Karmazin says he’s ‘looking for work’

Ex-CEO of SiriusXM has eye on public company

Mel Karmazin, who recently ankled as CEO of SiriusXM Satellite Broadcasting, wants to run another company like Walt Disney or Time Warner but smaller, where he’d report to an independent board of directors and not the guy who owns it. “This is my second retirement. I retired from Viacom. I quote, unquote retired from SiriusXM. My wife and I discussed it and I will retire one more time,” Karmazin told CNBC’s David Faber in an interview Tuesday. “I am starting to look for work.”

As chief operating officer, Karmazin clashed with Sumner Redstone, Viacom’s CEO and majority shareholder. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has the final word at News Corp., Karmazin noted (he never worked there). He exited Sirius as it’s about to be taken over by Liberty Media. Asked about Liberty founder and chairman John Malone (and CEO Greg Maffei), he said “They’re really good people. That has nothing to do with it.”

“Though I never went to a psychiatrist, I know I need to work for a public company with an independent board and I hope I can find one that’s fun and challenging,” he said. He likes “what Jeff Bewkes has or what Bob Iger has, but not that size, more entrepreneurial.”

If that fails, he said, he’ll call New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and help to bail out the Jersey shore from devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Reminded he’d still have a boss, he said yes, “but I would be the Tsar – like the Pope of the Jersey Shore.”