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Who's to Blame - XM or O&A?

Radio shock jocks Opie & Anthony could have left well enough alone when they apologized for making inappropriate comments about Queen Elizabeth II, First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on their XM Satellite Radio show last week.

XM, after all, is a satellite radio service that doesn't have to follow the same decency rules as traditional stations that fall under the watchful eye of the Federal Communications Commission. Even though the language in the segment was racy and the topic of conversation was even racier, XM executives in Washington seemed to be satisfied with a simple, two-sentence apology.

But when Opie & Anthony hit the airwaves again on Monday, they went back to the controversial topic, calling for other jocks - including controversial Howard Stern - to join in their cause.

"We do work for a company," one of the jocks said on the air. "They do pay us so you do have to deal with some of their dumb rules."

So did that mean the two jocks -- who have found themselves in trouble with the FCC in the past over their controversial antics -- didn't really mean it when they said they were sorry? Executives at XM apparently felt that way and pulled the two off the air for 30 days.

Now comes the listener revolt -- talk show hosts declaring an end to free speech and outraged Opie & Anthony fans posting blog entries and building Web campaigns for XM subscribers to call in and cancel.

"Obviously, we want to see XM retract the suspension and issue an apology to both Opie and Anthony and their listeners before the 30 days suspension is up," Chris Lewis, who has launched the Cancel XM Web site, wrote in an e-mail.

Lewis and others have accused XM of pandering to the FCC, which will decide later this year whether XM will be allowed to merge with New York rival Sirius.

"I, like many other O&A fans on the forums, have been worried that Opie and Anthony would become victims of the merger between XM and Sirius, and here it is," he wrote.

XM says that's not the case. Opie & Anthony said they were sorry and should have moved on. XM let them back on the air -- and then came the broadcast that called on other radio DJs for support. "Are you with us or against us?" they wanted to know.

Now, they have to wait until June 15 to share the responses to that question. That's the day the two return to the XM airwaves.

By Sam Diaz  |  May 18, 2007; 5:52 PM ET  | Category:  Sam Diaz
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Incredible. A journalist's blog about the Opie & Anthony story that is objective and sticks to facts.

Posted by: Thrawn | May 18, 2007 6:18 PM

From radionewshound.blogspot.com

Could the Opie & Anthony 'Suspension' be an Elaborate Hoax?

After a few days of blood-boiling stress and despair over the Opie & Anthony 'suspension' from XM, my nerves settled down. My XM is canceled, and I'm forced to watch cable. Yuck.

Then I started to think about the whole situation. Something just wasn't right in the universe. Why would XM, a pay-service that promises 'uncut and uncensored' content, with channel blocking, suspend their top-rated talk show hosts for something a homeless man said? Especially when it's nothing compared to what Opie & Anthony have said on XM in the past. Either spouting spiteful comments about management, or on whatever subject they desired, be it rape, incest, torture, violence, hookers, transsexuals, boogers on couches, kicking dogs in the liver, stepping on a homeless man's cake (a funny bit too, don't worry, that homeless man made out like a bandit. He had enough money to buy 10 cakes after that walkover incident) etc. etc.

Why did this one comment get them suspension when we all know much worse has happened on-air before this incident. Think about some of the comments Opie, Anthony, and especially Jim Norton have made off-the-cuff, and received no repercussions. Or what about the three times they almost did get fired, weren't they worse?

An old saying popped into my mind, "There Is No Bad Publicity".

For more go to:

http://radionewshound.blogspot.com

Posted by: Radio Newshound | May 18, 2007 6:22 PM

From radionewshound.blogspot.com

Could the Opie & Anthony 'Suspension' be an Elaborate Hoax?

After a few days of blood-boiling stress and despair over the Opie & Anthony 'suspension' from XM, my nerves settled down. My XM is canceled, and I'm forced to watch cable. Yuck.

Then I started to think about the whole situation. Something just wasn't right in the universe. Why would XM, a pay-service that promises 'uncut and uncensored' content, with channel blocking, suspend their top-rated talk show hosts for something a homeless man said? Especially when it's nothing compared to what Opie & Anthony have said on XM in the past. Either spouting spiteful comments about management, or on whatever subject they desired, be it rape, incest, torture, violence, hookers, transsexuals, boogers on couches, kicking dogs in the liver, stepping on a homeless man's cake (a funny bit too, don't worry, that homeless man made out like a bandit. He had enough money to buy 10 cakes after that walkover incident) etc. etc.

