Tags: 'Opie | Anthony' | Triple | Radio | Ratings | for | CBS

'Opie & Anthony' Triple Radio Ratings for CBS

Friday, 23 June 2006 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Radio hosts "Opie & Anthony" seem to be faring better than rocker David Lee Roth as a replacement for shock jock Howard Stern, according to preliminary data released by CBS Corp. Thursday.

Stern's former New York CBS Radio station, 92.3-FM, saw its share of 18-to-34-year-old listeners triple to 4.2 percent in May from the tepid 1.4 percent pulled by Roth in April.

In Boston, CBS' share of 18-to-34-year-old listeners jumped from 2.3 percent in April to 6.7 percent in May, and in Philadelphia, the share of that age group jumped from 2.4 percent to 7.7 percent, according to additional early ratings extrapolated by CBS from Arbitron Corp. data.

Stern left CBS at the end of 2005 for Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. in a high-profile move preceded by months of on-air complaints by the radio icon who said he left commercial radio due to years of frustration with regulatory constraints.

CBS Radio brought back the ribald radio duo "Opie & Anthony" on April 26 to replace Roth's short-lived effort to fill in the gap left by Stern.

CBS had pulled "Opie & Anthony" off the air four years ago over a sexually explicit radio bit that put the station in regulatory hot water.

In an interview with Reuters, Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia said they loved the challenge of making edgier shows for terrestrial radio and believed they were drawing many former Stern listeners.

"You can still do a very entertaining and edgy show on regular radio. He (Stern) just was not able to adapt to the new FCC (Federal Communications Commission) rules. It's more work to keep it clever," said Cumia.

"Instead of going right for that off-color noncompliant joke, you have to try to keep it funny and entertaining within the boundaries," he said.

A spokesman for Stern was not immediately available for comment.

In April, CBS and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. announced the first talent-sharing deal between commercial and subscription radio, featuring the duo in a three-hour segment simulcast on XM nationally and CBS in various cities.

After the CBS broadcast, which is subject to the same broadcast standards as other shows, the co-hosts walk over to XM for two more hours of uncensored talk.

During their CBS broadcast Thursday, for example, comedian Rich Vos was discussing the probing of body parts, including a reference to hemorrhoids, part of which was deleted.

Hughes jumped in, saying, "We'll discuss that on XM."

Situations like these often arise. Later, the two walked down the Manhattan block between the CBS and XM studios, accompanied by about 25 people, including fans, producers and a stripper named Inari Vachs, who would be their guest on the XM show.

"In general, we feel like we're talking to the same people on both shows, but it's a little more of a hard-core following on XM," said Cumia.

"I'm sure he's (Stern) not happy that we're making a difference. There is a lot of audience that sunk into the radio landscape who are looking for something," said Hughes, referring to the millions of Stern listeners who did not sign up for Sirius.

XM called the deal a success as well. "We're getting enormous branding and exposure for XM," said executive vice president of programming Eric Logan.

"The benefit to XM subscribers is that they get the uncensored show. I think we're turning new people on to XM, which is translating into new subscribers," Cumia said.

Copyright Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.

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NEW YORK -- Radio hosts "Opie & Anthony" seem to be faring better than rocker David Lee Roth as a replacement for shock jock Howard Stern, according to preliminary data released by CBS Corp. Thursday. Stern's former New York CBS Radio station, 92.3-FM, saw its share of...
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Friday, 23 June 2006 12:00 AM
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