XM says "Opie & Anthony" show to return

NEW YORK Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:44pm EDT

Anthony Cumia (L) and Gregg ''Opie'' Hughes of the Opie and Anthony radio show speak at the 2007 International CES in Las Vegas, January 9, 2007. Shock jocks Opie & Anthony will resume live broadcasts on XM Satellite Radio Holdings on Friday following a one-month suspension after a guest described his rape fantasies on their daily show, the satellite radio provider said on Monday. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Anthony Cumia (L) and Gregg ''Opie'' Hughes of the Opie and Anthony radio show speak at the 2007 International CES in Las Vegas, January 9, 2007. Shock jocks Opie & Anthony will resume live broadcasts on XM Satellite Radio Holdings on Friday following a one-month suspension after a guest described his rape fantasies on their daily show, the satellite radio provider said on Monday.

Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shock jocks Opie & Anthony will resume live broadcasts on XM Satellite Radio Holdings on Friday following a one-month suspension after a guest described his rape fantasies on their daily show, the satellite radio provider said on Monday.

Hosts Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia last month were suspended for 30 days after a guest spoke about forcing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Laura Bush to have sex with him.

XM denounced the comments and the hosts apologized. But XM, which has agreed to be acquired by rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., suspended the team about a week after the incident, saying the duo had later made remarks on air that suggested their regret was not sincere.

"Opie and Anthony will be back on XM live at 6:00 a.m. ET (1000 GMT) on Friday, June 15th," XM said in a message posted to its Web site.

While XM had said from the start that Opie & Anthony's suspension did not mean they eventually would be fired, some media analysts had questioned whether new scrutiny of radio shock jocks meant their days on air were numbered.

Earlier this year, CBS Radio fired radio host Don Imus after he referred to a Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." Several radio hosts have since been disciplined for remarks widely viewed as racist or sexist.

CBS Radio, a unit of CBS Corp., simulcasts a censored daily version of the Opie & Anthony Show, and continued to run the program during XM's suspension.

Some XM subscribers protested the move, arguing that while CBS is bound by U.S. indecency rules, satellite radio has touted its ability to remain a haven of freewheeling speech.

XM said it plans to air this week excerpts of the CBS Radio version of Opie & Anthony from the last few weeks.

XM Satellite shares rose 45 cents, or about 4.2 percent to $11.06 in afternoon trade on Monday.

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