Why did this one comment get them suspension when we all know much worse has happened on-air before this incident. Think about some of the comments Opie, Anthony, and especially Jim Norton have made off-the-cuff, and received no repercussions. Or what about the three times they almost did get fired, weren't they worse?

An old saying popped into my mind, "There Is No Bad Publicity".

For more go to:

http://radionewshound.blogspot.com

Posted by: Radio Newshound | May 18, 2007 6:23 PM

Oops...sorry about the double post...my browser froze up.

Posted by: Radio Newshound | May 18, 2007 6:24 PM

Thank you for a fair article for a change. Opie and Anothony have not gotten a fair shake in the coverage so far. XM is a pay service, much like HBO and the Playboy channel. If XM isn't getting the message (even if the listener revolt does not effect their balance sheets, the symbolism speaks volumes), I fear that my children will see my canceled XM radio in the attic one day and ask "Daddy, what was this for?" The smart thing for XM to do would be to cancel the suspension, and the execs (like the formerly supportive Eric Logan) should go on air with the duo and say that O&A made a mistake and so did management, and two wrongs don't make a right. (Don't hold your breath)

Chris in NY

Posted by: Chris | May 18, 2007 6:30 PM

I don't think XM is getting the message, as of me posting they are monkeying with the subs. My 3 radios which were canceled suddenly came back to life today. I called to cancel again twice got two different stories. I will not be back till OnA are uncensored. Even if the suspension is cut short It doesn't change the fact they will be censored.

Posted by: James | May 18, 2007 6:58 PM

Mr. Diaz has written a fair unbiased article concerning this situation. I paid for XM to hear uncensored talk. I have an mp3 player if all I want is music. Since the show was suspended, I have cancelled my XM subscription.

With O&A suspended, I now sped my mornings relaxing in my robe with a cup of broth, listening to the Ramone & Frunkis show on terrestrial radio.

http://www.whatwouldpauldo.com/forums

Posted by: totenkopf | May 18, 2007 8:23 PM

I hAv found thAt now thaT i am Not gLuuEd to mY radeo aLL morneen i hav moor time tO hunt for nuts and barries.

ps, pleez ezcus my tiyping, i aM a bear.

Posted by: sTEVE fRom YellOwstone | May 18, 2007 9:00 PM

So I was talking to my friend about radionewshounds theory and i asked him, do you think its true? And he was like well it might be because I could totally see that happening but you know that would be pretty sneaky and underhanded which is totally something they would do so i guess we'll just have to see how the ball crumbles

Posted by: mispronunciation friday | May 18, 2007 10:04 PM

XM should have never forced them into giving the apology in the first place. You could tell from the way it was delivered (especially on the XM show), that it was not a genuine apology but was, in fact, coerced. Making them give an apology they did not agree with was the first blow to the "uncensored" promise of the show. With the suspension, that image is now destroyed. Satellite radio is now nothing more than FM with better coverage.

Posted by: balthan | May 18, 2007 10:18 PM

This is possibly the best article/blog entry that I have seen on this situation. Nice job.

As a loyal O&A fan, I have cancelled my subscription to XM. I have no need for the service if their show is not on it.

Pandering to these whiny special interest groups has to end. XM is trying to spin it that it's a "disciplinary" thing but most can see right through this false claim.

Posted by: Sinn Fein | May 18, 2007 10:27 PM

Eric Logan isn't "formerly supportive"... from what I've heard he did everything he could to keep the suspension from coming down. He's not the enemy. Unfortunately he's not at the top of the food chain and executives at the top who have little notion of everyday reality and who their audience is made the decision to treat both O&A and their fans as unruly children. I pray these mass cancellations takes a massive chunk out of their profits and shareholders start voting to clean house.

