- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2002

The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, a Detroit minister, led a protest yesterday of XM Satellite Radio in front of the Chevy Chase home of Chief Executive Officer Hugh Panero.
A group of more than 100 people affiliated with the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network gathered around 8 a.m. on the street where Mr. Panero lives to protest XM's decision to broadcast Playboy Radio on its national satellite system.
Local police kept the protesters off Mr. Panero's property.
Playboy Radio programming includes discussions about sex, and XM said last month that it would begin broadcasting the station on Sept. 3 on its national radio.
XM subscribers will have to pay an additional $2.99 a month for the service.
"Our main objective is to sit down with Hugh Panero. We want to meet face to face with him," said Mr. Sheffield.
The group has protested before at the house and in front of XM's headquarters in Northeast Washington.
Mr. Sheffield says he wants more than just the removal of Playboy Radio; he wants XM to include programming from the Word Network, a televised gospel program based in Detroit that caters to urban audiences.
"There was room for the Word on XM, but XM is hungry for cash," Mr. Sheffield said.
Company spokesman Chancellor Patterson said XM carries one station that broadcasts gospel music and five stations that carry Christian music and discussion of religious issues.
"XM is proud of the unmatched diversity of its current programming lineup. We have no plans to carry this programming," he said.
Mr. Sheffield has met with Mr. Patterson at least twice to press for programming changes.
XM began broadcasting last year and had 136,718 subscribers by the end of June.
The company charges $9.99 a month to beam 100 stations of music, news and talk to subscribers through a pair of satellites.
The company still is struggling while it increases subscriptions. It reported a second-quarter loss last month of $117.2 million on sales of $3.84 million.

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