Art Bell’s Bizarre Email to SiriusXM!
A little over two weeks after leaving his show “Dark Matter” on SiriusXM satellite radio, Art Bell has confirmed (on bellgab.com) that the company plans on enforcing the non compete clause in his contract. If not challenged and overturned this will prevent Art Bell from appearing on radio for two years.
He also told his fans on the forum that he has contacted a lawyer. Who is “willing to [to fight the enforcement of the non compete clause ]and felt we had a good chance to win”. However, he noted such suits are expensive and take a long time. But he optimistically added “if my health holds I will see you in less than two Years.”
But, then he did something odd, he posted the text of what he propurts to be his final email to SiriusXM. It reads as follows:
First, you may recall I said to you that I thought you would not get much of a bump from putting Coast on, was I right? Have you actually listened to that show? Have you REALLY listened? You put him on 104 which was I guess a nice way
to get back at me, but that guy is a joke. How many people rushed to put any money down to listen to Coast on 104? I bet nobody, all this plus they are doing what I asked for and more!
1. I said what I would like is to be back on but wanted to stream for free, but leave the value added stuff to Sirius/XM you said no. As it stands now I presume the streaming still does not work properly and will not, till at best August or so. You said this was a good idea for me but not Sirius. I disagree, if we develop millions of listener’s, in what World is that bad for Sirius in any way? If you can charge BIG bucks per commercial minute…..Broadcasting 101, it’s a good thing.
2. We talked about one day with streaming, I asked about other days, you said we could talk about that, we never did.
3. As it stands now people MUST pay about $180.00 a Year if they want to hear Art Bell, why not allow listeners the option of JUST streaming my show for a lesser fee? It could be pro rated, IF it just worked properly.
4. I said I would be willing to buy the Studio gear for whatever you paid if I could be released from my Non Compete, I have not yet heard a answer to that one, though you did once say you would not let me go, you sent me a reply saying you would consider it.
5. I can wait out the remaining time, then stream, which it looks like I will be doing at 70 Years of age.
I just for the life of me can not see why everything with Sirius/XM has to be lumped together in a Business model that works for non commercial music just fine, but lumps Talk Radio in with it. I understand why it works for Howard, he had little choice unless he wanted to keep paying fines. I don’t know about Dr. Laura.
Two things I can tell you about me, every time I crack the mike I put 110% into it, it takes a lot of work and I am willing to give my time and energy happily but not if I have no way to grow the audience. I have millions of people waiting for a way to hear me and they would pay something to do so, but asking them to become subs for $180.00 bucks a Year with a service that does not work well will not get them there.
The other thing is Coast, I will not share time with them. I thought hard about that, and there is no way I would rejoin under any conditions while you carry them. The reason I came back on is because that show is a insult to the entire field, not to mention at least 45% of it is commercial or breaks of some sort while the rest is just plain bad Radio.
I truly enjoyed working with you and everybody else at Sirius/XM and wish there was a way to work this out. I understand you think the way forward is exclusive content and perhaps you are right but in my opinion the World will pass you very shortly while trying to hold on to this model. It really already is. Nobody tried to stop all the Pirates, every one of my shows was and is available for download the next day, great for the guy who doesn’t want to pay but not so great for the Talk Host who wants the live calls, how does this make sense???
This seems a very odd letter for a man experienced in his profession. And Art Bell is definitely an experienced radio professional. It’s also odd that he would write such a letter himself. Rather than have this matter handled by a manager, agent or lawyer.
It seems both unprofessional and naive.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section.