of marketing and PPV. He was responsible for Time Warner Home Theatre, a three-channel PPV service, and the company's Quantum upgrade of its Brooklyn/Queens system. Quantum, revolutionary at the time, in the early'90s offered a 150-channel capacity and 15 PPV movies a week.