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Thread: OT: O&A future uncertain with Sirius/XM merger complete

  1. #1
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    OT: O&A future uncertain with Sirius/XM merger complete

    I predict 1 of 2 scenarios.

    1. No contract renewal and O&A go to back to terrestrial radio full time.
    2. They go on Howard 101 and take over for Bubba The Love Sponge in the afternoon who won't be renewed and is also doing a terrestial/satellite gig similar to O&A.

    I don't think Karmazin will let them broadcast live at the same time as Howard..


    Karmazin Talks Contract With Opie & Anthony

    July 30, 2008




    Together again: Jim Norton,
    Opie, Mel Karmazin, Anthony

    It was the first time they had talked with Mel Karmazin since being fired from WNEW/New York over the Sex For Sam stunt. And while the status of their expiring XM Satellite Radio contract was heavy on their minds, Opie & Anthony spent a good portion of the initial conversation discussing the approval of the Sirius-XM merger.

    But, after getting all the merger talk out of the way, it was time to get down to the real business that the O&A crew and their fans wanted to know when Opie asked, "Let's get to the bottom of the issue here. Did you or did you not bring pink slips for us?"

    "No" said Mel, who added, "It didn't hurt you that I already did that once. That was a very profitable deal for you guys."

    With the pink slip avoided, Karmazin admitted he is just beginning to dig into the XM side of the newly formed Sirius XM Radio and he hadn't even had a chance to look at anyone's XM contract, including Opie & Anthony's.

    "As important as you guys are, I had not had a conversation until I saw Eric [Logan] late in the afternoon and he told me there is a contract period coming up," explained Karmazin. "It's the first I heard of it and I know nothing about it and believe it or not, I don't even know what you guys make. I'm assuming that if in fact you guys want to stay and if in fact XM is obviously happy and wants you to stay, all I can do is facilitate and make sure there are conversations."

    Broaching the subject of their dual broadcast deal that puts them on terrestrial radio for three hours a day, Karmazin said, "In a perfect world where I'm going to pay a good amount of money, it's going to be because the only way a subscriber can get it is on satellite radio."

    In other words, Karmazin isn't going to hold up their deal to broadcast on both platforms, but they shouldn't expect to get paid like they would if they were exclusively on Sirius XM Radio.

    Later in the interview, when discussing what programming would soon be available on both Sirius and XM, Karmazin said he wants O&A to be part of the XM programming that is available on Sirius "if they are with the company." He also said he wasn't sure if O&A combined with their channel-mates Ron & Fez on XM 202 The Virus equated to a full channel on the newly formed company's line-up. Regarding Ron & Fez, Karmazin did say, "I have only good things that I have heard about them."


    The bottom line regarding O&A and their future on satellite radio is there will finally be contract renewal discussions, but the future is still up in the air as to their final place in the newly formed company. It's probably not what O&A fans wanted to hear, and the speculation threads on message boards will run deep, but the door is open for them to stay on both terrestrial and satellite radio.

    O&A also spent some time reminiscing about their days of working with Karmazin, specifically recalling the meeting when Mel fired them from WNEW. "Well you guys just weren't nice," said Karmazin. "What would happen is I would be this charming nice guy and you guys would just be dicks and come up to my office and be the way you guys are."

    Karmazin also said it was "honorable" to pay O&A to sit out their contract and that "we were smart in designing a contract that provided us with the ability to do what we did."

    Opie pushed back by asking, "Why didn't you let us work again? Why did you make us sit out for two years? Were we competition at that point?"

    "Absolutely," replied Karmazin. "I thought you guys were terrifically talented. I sorta was involved in hiring you, so at this point I thought you guys were absolutely terrific. I thought you were great talent. And why on Earth if I can pay you not to compete with me would I want you to compete? I thought you had a deathwish because I had made it very clear, we're in a business and we make a whole lot of money from Howard Stern. Why on Earth would I want anybody who works for me to hurt me, in so far as hurting my money?"

    Opie contended, "We just wanted to fight it out. [Howard's] strong enough that he could just fight back."

    "Oh and he could but the winner would have been Clear Channel," Karmazin shot back. "I don't know if you ever would have damaged Howard, but let's assume the intent was to do that and therefore you accomplished it and took something away from Howard. That would mean when we went to advertisers, we would get less. And who would get more would be these other broadcasters that we competed with."

    In defense, Opie said, "At the time, our goal was to make sure Howard didn't hurt our stock. We weren't actually trying to knock him out of the game, we were making sure he wasn't going to knock us out of the game. And that's where the confusion was."

    Not wanting to prolong rehashing old battles, Karmazin said, "And that's the area that you guys and I had the disagreement. You thought he was doing that and maybe he did. I did not hear that or sense that."

