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Opie & Anthony to XM Radio
Shock jocks sign deal to bring their show to satellite radio in October, out of the FCC's reach.
August 6, 2004: 8:56 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Shock jocks Opie and Anthony have found a new home on satellite radio, which at least for now puts them out of the reach of federal regulators' efforts to crack down on indecent broadcasts.

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XM Radio, which is a subscriber-based, advertising-free radio, will start broadcasting the pair, Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, on Oct. 4 on one of its premium channels. Their show will be live from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and will have encore and "best of shows" available at other times.

XM's Web site said the show will be available for an additional monthly cost of $1.99. Standard XM subscriptions cost $9.99 a month and requires a special satellite radio. XM has more than 2.1 million subscribers.

Opie and Anthony formed the top-rated show among male listeners ages 18 and 49 in many of the markets they were broadcast. But they were fired by Viacom (VIA: Research, Estimates) unit Infinity Broadcasting in 2002 for a stunt in which they broadcast descriptions of listeners having sex in public places, including New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The Federal Communications Commission fined the company the maximum possible $357,500 for the shows, and Congress is weighing a significant increase in potential fines for future broadcasts judged obscene or indecent.

But XM is not now regulated by the FCC, although some commission members have expressed a desire to extend regulation to the new medium. At least until then, the shock jocks say they're looking forward to the greater freedom their new medium will allow them.

"XM is the future of radio as we know it, and it is the perfect platform for us to entertain our radio fans, in the same way that HBO provided more creative freedom for people in TV," said Cumia.

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While XM has other explicit content on the programs, it also has more mainstream programming as well, including 68 commercial-free music stations and 33 channels of news, sports and talk programming among its 120. Former National Public Radio newscaster Bob Edwards will debut a new interview show on XM the same week that Opie & Anthony join the station.

Terms of their deal with XM were not disclosed. XM has yet to report a net profit since its 1999 initial public offering. Analysts project losses continuing through at least 2006.

Shares of XM Radio (XMSR: Research, Estimates) gained 92 cents, or about 4 percent, to $25.45 in regular-hours trading Thursday following the announcement.  Top of page




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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.