O & A over at CBS ?? (11/10/2007)

Hog's Big Ben

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#1
http://www.radio-info.com/content/column.php?rcID=90

Is the future dim for the Opie & Anthony Show? Consultants and RI users weigh in
By Dana Hall

The past few months haven’t been stellar for CBS syndicated morning duo Opie & Anthony. With CBS Radio flipping several of its “FM Talk” formatted stations in the past six months, O&A have lost three of its top markets: WYSP Philadelphia, WKRK Detroit, and WCKG Chicago; as well moved from FM to an AM signal in San Francisco. Rumors persist that there’s also trouble at flagship WXRK “K-Rock” New York, where the FM Talk format changed back in May, and O&A have a reported contentious relationship with new PD Tracy Cloherty.

Many in radio today wonder what CBS will do with O&A—Are they still too controversial for terrestrial radio? They were originally fired by CBS’ WNEW New York in 2002 for the St. Patrick’s Cathedral “Sex For Sam” scandal, and ultimately ended up away from T-radio for four years. During that time they joined XM and still have their own channel there, “The Virus.” But even at XM O&A ran into problems earlier this year, as they were suspended for airing a “****” fantasy of a homeless man. Some feel that the Don Imus racial remarks—which happened around the same time--created an atmosphere in which XM was forced to suspend O&A.

But the duo have always been controversial—that’s what made them a marketable morning show for CBS to take national in the Spring of 2006 on its then-new and ground breaking FM Talk approach. CBS needed a “sure thing” after the David Lee Roth debacle, and O&A were probably the closest they could get to Howard Stern.

It hasn’t turned out that way though. Radio-Info.com talked with two well-known Rock specialists, and asked them, “What does the future hold for Opie & Anthony?” Longtime Rock consultant, and former PD at WXRK who worked with O&A from October ’06 to May ‘07, John Maineli says, “I don't think their chances are good at CBS because they're just not delivering the goods -- ratings -- and their contract is up in March. As for XM, they're a significant draw, but if and when it merges with Sirius, Karmazin will be taking a different view of all those fat salaries that both services have been paying to be competitive with each other.”

McVay Media’s rock specialist Dave Lang agrees, “If the merger goes through will there be enough support for the two Howard channels and O and A? Probably not, considering the high costs of the Howard world.” But he also adds that, “the show has clearly done better than the other shows CBS had to replace Howard, [but] they were saddled with little support or decent showings in the rest of the day and it hurt them.”

Others have said their four-year absence from terrestrial radio hurt the duo more than they, or CBS expected.

Maineli says, “A lot of people got out of the habit of listening to them and even forgot about them, because O&A weren't at the top very long in New York before the plug was pulled [in 2003]. When they returned, they might as well have been a brand new team to most of New York, especially since they returned in a new time slot, AM Drive. I don't think they considered the fact that they needed to start from scratch all over again. Right off the bat, they played to their hard-core fans -- not a big base at that time.”

If CBS continues to pull the plug in other markets on the FM Talk format, is “the Opie & Anthony Show’s” fate sealed? Is this more an issue that one company, CBS, is making business decisions which don’t include an O&A show, or is it a sign of the industry changing, and moving away from all things overtly controversial?

Lang says, “Really Both. The mostly FM talk stations they were on just didn’t make it. We haven’t seen many FM Guy Talk stations take off even though on paper it looks like a viable format. Some of it may be due to the old Diary and low male samples, but it could also be the challenge of coming up with TOP TALENT in all day-parts. It’s hard enough to get 1 morning show off the ground in many markets, let alone a full day long line up.”

Maineli agrees, adding, “I believe CBS is too conservative, unnecessarily, especially in New York City where the lawyers and PR people live. On the other hand, everybody had to readjust to some degree after the Janet Jackson incident. I think O&A are clever enough to negotiate any environment if they put their minds to it.”

Not that they would take the advice, but what do Opie & Anthony need to do, to remain relevant and marketable on terrestrial radio?

Maineli suggests, “Focus more on current events and spend more time scouting them. As with Howard Stern and many other shows, they're at their best when they're talking about the news from their unique and humorous perspectives.”

Lang says, “They need to get some P1s and make them true/real fans of the show and start to spread the appeal. Right now they seem to be into ‘themselves’ – if they could draw more of their audience into the show they would at least be on a path to win.”

There have been reports that O&A alienated WYSP Philadelphia PD John Cook before they were dropped there, and now there are reports that there’s trouble with K-Rock PD Tracy Cloherty. O&A have a habit of taking their concerns with management to the air. Is this the right approach or are they sealing their fate with CBS, and other programmers?

