Print Columns   |   Web Chats   |   Blog Archives   |  

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.

By Marc Fisher |  April 21, 2006; 11:51 AM ET
Previous: Type Well or You'll Find Fallwell (Not Falwell) | Next: Wailing Geniuses of the Torrential Night


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Believe it or not, I switched from Howard to NPR. I listened to Howard not because he was shocking or raunchy, but because he was uniquely funny and did great radio. There is no substitute for Howard in his genre. I wander how many of his fans (without Sirius) simply switched genres or formats completely.

Posted by: Strange Demographic | April 21, 2006 3:30 PM

4 million + are already here (@ Sirius) I'd guess about 3 million are hard core fans, I am from the west coast and see satelite recievers on 1 out of 10 cars, I hear alot of friends got XM as gifts from family simply because they think Satelite is Satelite. In the near future you'll see as these contracts expire ashift (a bigger sub growth/faster sub growth) from XM to Sirius. Where are the majority of the millions? Honestly waiting to see if in fact satelite is here to stay, waiting to see if in fact this investment is fruitful. With the news of CBS and XM and this morning XM just "Jumped the Shark"

Posted by: Iz | April 21, 2006 4:37 PM

i bought sirius just to hear howard. and it was worth every penny!

Posted by: olivia | April 21, 2006 4:55 PM

I prefer the Junkies, personally.

Posted by: Mike | April 24, 2006 5:39 PM

Roth was an intelligent man,
and I appreciated listening to him
every morning.

Now I am definately going to switch to
XM, because Howard has gotten boring
and these idiots Elvis and JV are

Posted by: JonBGood | May 2, 2006 10:04 AM

The Junkies

Posted by: Virginia Centrist | May 2, 2006 2:19 PM

JV and Elvis are great comedy, maybe the best radio out there right now. O&A are just a name, Anthony is sometimes funny but the rest of the crew has no talent.

I bought Sirius and still am a subscriber but I think Stern has lost his edge in his later years, seems a little out of touch with my generation. Probaly wont renew after my 1 year sub runs out but I must admit the music stations on Sirius are great.

Posted by: Manny from NJ | September 28, 2006 2:28 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company