The new spineless SiriusXM

SiriusXM has almost no sponsors to boycott and no FCC rules about indecent content. The 25+ million subscribers pay for the service and know what they’re buying.

Recently, SiriusXM replaced their programming director who had been Mel Karmazin’s sidekick since the beginning. I wondered what this would mean for the future. We have our first major clue.

Opie and Anthony are Howard Stern’s rivals, as they share a similar story. Before the merger, Howard Stern was the 900 pound gorilla driving Sirius sales and subscriptions and O&A on XM a bit later. They wound up on satellite radio following being fired by Infinity after doing a stunt on WNEW where they encouraged a couple to have sex in St Patrick’s cathedral while mass was going on – resulting in a huge indecency fine by the FCC.

After sitting out their contract, they wound up on XM radio, initially as a premium channel and later rolled into the base subscription. After Sirius and XM merged, their show is still an extra charge option for Sirius subscribers.

After Stern left CBS and went to Sirius, O&A eventually replaced him on the CBS “Free FM” network during its final days with a FCC compliant simulcast of part of their SiriusXM show. It didn’t work out.

Anthony has just been fired following some incident where he says he was hit by a black woman at Times Square and he tweeted about the incident in an unacceptable way.

O&A’s fans are called “the Pests” for a reason. This could just be a “radio stunt” to drive up subscriptions, but I tend to doubt it. Time will tell.

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2 Responses to The new spineless SiriusXM

  1. Doesn’t seem like a stunt. Opie has tweeted that he has a meeting with the suits on Tuesday, and Ant deleted most every tweet he’s ever made. There’s three months left on their contract and they’ve been expressing their displeasure with SXM for some time. There’s no way Ant will be reinstated because it *really* would make the bosses look like blundering fools, and putting Jim Norton and Opie on the air without him and ordering them not to talk about it would end in disaster.

    O&A fans know the deal. The boys despise on-air apologies and have stated that if they ever made one that it would be totally insincere and only because they were forced to. So if that happens, keep that in mind.

    • Art Stone says:

      I’m not a subscriber and have rarely listened to either Howard Stern or O&A. My memory/impression is that at least in the beginning, Howard Stern really disliked them. Not only were they “the competition”, after Howard left CBS, they swooped in to “save Free FM”, taking over Stern’s old morning timeslot – after David Lee Roth didn’t work out in the ratings went in the toilet.

      I wonder what Howard Stern’s opinion of all this is – I would be a little nervous about my own future as well. Howard left terrestrial radio largely to avoid this type of crap, and Mel Karmazin mostly just let him do whatever he wanted as long as he attracted subscribers

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