Archive for the ‘Opie & Anthony’ Category

Top 10 Posts of 2014!

Each year I find it gratifying to look back and take stock. It’s been a fun, frustrating-at-times, insightful, enlightening, empowering year thanks in a large part because of you. What I write on these pages is a reflection of what I’m experiencing in the world as it relates to radio. Here are the posts that drew the most attention this year for one reason or another.

photo 310. Stop Questioning, Start Creating. This was a talent-focused piece on how to best engage listeners and a plea for the world to stop asking so many questions. It’s an engagement device that really doesn’t work as well as you think it does.

9. 1,000 Miles of Radio Listening. This entry was inspired while moving my family from Seattle, WA to Atascadero, CA. It reflects my time in the role as a real radio listener. (Spoiler: Radio remains, to my dismay, mostly cliché, predictable, forgettable, and crammed full of poorly written commercials.)

8. Radio is Overloaded. I WANT to love radio, but I am increasingly dissatisfied with the return on my investment of time.  Gang, we got a spot problem. There’s way too much clutter.

PETE CARROLL LOMBARDI 27. Building a Championship Team. Sometimes we need to look beyond the four walls of the studio or station to be inspired for greatness. This entry focuses on Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and how he built a World Championship team.

6. How to Quit Your Radio Job in 10 Steps. There is going to come a time when you want out of your radio station. Here is how to do that with dignity and grace.

5. Fun Cannot Be Formatted. This was a 50% inspiration and 50% kick in the ass. A major portion of people in radio have forgotten how to have fun. The future success of the industry depends on the spontaneity of personalities and giving them permission to try new things and fail.

4. Six Tips for Co-Hosting a Radio Show or Podcast. Co-hosting a radio show or podcast seems like it should be easier because there are two of you, but that also means there are twice the problems. Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction.

3. Making Sense of Another Radio Firing. Anthony Cumia, the second half of Opie & Anthony, was fired by SiriusXM over the weekend for a series of offensive tweets he made about African-Americans after a woman physically assaulted him in New York City. I examine the firing from a radio perspective.

Leykis12. Seven Hours with Tom Leykis. This my takeaways from spending the day with former radio star turned internet radio star Tom Leykis. Tom doesn’t hate radio. He says he’s been doing it too long, made too many millions off of it and has too many friends still in it to hate it. “I love radio. NOT the appliance, but the concept.”

1. Prepare for the Pink Slip. This entry is the most viewed blog post of 2014 and it also originates from my day with Tom Leykis. It is full of advice from Tom to those of us still working in the traditional radio business.

Making Sense of Another Radio Firing

DailyNewsFor nearly 20 years Opie & Anthony have been serving up their unique brand of radio. They’ve been called “shock jocks,” “Stern wannabes,” and now “racist.”

Anthony Cumia, the second half of Opie & Anthony, was fired by SiriusXM over the weekend for a series of offensive tweets he made about African-Americans after a woman physically assaulted him in New York City.

(You can read the tirade here if you dare and here’s a personal perspective from a former co-worker of Cumia.)

It brings up a couple of discussion points for radio.

Is your personal twitter account really personal? No. Not when you’re on the radio. Not even if you put a disclaimer on it. Your employer leases your brand via your compensation. It’s not a three-hour-a-day lease. It’s a lease. You get in trouble at home and you’re likely trouble at work.

Isn’t this America? Don’t we have freedom of speech? Yes. It is America. Yes. You do have freedom of speech. (for the record other countries have freedom of speech too). To be clear, while you are free to say what you want you are still responsible for your words. And the 1st Amendment only protects you from being penalized by the government, not your employer. (read up on it here )

Didn’t SiriusXM know the kind of personality they were hiring? I should think so. Opie & Anthony have been in trouble before for crazy, silly, stupid things (see: 100 grand giveaway, Mayor’s April Fool’s death, the Voyeur Bus, Sex for Sam, and Homeless Charlie – all detailed here:  )

So, Why Fire the Guy? This is where it gets interesting. While SiriusXM has seen recent revenue growth it’s below the industry average and hasn’t impacted the bottom line yet. The Street also reports the gross profit margin is mixed and trails the industry average. Additionally, O&A’s biggest advocate at SiriusXM, Tim Sabean, the SVP of Comedy and Entertainment, was let go from the company just a week ago and the guys voiced their disapproval of the move on twitter. Getting rid of an expensive, hard to control talent at the earliest possible convenience seems more than just a little coincidental.  You also must consider this is a publicly traded company who can’t be seen as supporting hate speech like what was spewed by Cumia over twitter.

Bottom Line: We live in a changing world. It didn’t take much to “shock” us before the horrors of the world were a mouse click away. Now it takes so much to get people’s attention that by the time you do it’s like pulling a boulder over a cliff. Once you tug hard enough to get it moving, you can’t pull it back and you are ultimately crushed by the weight of it. If you’re first instinct is to try to shock the world. Take a breath. Is the momentary “GASP!” worth what follows?