Thursday, April 20, 2006

Terrestrial Mayhem?

Longtime readers will know that one of my vices -- if you could call it that -- is the Howard Stern Show. For years, it's been my wake-up call. And, yes, I went over with him to Sirius.

Well, this morning, Howard reported one of those precious few things which might be of interest to more than just a handful of this readership.

Media-watchers'll be well aware that CBS Radio has been in a ratings free-fall since Stern's December departure for satellite. To prevent another monopoly forming around one host, the AM drive-time slot in Stern's old markets was divided between three replacements, the most prominent of which -- the former Van Halen frontman/EMT David Lee Roth -- has been universally panned since taking Stern's place in six markets including Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas and New York, where he's based.

A spate of recent stories have indicated that, after only three months in the gig, it's widely believed that Roth's days at the mic are numbered. And buzz reported by Stern this morning says that his successor's likely replacement is the team of Opie and Anthony.

"Who're Opie and Anthony?" some of you might be asking. And you might be asking why you should care, too.

Well, once upon a time, Opie and Anthony were the syndicated afternoon drive hosts for CBS under its former incarnation, Infinity Radio. They were run off the air in 2002 after a stunt in which they encouraged a couple to have sex in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral as the hosts, and their nationwide audience, listened in by phone.

Predictably, the act was widely denounced as a giant step across the boundaries of decency and good taste.... And their rumored return to the big time is no laughing matter.