Lang says yes. “Working with strong talent is always a challenge, but you have to have a coach/trust bond and this isn’t helping on either side.”

But Maineli contends that’s part of their gimmick. “They trashed me, too, when I was at Free FM -- and afterwards. Personally, I got a kick out of it. That kind of thing doesn't bother me because I'm a free speech absolutist and, if they're upset, I think they have a right to express it. Their listeners expect it. I realize, though, that a lot of other people in the business have thin skins."
I remember Mainelli's ideas for the show. He can go fuck himself.
 

UsedLadBag

Your moms box.
Feb 4, 2005
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#3
Lang says, “They need to get some P1s and make them true/real fans of the show and start to spread the appeal. Right now they seem to be into ‘themselves’ – if they could draw more of their audience into the show they would at least be on a path to win.”


The new P1 true/real fans of the O&A show
Dear Mr. Lang,

:fu:

Sincerely,
UsedLadBag
 
Jan 31, 2006
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#4
Below the article they had this:
Opie & Anthony are always a hot topic on the Radio-Info Discussion Boards.

On the New York Board, user Starscream says: The majority of O&A's audience is on satellite and staying there. They are already paying for radio and have no interest in listening to the rest of K-Rock. The entire audience is cannibalized."

He adds, “I don't know what it is, but the entire 202 XM platform has this aura of bitterness that wasn't there with the same block of shows five years ago. I know things change, but there was a much more positive vibe when they were on WNEW than the situation they are in now.”

Ron Smith Williams posted: “What CBS needs to do is to bring O and A back into afternoon drive so they can bring back that "guys hanging out at the bar" type of vibe. For mornings find someone like Kidd Chris or something to syndicate to New York. Just face it, mornings are not for O and A.”
Seems like what others said about afternoons & the vibe
 

thekidslepthere

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May 19, 2004
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#5
Anyone wonder if since in the past two years Citadel has acquired ABC radio and grown quite a bit, would they try and get O&A for themselves?

They picked up Imus, so they must have some balls. Would it be in their best interest to chase after O&A, try and be the syndicator, throw them on their rock stations, try and get them on somehow for the whole 6-10 block, even if an hour was not live?

Would it make sense to change WPLJ to a modern rock station since WXRK seems to be the worst modern rock station around? Especially with these new people meters showing a demand for it.

Just wondering.
 

Your_Moms_Box

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Dec 20, 2004
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#6
Sounds almost like the guy is right.

He doesn't really trash O&A, just points out that the atmosphere isn't good for them at the moment at either place.
 
Jul 26, 2005
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#7
Hopefully, Citadel will pick up the boys like they did Imus and we can be done with this shit company once and for all. I'm sick of the CBS drama and cock blocking.
 
Dec 25, 2005
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#8
again, it's amazing how socially conservative radio has become. Thing is, most listeners really don't gave a fuck.

Fuck loudmouth special intrest, and fuck Minelli. Get out of radio you fucking cunt!
 

Your_Moms_Box

Free Shit / Socialism 2016
Dec 20, 2004
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#9
Anyone wonder if since in the past two years Citadel has acquired ABC radio and grown quite a bit, would they try and get O&A for themselves?

They picked up Imus, so they must have some balls. Would it be in their best interest to chase after O&A, try and be the syndicator, throw them on their rock stations, try and get them on somehow for the whole 6-10 block, even if an hour was not live?

Would it make sense to change WPLJ to a modern rock station since WXRK seems to be the worst modern rock station around? Especially with these new people meters showing a demand for it.

Just wondering.
Yes
 
Jan 31, 2006
722
0
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#10
Anyone wonder if since in the past two years Citadel has acquired ABC radio and grown quite a bit, would they try and get O&A for themselves?

They picked up Imus, so they must have some balls. Would it be in their best interest to chase after O&A, try and be the syndicator, throw them on their rock stations, try and get them on somehow for the whole 6-10 block, even if an hour was not live?

Would it make sense to change WPLJ to a modern rock station since WXRK seems to be the worst modern rock station around? Especially with these new people meters showing a demand for it.

Just wondering.

Remember there is the issue if the merger goes through that Mel has publicly stated he won't share content like XM/CBS did
 

silentbob8201

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Jun 29, 2005
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#11
ok now im curious as to what the Autobots have to say after above quote.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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#12
Remember there is the issue if the merger goes through that Mel has publicly stated he won't share content like XM/CBS did
And he's also said he will honor all existing contracts. XM has them for three more years. If they want to stay on CBS, Eatman needs to get them resigned before Karmazin becomes their boss.