    Meanwhile, Karmazin may be making another appearance on the program to discuss another matter. "I've been getting emails every time my name has been mentioned on the show," he explained. "Every time you guys talked about me people made it a point to give me the tapes of it, so I'm aware of it. I do want to come back with the CDs I have of all the stuff [you said about me.] What I want to do is to be able to play them all and be able to comment on [the ways] you characterized me."

    http://www.fmqb.com/Article.asp?id=816431

  2. #2
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    I heard your boy Howard wasn't too happy about the merger. "Wahh wahh I'll never vote for a democrat again." Typical limousine liberal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    I heard your boy Howard wasn't too happy about the merger. "Wahh wahh I'll never vote for a democrat again." Typical limousine liberal.

    You'd be wrong. He's ecstatic about the merger.

    He's pissed at the liberals who held the deal up for 18 mos after deals like Exxon/Mobil were approved almost immediately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE_SOOTHSAYER View Post
    You'd be wrong. He's ectatic about the merger.

    He's pissed at the liberals that held the deal up for 18 mos after deals like Exxon/Mobil were approved almost immediately.
    Wtf? I heard the clip yesterday online with him whining about how they are stifling private enterprise. Hang on, I'll try to find it.

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    I wonder if the right offer was made, if they would ditch their terrestrial show. In recent months they've been complaining a lot about the extreme censorship, which amazingly has gotten even worse since Stern left.

    Karmazin is probably sincere in the fact that he wants to keep them. They have a loyal, solid base of XM listeners. The sticking point is going to be the CBS show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE_SOOTHSAYER View Post
    You'd be wrong. He's ecstatic about the merger.

    He's pissed at the liberals who held the deal up for 18 mos after deals like Exxon/Mobil were approved almost immediately.
    Yeah, you're right. I misunderstood what he was talking about. My bad.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    Wtf? I heard the clip yesterday online with him whining about how they are stifling private enterprise. Hang on, I'll try to find it.
    Sooth's statement is absolutely correct and Howard has said that multiple times.

    Was funny though to hear the BBBBBOYS shaking in their boots through the radio though. Mel is going to do the right thing and keep them though. Ron and Fez can go away. Same with Bubba to be honest although the hicks in the south do seem to like him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliec View Post
    I heard your boy Howard wasn't too happy about the merger. "Wahh wahh I'll never vote for a democrat again." Typical limousine liberal.
    Howard's comments from yesterday below.

    http://www.marksfriggin.com/news08/7-28.htm#tue

    Howard Comments On SIRIUS XM Radio, The Merge Is Official. 07/29/08. 9:25am

    Howard said that he will get into this more tomorrow, but he wants to welcome SIRIUS XM Radio which is the name of their new company. They now have 18.5 million subscribers and people are going to be able to hear his show on both services. He said that Mel is going to come in and make a statement tomorrow about this.

    Howard said that he believes that he can say to all of the subscribers that this will be the dominant medium in broadcasting. He said that when he first made the decision to come to satellite, he met with both companies. Howard said he found that XM was kind of arrogant because they thought that SIRIUS was nothing at the time. They assumed that he would sign with them because of that. SIRIUS only had about 600,000 subscribers at the time, actually less than that according to Fred.

    Howard said that he liked the people at XM but it took them a long time to make decisions. SIRIUS went after him and they wanted him to come on board with them. Howard said that he thought satellite was on to something

    Howard said that the fans supported their move to satellite even though they had to pay for the service. He said that they all came and supported them and that led to this merger. Now today, within 2.5 years, they've gone from 350,000 listeners to 18.5 million. Howard said that the listeners will get the best of both worlds and all of the sports programming they want. He said that they can go after talent now and get more people on the air.

    Howard said that they have the number one radio show and there are a lot of people trying to create that same type of thing but it's not going to happen. He said that this supersedes everything in his career.

    Robin said that people don't know how much of a risk Howard took making this move to satellite. He risked his reputation because he was the leader and he was going to a new place where everyone had to go through obstacles to get the show. She said that no one believed it would work. Howard said that this is after just 2.5 years and it's just the beginning. He said it's a great day today.

    Howard said that Mel Karmazin was able to make this happen and it's the greatest broadcasting story of all time. Howard said he couldn't' have even predicted that this merger would happen. He predicted that they would overtake XM with subscribers but this merger was a surprise.

    Artie gave a laugh to the government and said that they are a monopoly of satellite radio. Howard said that Artie is just kidding and there are many other places to get music. This is not a monopoly.

    Howard took a call from Mariann from Brooklyn who congratulated him on the merger. She wondered if everyone will be able to hear her on XM tomorrow. Howard said that they have to find out from Mel when that is all going to happen. They will find out more tomorrow when Mel comes in.

    Artie said that he's very happy for Howard and this makes them a solid business now. He said that he thinks that people will find out how great the show is when they can tune in and hear the show on either service.

    Howard said that they have a lot of opportunity for growth and they have a lot of work left to do. He said that he believes that they are going to be able to offer lower prices and more options for subscribers and this will be a great thing. He said it's good for the industry and good for the listeners.

    Howard said that the NAB didn't want them to merge because now they have strong competition. He said that they're going to force them to work harder at what they do. He said that with all of the NAB horse **** that this is finally happening. He said that now is the time for the real fight and satellite radio is here to stay and to win.