Posted by: Churchhills_dog | May 18, 2007 10:36 PM

Why would XM tell O&A to apologize for something someone else said on their show if it's uncensored? Uncensored means not having to say you're sorry for the comments that a bum makes on your broadcast, regardless of what was said. That's uncensored. When you're told to say you're sorry for being uncensored and then you're thrown off the air for talking about it, well that's not uncensored, that's the same thing you can hear for free on FM. XM lost a 5-year subscriber in myself over this, even if O&A come back it won't be uncensored since apparently they can be thrown off the air for what they (or a guest) says on the air.

Chris in Tampa

Posted by: Chris | May 18, 2007 11:36 PM

They didn't mean it. They was just jokin'.

Anthony of the Opie & Anthony should call in to another radio show to explain their position. Perhaps the Mancow program would be a good choice. I am sure that he would be a model caller.

Posted by: Tony from New York | May 19, 2007 4:43 AM

Contrary to many opinions, this is not an issue of free speech. XM gives Opie and Anthony a platform that is very liberal, but they must constrain the material of their show to XM standards (as lenient as they are). Bottom line - their employers believed that they were out of bounds and had them issue an apology.
This would have been the end of it if the duo hadn't taken exception to said apology on the terrestrial segment of their show. XM was fully in their rights to hand down a suspension. Opie and Anthony may feel that they are somehow being persecuted or denied free speech, but all this amounts to is placating your employer every now and then. Anyone that holds a job knows this, and Opie and Anthony were acting like juveniles with grandiose ideas that XM should allow them a completely unrestricted platform. XM has a right to set its own standards. If this isn't to Opie and Anthony's liking, then they can pursue their right to seek employment elsewhere.
That being said, I hope that Opie and Anthony return to XM and continue with their show. I have heard their broadcast and find them to be quite humerous. It seems, however, that they can be their own biggest enemy. Enjoy the fact that you have a popular radio show, fellas, and swallow some pride every now and then to make your employers happy.

RM

Posted by: RedMosquito | May 19, 2007 6:07 AM

It is important to take into consideration the geo-economic considerations when discussing the financial ramifications of net, possible gain/loss scenarios in regards to XM executive sissy-boys decision to possibly boister long term profit margins versus short term gains. As the Dow-Jones has clearly shown in the similar Frunkus Inc. escilation, a hedge fund involving badger urine futures as well as prefabricated monster rain proof porch, penny stocks should prove advantages. I'm just say'n.

Posted by: BoardRoom Jimmy | May 19, 2007 6:16 AM

Thank you for the well written, fair and thought-provoking article.

I tuned in to the Opie and Anthony show on XM because not only can the show be entertaining but also thought-provoking and honest. The show can be crude, lewd and very distasteful at times. It is at those times that I change the channel. No, I did not feel offended by any of their talk. It was just something I did not find entertaining or something I did not care to hear for a variety of reasons. I never thought anything of that action until all this erupted and they were removed from the channel.

I do find it insulting that XM is provided public airwaves, free of restrictions, and chooses to muzzle their talent. Evidently, in their eyes, I do not have the intelligence to make decisions for myself. XM has broken its bond of trust with this listener.

I have cancelled my two long-term subscriptions and have patronized their sponsors who have pulled their advertising from XM in a show of support for Opie and Anthony. XM has given no indication that they will "un-muzzle" the show once it returns so I don't expect to come back to XM. As far as their merger with Sirius goes, it's a bad idea if it perpetuates my previously stated objections.

I heard Howard Stern quoted as saying "If you want free speech, go into a closet and talk to yourself". He may be right.

Posted by: Joe in Maine | May 19, 2007 7:12 AM

I`m not a regular O&A listener...but have enjoyed their show when I listen. The fact is that their egos are far too large for their own good. when your emploryer tells you to do a basic apology..do it and move on. You do it..if you want to keep your job. Seems to a simple concept to grasp...they became stuubborn..and are now suspended. The said suspension should not inhibit them..as it was not given out for what they said. Maybe if there is a next time..they will show that they actually have some thougtht process existing between their ears.
Anyone resigning their membership in XM over this...well..is just as bad off as O&A are. Is that the only stat5ion you listen to..if so think how low your mind as sunk..XM will not miss you.

Posted by: Pete | May 19, 2007 8:05 AM

Who the hell is O&A?

