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.