If not, who knows what they have going on with Citadel. They are currently on more Citadel stations than CBS anyway. And Farid owes them the chance to help bring their stock back up to what it was when they bought it. :D
 

mendozathejew

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#13
I think the FM show has hit its stride. maybe the ratings will begin to reflect that, maybe not. in my opinion it takes longer than people expect for the results to start
 

thekidslepthere

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#14
And he's also said he will honor all existing contracts. XM has them for three more years. If they want to stay on CBS, Eatman needs to get them resigned before Karmazin becomes their boss.
So we have to hope the merger is at least 4 1/2 months away, then they would safely have time to get a new terrestrial contract with CBS or anyone else. I think.
 

prozac

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Nov 15, 2004
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#15
Really nice find on the article...Hog's Big Ben. I hear both shows and CBS has givin alot of power to the PD's which can hurt the show. As a fan I don't know what is going to happen but CBS seems to be a mess right now and Mel is a dick who loves Hoo Hoo. Time will tell but let's enjoy the 6 hours of radio we get for as long was we can.
 
Jan 31, 2006
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#16
And he's also said he will honor all existing contracts. XM has them for three more years. If they want to stay on CBS, Eatman needs to get them resigned before Karmazin becomes their boss.

If not, who knows what they have going on with Citadel. They are currently on more Citadel stations than CBS anyway. And Farid owes them the chance to help bring their stock back up to what it was when they bought it. :D

But they won't be added to other stations after the merger. Also I doubt XM would sign a deal with FM under Mel's nose. There is no way.
 

McGuirk

doesn't overanalyze comedy radio
Jul 13, 2006
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#17
Radio has definately shifted during the time they were off terrestrial. The common listener doesn't really see this, and they slowly get used to bland, safe radio. It gets to a point where shock radio is no longer accessible or appealing to them. The shift, plus the time away from FM radio during that time, hurt their momentum I think. People have found other stations (and other media, MP3 players) and formats to listen to, and "discovering" radio stations is a lot different than discovering a new television program.

Other than stepping up advertising and awareness of the show (slap their names on a KROCK-sponsored event or concert or something), unfortunately I think the FM side may continue to look dim from a ratings side. I do think the show works (some needless wussy censoring aside) on the FM side, it's just a matter of grabbing people and making them listen for a little while to get the show.
 

Kris_LTRMa

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Nov 17, 2006
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#18
sour grapes on Mainelli's part. Speculation on everyone else's. I don't think anybody really knows what's going on, not even those who are supposed to know what's going on
 
Feb 20, 2006
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#19
Lang says, “They need to get some P1s and make them true/real fans of the show and start to spread the appeal. Right now they seem to be into ‘themselves’ – if they could draw more of their audience into the show they would at least be on a path to win.”

Could an expert be more wrong? They are so fan friendly it's goddamn ridiculous.
 

jules

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Jul 24, 2005
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#20
good points by all.

i know its been said before, but this maybe the worst time ever in the history of regular radio and what certain companies think people want to/should be listening to.
i dont know what is going to happen with the merge, but i hope o&a can get through it intact because with all the nonsense, sat. radio can really skyrocket in popularity because of the regular radio bullshit.
imo all we can do now is hope.
 

cozzie

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#21
I just wish they would go back to afternoons, not so many stuck up soccer moms listening in the afternoon as there is taking their drugged up kids to school. just saying:action-sm
 

Ballbuster1

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#22
I just wish they would go back to afternoons, not so many stuck up soccer moms listening in the afternoon as there is taking their drugged up kids to school. just saying:action-sm
I agree, but the morning drive is where the biggest audience and money is.
 

thekidslepthere

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May 19, 2004
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#23
I agree, but the morning drive is where the biggest audience and money is.
Everyone says this but no one ever really brings up Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, and Levin, they are the big names now, and none of them are on in the morning.

I think the whole morning being the prime time of radio might be a thing of the past. It might be best left to the locals.

I know with morning TV when I'm getting ready to go, I watch Good Day LA, instead of the Today Show. Even though it's crap, I'd rather grab a couple local stories than getting a show taped three hours before.

I've always been pro mornings for O&A, but the more I think about it and the way radio is going, the more I'm leaning back towards the afternoon. And this way I could listen to the show live while at work, instead of having to pick it up out of order like I usually do now.
 

shwoogie

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Jun 2, 2004
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#24
"A lot of people got out of the habit of listening to them and even forgot about them, because O&A weren't at the top very long in New York before the plug was pulled [in 2003]."


Or 2002, same thing.
 

cozzie

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Aug 7, 2005
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#25
I normaly miss the show before 9am, just too busy doing other crap. I listen to the xm portion, then catch the morning part on the replay. Yes mornings are where the money is, but it seems, that's where the trouble is also.