NEW YORK Shock jocks "Opie & Anthony" were
suspended on Tuesday from their satellite radio show for 30
days after remarks by a guest who said he fantasized about sex
with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and first lady
In the latest outcry over radio content widely criticized
as crossing the bounds of good taste, the company that carries
the show, XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., said it "deplored"
the comments made about a week ago on the program, hosted by
Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia.
The hosts issued an apology soon after the original airing,
but XM said it was not convinced the two were sincere.
"Comments made by Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast
put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of
the matter," the company said in a statement.
"The management of XM Radio decided to suspend Opie and
Anthony to make clear that our on-air talent must take
seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of
Last month, CBS Radio fired talk-show host Don Imus after
he referred to a Rutgers University women's basketball team as
"nappy-headed hos," stirring an uproar about the remarks that
many people found racially offensive.
But while CBS Radio is a traditional broadcaster bound by
U.S. indecency rules, satellite radio has touted its ability to
remain a haven of uncensored, freewheeling speech.
Shock jock Howard Stern left CBS at the end of 2006 after
signing a $500 million contract with Sirius Satellite Radio ,
describing his decision as an effort to flee broadcast
Officials at Sirius, which has agreed to a merger deal with
XM, were not immediately available for comment on the Opie &
CBS Radio, a unit of CBS Corp., simulcasts a censored daily
version of the Opie & Anthony show aired on XM and said it
still plans to run their program.
The Opie & Anthony Show has gotten the two into hot water
before. They were fired from a New York station for a 2002
broadcast in which they encouraged couples to have sex in
XM shares slipped 2.5 percent to $10.62 on Nasdaq.
(Additional reporting by Susan Zeidler in Los Angeles)