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Sirius XM leases channels to minority communities

Sirius XM announced Monday it has leased 4 percent of its audio channels on both the Sirius and XM platforms to fulfill a merger condition from the Federal Communications Commission regarding diversity.

Among the lessees are two stations from Howard University in Washington that provide music and talk programming for the African-American community, as well as stations serving the Mormon, Korean and Spanish-speaking communities.

As a condition for approving the 2008 merger the commission required Sirius to set-aside long-term leases for firms that were not previously affiliated with either satellite-radio provider.

“This marks a valuable step in increasing the diversity of programming available to satellite radio listeners while promoting access for new entrants and independent satellite radio programming," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in response to the announcement.

"I applaud Sirius XM for its new line up.”

In selecting affiliates, Sirius was specifically looking for programming that represents diverse viewpoints and underserved communities.