By Heather Wilson, CBS MarketWatch.com
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) -- Sirius Satellite Radio on Thursday said former Viacom head Mel Karmazin is following shock jock Howard Stern to the satellite network.
Karmazin, who stepped down as Viacom's (NAS:VIA) president and COO in June, will be CEO at Sirius.
Stern announced earlier this year that he would leave Viacom's Infinity Radio with his contract expires in 2006 to join Sirius (NAS:SIRI) for a five-year, $500 million deal. He said he was leaving in part to avoid the regulated commercial airwaves after several run-ins with the Federal Communications Commission over his language and content.
On Thursday, Stern was promoting his new role by handing out free satellite radio receivers at a New York rally. Watch the video.
Karmazin succeeds Joseph Clayton in the post. Clayton will remain chairman of the board.
"Mel Karmazin is one of the strongest executives in the broadcast world today," said Ken Marlin, head of the media investment banking boutique of Marlin & Co. in New York. "He understands the complexities of the media business and the Sirius satellite radio world. We think satellite radio is going to come on strong, much as television evolved away from the broadcast world to cable and satellite."
Shares of Sirius rose 21 percent, or 97 cents, to $5.69 in the evening session after closing down 23 cents, or 5 percent, at $4.72.