XM launches in two markets


XM Satellite Radio launched on Tuesday with a more subdued event than it had originally planned, in light of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

"In fact, in lieu of holding large events, XM and its employees last week made a donation of $10,000 to the New York Firefighters' 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund and $10,000 to the American Red Cross effort here at the Pentagon," said XM President and CEO Hugh Panero.

XM launched 100 channels of music, news, talk and sports from its two satellites-Rock and Roll-starting with Dallas and San Diego. Panero said XM will add service to both the U.S. southwest and the southeast by the end of October, which accelerates XM's previous launch plans.

Programmers from each of XM's 71 music channels picked a song with which to launch. The America Channel started with Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A.;" Frank's Place, which focuses on great American jazz singers, played "I've Got the World on a String."

XM Classics opened with a song that "calls down the blessing of the music gods," said head classics programmer Martin Goldsmith: Beethoven's "Consecration of the House Overture." - Paige Albiniak