Posted by: Doesnt Matter | May 19, 2007 9:15 AM

Opus and Anthony aren't even funny. None of these so called shock jocks are--except for Howard Stern.

Posted by: Fred | May 19, 2007 9:52 AM

I have a hard time crying for the dumb and crass O&A. But uncensored means uncensored, and if other hosts can get away with using every other word including "C," they should never have been suspended.

I mean, these guys got fired from terrestrial radio for airing a couple having sex in St. Patrick's. What the heck did XM expect?

Posted by: Tom | May 19, 2007 10:27 AM

Wow... this could be the first article written without a mention of the Sex For Sam incident... Bravo Mr. Diaz!!!

I would of liked some mention of Tom Brady or Boston in there somewhere though.

Posted by: Ben Sparks | May 19, 2007 10:36 AM

Even if the 30-day suspension actually turns out to be a 30-day suspension, and not a prelude to a firing sometime before June 15, it's hard to see what XM gains out of this, as far as getting the problem behind them.

They hired Opie and Anthony for an uncensored radio channel, and even if you assume the two have to play within XM's ground rules, what are they going to do when they come back on the air on June 15 -- not talk about what happened, when everyone will be wanting to know at the very least how they felt when they were suspended, and the support of the listeners in the aftermath?

When O&A came on XM in the first place, one of the things they talked about, and what listeners wanted to hear about, was what happened after the Sex for Sam suspension and two-year gag order went down from Mel Karmizan. And people are going to be expecting to hear the details on the suspension 3 1/2 weeks from now. Anything less will even make it more clear that XM's claims of not regulating speech the way regular broadcast radio channels do is a total sham.

Posted by: John | May 19, 2007 11:02 AM

It takes a sick sense of humor to ......RAMOOOOOOOONE, E-Lo deserves a Roman war helmet from Tippy Tom.

Posted by: OldGravyLegs | May 19, 2007 12:19 PM

I invented I.T. blogs, hoo hoo.
The Revolution RAWBINNN

Posted by: Howard Stern | May 19, 2007 12:21 PM

Even without XM, O&A still have more listeners than Stern. RAW BIN

Posted by: The Truth | May 19, 2007 12:23 PM

Thank you for this insightful, straight forward, HONEST, article.

Posted by: Franco on Long Island | May 19, 2007 12:32 PM

Perhaps this could be the time for XM to come to the table to negotiate a surrender.

Let's say they offer to let O & A back on after a week long suspension instead of 30 days. XM would publicly state that the show will be 100% uncensored going forward.

This will create a lot of much needed positive press for XM. O & A will get their show back and also benefit from all of the publicity. It's a win/win.

Posted by: eric hellmans | May 19, 2007 1:15 PM

Only in a perfect world, Eric. Here... have some cold cuts.

Posted by: Franco on Long Island | May 19, 2007 2:06 PM

This article nails it!!! I find it amazing that XM would force O&A to apologize for crude comments made by a homeless person, yet they continue to have R. Kelly (who is currently facing charges for soliciting a minor for child pornography) play in their Top 20 rotation.

Posted by: Charles from CT | May 19, 2007 2:31 PM

O&A should not have had to apoligize in the first place. Much worse things have been said about other people, Are Ms. Rice and Mrs. Bush off limits ?? They shouldn't be, no one is in humor.
And who can blame O&A for not taking it serious, it was a joke.
XM must have known the fans would cancel, but then again the way they run XM, maybe they didn't think the fanns of the only good thing on XM would mind if O&A were pulled off. XM had a huge advantage over Sirius a year before Stern started, and...THEY BLEW IT !! Now they want to make satilite radio a monopoly cause they can't run it correct.
RAMONEEEEEEEEEEEE......I'm outa stuff to say, bring back O&A

Posted by: Steve from yellowstone | May 19, 2007 6:24 PM

XM won't get the message for one simple reason.....as people call to cancel, they're NOT canceling the subscriptions! So thier numbers won't look so bad. I called to cancel my account twice....this was a few days ago. One radio is off, the other still works. I simply called American Express and denied the charge on my card. I also have the name, dates and times of my calls. This isn't the end XM. You think you're smart but....oh man are you in for some deep doo-doo for not canceling accounts when asked to.

