Erika Engle

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Shock jock Howard Stern’s
satellite debut will skip

SATELLITE radio is making a lot of noise within the radio industry, on Wall Street and elsewhere.

Love-him-or-hate-him, take-him-or-leave-him radio star Howard Stern recently signed a $500 million, multi-year contract with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and pundits began clanging the death-knell for terrestrial, traditional AM-FM radio.

But local radio stations have nothing to fear, for now, since neither Sirius nor bigger dog XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. are permitted by the Federal Communications Commission to beam themselves down here.

"Our current satellites point to North America but not Hawaii. It's not in our license with the FCC to serve Hawaii so there are just no plans," said Ron Rodrigues, who handles media relations for Sirius.

There was a similar response from Chance Patterson, spokesman for XM. "Our service is limited to the 48 contiguous United States," he said.

Nevertheless, several makes of cars are being built with satellite radio receivers, with the car-makers offering free introductory radio subscriptions as car-buying incentives. In Hawaii such deals are meaningless.

Locally, interested listeners can only access the satellite radio companies via www.xmradio.com and www.sirius.com.

Wanna buy a domain?

Dan Marcom had big plans for kokua.com, an Internet domain name he registered 10 years ago and has kept ever since.

Those plans have now changed. He plans to auction off the name on eBay starting Tuesday. The former owner of Computer Kokua, a computer repair service, Marcom is looking to get into a new business and no longer needs the domain, though he is reluctant to let it go too easily. He has set the minimum bid at $7,500.

In Hawaiian, kokua means cooperation or help.

"It's a very powerful domain name," Marcom said.

The current Web site at www.kokua.com explains the auction basics, offering a 3 percent finders' fee for someone who finds a buyer. There would seem to be some likely candidates among the 231 Hawaii business registrations that contain the word "kokua."

In addition to .com, several other extensions are available for the kokua domain, including .tv, .cc and .name.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com



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