Bette Midler denounces arbitrary SiriusXM ’40s on 4′ station programming change;
Outspoken outrage and internet backlash continues towards SiriusXM Radio for executives’ decision to preempt their signature “40s on 4″ channel for exclusive Billy Joel airplay. On April 9, 2014, Bette Midler posted, on both her Twitter account and her Facebook page, her displeasure at the arbitrary decision. Already 4,505 of her more than 290,000 of her Facebook page followers have clicked “Like” to affirm their support of Bette’s words.
All the kerfluffle began on March 26, 2014, when SiriusXM informed their subscribers by e-mail, the day before it happened, that for 90 days “their” channel 4 (in cars) would carry the “Best of Billy Joel” for three months. Not only was the message objectionable, but what was worse was the seemingly cavalier manner in which the announcement, or dictate, came down. It was a done deal, a fait accompli, and no arguments allowed.
Very quickly after finding Glenn Miller gone and the Piano Man around, and around, faithful “40s on 4″ listeners began trying to reach SiriusXM executives. The 40s fans shared their concerns, disdain and vehement objections. They e-mailed, called, and posted on Facebook. Big band and swing fans maintained it was unfair to be subjected to obliteration of a subscription service channel that required over $100 per year just to enjoy one music genre of many available.
Faithful SiriusXM subscribers came together on social media to protest their concerns. Their Facebook page–“Bring Back ”˜40s on 4″–has close to 650 “Likes” in about 10 days online. It’s not about disliking Billy Joel; many of the station listeners also enjoy listening to his music, but on the “70s on 7,” “80s on 8″ or “The Bridge,” any place but their “40s on 4″ station.
That may not sound like many members, but it is, and momentum is picking up quickly. Many subscribers are only posting their discontent on the SiriusXM Facebook page, still to no avail. A petition is making the rounds online as well, asking Sirius to give back the station to their listeners. Not a word, not a sound, not a syllable from SiriusXM.
Sadly, SiriusXM remains radio silent, preferring autoresponses or no responses at all. But that kind of corporate “duck and cover” mentality has snowballed into proportions they didn’t count on. Now singer, entertainer and author Bette Midler has taken up the cause.
The Divine Miss M has spoken, via postings on her Twitter and Facebook on April 9, 2014. In a personal tweet to SiriusXM, Midler wrote:
@SIRIUSXM dumps the music of the 40’s and I am beside myself! Don’t penalize the decade that set stage for everything that followed!
Midler, whose entertaining memoir, “A View from a Broad,” was just released last week is ever popular in the public eye. She’s brilliant, bawdy, and with over 570,000 followers on Twitter, a big fan of Sirius “40s on 4.” Midler’s music catalogue is played on that station as well as many other of their stations, given her vocal versatility. If you want to hear her sing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” though, that would be on the–oh wait it’s not available for 75 more days–“40s on 4″ on SiriusXM.
Midler is capable of motivating even more people on social media than SiriusXM might be prepared to deal with in the days ahead. Bette is followed on Twitter by Robin Williams, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, just to name a few of those who want to know what she has to say.
Many angry listeners are cancelling their subscriptions left and right. It might be time for SiriusXM to revisit their grand idea. “The Divine Miss M” has spoken and she’s not happy.