The virus is back on the radio. The O&A one. The one that introduced radio fans to terms like "yambags", "balloon knot", "wood floor” and "taint". The faithful Opie and Anthony "pests" are thrilled with the news...and so are the executives at XM radio and CBS Radio (for good reason).
The first official day for Opie & Anthony's morning radio show on CBS Radio was this morning. The show itself was safe and easy, featuring phone interviews with Fear Factor's Joe Rogan and the Catholic League's president Bill Donohue who previously howled 4 years ago with the on-air sex scandal in St. Patrick's Cathedral to drive O&A into broadcast exile but now gives his thumbs-up approval.
There was also congratulations from Don Imus in the Morning and multiple slam quotes from Howard Stern -- the show O&A really replace, not the failed David Lee Roth morning radio attempt.
Not really a memorable show and not really representative of what to expect in the weeks and months ahead. But a good, smart start. Comfort the critics and get used to being back on the FCC-ruled airwaves.
O&A have spent the last 18 months on satellite XM Radio...they were the first true "big names" among radio talent to sign up on either XM or Sirius. Today's beginning broadcast on CBS Radio -- although safe sounding -- truly was groundbreaking, though.
First, it marked a return from terrestrial broadcast exile from nearly 4 years ago which CBS Radio forced by taking O&A off the air after the scandal and holding them to their contract (which prevented them from broadcasting anywhere else).
Second, it places O&A in Howard Stern's old timeslot on broadcast airwaves, not just subscription-only satellite airwaves like Howard has with Sirius.
Third -- and perhaps most significantly -- O&A and radio fans get a blended best of both broadcast worlds. O&A's CBS-based radio show is on weekdays from 6-to-9am while also broadcasting on XM Radio at the same time and then moves over to only XM Radio from 9-noon. So O&A get 6 hours of morning radio airtime, with 3 hours of combined terrestrial and satellite radio audience reach and then 3 more hours of just satellite uncensored cringe radio...another first for XM and O&A...and an important new first for CBS Radio, too.
Howard Stern may have gotten the money by moving exclusively over the Sirius...but Opie & Anthony got what Stern really wanted: the mass reach of mainstream radio and the niche specialized (and uncensored) reach of satellite radio.
As a media trend, expect more cooperative cross-pollination of programming and talent between traditional open radio and new media satellite radio. The walls dividing the media will start to come down...and that is a good thing for radio listeners. Radio is radio, just as Broadcast TV and cable/satellite TV are just TV.
XM radio press release here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Wednesday, April 26, 2006,