Washington -- Former Request Television president
Hugh Panero, who left amid the pending Request-Viewer's Choice merger, is now CEO of
a start-up planning a satellite-delivered radio service.
American Mobile Radio Corp., which plans to launch service
in about two years, hired Panero to replace acting CEO Gary Parsons, the former MCI
Communications Corp. executive who is president of parent company American Mobile
Satellite Corp. Worldspace Corp., which is developing satellite-radio services outside of
the United States, also owns part of AMRC.
Other AMRC senior managers were also named Wednesday.
AMSC -- which has struggled since 1995 to build a
satellite-telephone business -- spent about $90 million on a license to distribute its
"Digital Audio Radio Service" nationwide. In March, AMRC awarded contracts for
two satellites, the first of which should launch late next year. Service should begin in
Panero called it "an amazing opportunity,"
similar to the development of cable television, and he also likened the coming impact of
DARS on radio to DirecTv Inc.'s effect on cable.
Before Request, Panero, 42, spent 10 years at Time Warner
Cable, mostly at the Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., systems.
Request -- the pay-per-view network co-owned by
Tele-Communications Inc.'s Liberty Media Group and News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox
-- is being merged into Viewer's Choice, and it is scheduled to shut down at the end
of the month.