Posted by: Joe | May 19, 2007 7:54 PM

Not much to say but I have to much pride to go back to XM for what they did to me.
Almost 4 years with them and this is how I
leave,making a statement.XM you have made me angry the past few days for not allowing me to listen to the boys when I was the guy buying your services with MY money. Sad to say I will not be coming back & all the good things I used to say about your company went with your suspention of O&A.
I will only say what your really about & I will no longer promote your company.


Posted by: eljoe | May 19, 2007 9:34 PM

As soon as I saw the pics of Mel Karmazin making nice with the XM people, I knew it wouldn't be long before O&A were shown the door at XM. The reason is simple: Howard Stern will never compete with O&A on a level playing field because he knows he will get his tired, hackneyed ass kicked all the way back to K-Rock.

Posted by: Get Ready | May 19, 2007 10:09 PM

I'm actually surprised by how XM has handled this.. I'm also sickened to see that O&A are on terrestrial radio when the PAID SUBSCRIPTION satellite radio has them suspended.. Isn't it obscene that the allegedly "Uncensored" satellite channels freak out and in fact censor their radio personalities when they do in fact advertise that the specific channel they are on is an XL channel and that adult content can be heard on it??? As well as offering some type of parental blocking of that channel if you call a specific number?? That's just wonderful... There goes your Constitutional rights my friends... Being violated and taken from you... I've just got one thing left to say to XM... GOOD DAY SIR!!!!

Posted by: Lil Connor | May 19, 2007 11:07 PM

I frown apon xm's dissision..I have canceled both my xm radios and neither of them have turned off yet. Dose that show that XM regrets there dission?

Posted by: frank | May 20, 2007 12:12 AM

Your moms box

Posted by: GH | May 20, 2007 12:22 AM

former XM subscribers are smashing their radios en mass in protset of Opie & Anthony's suspension..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NuB6YVBjcg

Posted by: m.cassidy | May 20, 2007 5:47 AM

I hope the merger dont happen, OandA finish out there contract with xm. and sign with sirius. just to spit in xm's face

Posted by: schwoogiehater | May 20, 2007 7:20 PM

I hope that XM rethinks the decision about suspending O&A. I listen to O&A all the time and I am getting ready to go to Iraq and I was happy knowing that I would be able to hear the ba ba boys and but now if XM does not bring them Back sooner than Jun 15 I will be cancelling my subscription and will smash my XM box in Iraq and then post it on Break.com Frunkissss. 'Lil Jimmie, O&A and the rest of the crew we love you and the XM execs, Screw you spineless f-ing weasels!!!!
aj

Posted by: aj from DC | May 20, 2007 9:51 PM

Props for a decent balanced article on two jocks who would normally not be given due consideration for a stupid situation. Did HBO ever get boycotted when they showed a rape scene on the Sopranos? XM shouldn't apply FCC public airwave type standards to a pay subscription service.

Diaz FTW

Posted by: Mark | May 21, 2007 4:02 PM

zero... point... zero...

Posted by: ta-ta-toothy | May 21, 2007 5:56 PM

Hey schwoogiehater,... If Otis and Andy; Opiss and A-hole, or whatever their name is, EVER go to SIRIUS, that is when I will TERMINATE my SIRIUS subscription. We don't need them. We are doing just fine with Hoo Hoo and Rawbin. :-) oh, and BUBBA too.

And Baba-booey to you all!!!!
OH-KWAH-TANZIN-WHON

Posted by: Griff | May 21, 2007 9:59 PM

XM


Your Mom's Box

Posted by: Hydrosludge | May 21, 2007 10:09 PM

Opie and Anthony getting shut off on XM has made my live miserable. Now i have to hide around the house to avoid getting kicked in the liver. *bark!*

Posted by: Chester from the Basement | May 23, 2007 1:13 PM

Actually what I meant to say is that I love Howard Stern and can't get enough of his howie math.

Posted by: Griff | May 23, 2007 1:23 PM

my opponent, ron kind and i agree, bring the boys back. i am paul r. nelson

Posted by: paul r. nelson | June 5, 2007 1:00 PM

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