Sirius Satellite Radio set to launch gay channel

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 09 2003 12:00 AM ET

Sirius Satellite Radio announced Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it is developing a 24-hour radio channel explicitly directed at the nation's gay population, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

No name has been determined for the gay channel, which Sirius says will launch in about 90 days. So far, the only host aboard is John McMullen, who will move from his current post as a left-wing political talk show host for Sirius. McMullen is a founder of GAYBC Radio Network, a defunct Internet radio company that targeted gays and lesbians.

"This is a big idea. Nobody has done this," said Larry Rebich, vice president of programming and marketing development at Sirius. "It's estimated that there's 20 million gay people in the United States, and they're not served well on radio."

Sirius charges $12.95 per month for 100 radio channels beamed to car stereos via satellite, while its rival XM provides a similar service for $9.99 per month. Sirius has more commercial-free channels, though the gay channel is expected to carry ads.

Rebich said high-profile gays and lesbians from film, TV, and music are expected to participate. "We'll be talking to a broad range of celebrities," he said. "Those who don't end up as hosts, I'm sure, will be guests."