David Lee Roth Out, Raunch Boys In
Boy, this didn't take long: Broadcast radio, which for so long dismissed pay satellite radio as a sideshow, is now swallowing hard and accepting its own role as...sideshow.
Rocker David Lee Roth, who succeeded Howard Stern on CBS-owned radio stations in seven cities after Stern made his leap to Sirius Satellite Radio, got the ax today "in the car on the way to work," he told listeners.
Now CBS plans to replace Roth with Opie and Anthony, the raunch radio guys whose old show on regular broadcast radio came to a crashing end after they held a contest to see which listeners could have sex in the most outrageous public place. The winners made themselves comfortable in a vestibule of St. Patrick's Cathedral. That sent Opie and Anthony to the friendlier confines of XM Satellite Radio, where there's no FCC to worry about when it comes to pushing the indecency envelope.
What we have here is the desperate need of a major over the air broadcaster to regain some of the audience it lost when Stern took his act to satellite. More important, the fact that CBS is turning to XM for programming shows where the creativity and energy are in radio right now. That's a huge concession by CBS (and it will feed persistent rumors that CBS is seeking to buy XM, something XM is not commenting on).
This move also raises the prospect of a new chapter in the decency wars. We're told that Opie and Anthony will do a relatively clean version of their daily show for CBS for three hours each morning, then shuttle back over to XM to do a couple of hours of show laced with F bombs and other such goodies.
So here's my question for those of you who were devoted Stern listeners but do not subscribe to satellite radio: Where did you go? What are you listening to in the car each morning? Have you given up on radio altogether? Give us a sense of where the Stern audience went.
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