    Artie said that he hopes that his liver stays strong enough that he can live to see this all happen. Howard said that the NAB must be shaking in it's boots. He said that the NAB is the one that doesn't want competition and they're the ones trying to keep them from surviving. Howard said that they'll see who has the energy to beat them now.

    Howard said that Mel Karmazin doesn't even sleep. HE's up at all hours of the day e-mailing him. Artie said that he doesn't sleep outside of the show, he gets his sleep done there in the studio.

    Howard said that this is his greatest accomplishment ever and he told everyone with SIRIUS that he was going to make this happen. Artie said that Jim Florentine is going to hear this and ask for Robin to come back into his life. Fred went into his Jim impression and goofed around with that for a short time.

    Fred congratulated Howard as Howard was congratulating people like Mel Karmazin and Scott Greenstein. Fred said that no one would have known what satellite radio was if Howard didn't move there. Howard said that Fred is right about that.

    Howard took a call from a woman who said that this was a beautiful morning. She said that Howard was in a fight and he finally won. Howard said that terrestrial radio went to war with satellite radio as soon as he signed on withy SIRIUS. He said that they were against him moving, they stopped their DJs from working for them and they tried to stop this merger.

    Howard said that he had to thank the republican party for voting to approve this merger. He said that the Democrats were ones who didn't vote for it. He had to give a big ''**** you!'' to the lobbyists who were trying to put a stop to it. Fred threw in some Iron Sheik ''**** you'' clips.

    The woman on the phone said that Howard can't retire now that they have this going on. Howard said that he's not even thinking about that right now. He said that he listens to this company's service all the time and he's always got his radio on.

    Robin said that she got a brand new car. Howard cut her off and asked what she's up to. She aid that she was replacing a car. She said that she has a total of four cars and it's not that much. She has one SUV and a couple of 2 seaters. She said that she got a new SUV and she may get rid of one of her Corvettes.

    Robin said that they were supposed to have installed satellite radio in her vehicle and they hadn't. She said that she got out of the car and said she didn't want it when they told her that they didn't have it installed. She would not accept the car without satellite.

    Double A called in and congratulated them. He said that it was a great day today. Howard took another call from a woman who said that she was going to tell Howard he could talk about this today but he already got into it. Howard said that this is what the NAB has feared the most. He said that they're going to have to figure out how to compete. 18 million listeners is nothing to sneeze at. Artie said he thinks that they're going to see a spike in subscriptions now. He figures that there were people waiting to subscribe until this merger went through.

    Howard said that was all he was going to say today, he'll talk more about it tomorrow. Howard said he's got a lot of questions for Mel. He had to go to break after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE_SOOTHSAYER View Post
    You'd be wrong. He's ecstatic about the merger.

    He's pissed at the liberals who held the deal up for 18 mos after deals like Exxon/Mobil were approved almost immediately.
    Exactly. Howard has been whining for the past year+ about how long this has taken. Mel said this morning that he has worked on billions of dollars worth of M&A that were NOWHERE near the work of this minuscule merger.

    There's a little blurb in today's WSJ about how Mel had been pushing for this for a while (well before the public knew he was going to try for the merger).

    I don't see how Howard could work on the same network, and for the same company as O&A to be honest with you. Then again, I could see him doing what's best for the company, and if Mel thinks that is what's best, I don't see him dissenting Mel.

    OT: Sooth, that picture of your little girl is adorable. It takes up the whole screen (as do all of your sig pics ) on my Blackberry when I'm scrolling through. The lady sitting next to me on the train yesterday asked if she was mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE_SOOTHSAYER View Post
    I predict 1 of 2 scenarios.

    1. No contract renewal and O&A go to back to terrestrial radio full time.
    2. They go on Howard 101 and take over for Bubba The Love Sponge in the afternoon who won't be renewed and is also doing a terrestial/satellite gig similar to O&A.

    I don't think Karmazin will let them broadcast live at the same time as Howard..
    You're probably right, but I don't really get it. O&A is alright, I usually listen to them on KROCK in the mornings during my commute but sometimes they get annoying and I just end up putting on music. Stern I just absolutely cannot stand. I have an XM radio that came in my car but never re-upped after the initial free trial period because I just didn't use it enough and I certainly wouldn't pay for radio just to hear either of these shows.

    All of that said though, I don't get this whole philosophy that Stern and O&A can't possibly go up against each other. For the most part I'd say people are generally just fans of one or the other. Let people listen to who they want. If they are all subscribers then why does it really matter? This whole satellite radio thing is supposed to be this great whole network of stations with all of these choices to satisfy all of your listening desires, but then they stick you with one and only one morning radio talk show. You're paying yet getting worse options in that department than the free competition. That's bad enough to begin with, but when you have two very viable and popular options, it only makes it worse.

    Its just a flat out stupid business decision. They're not going to get any additional subscribers to join by making it so the shows aren't going head to head. The only thing it accomplishes is placating Stern's ego over actually given the listeners to option to listen to what they want. Honestly, I find the whole feud thing to be dumb to begin with, but the fact that now the company is getting involved with it is beyond idiotic.

    And given all the deals they already have signed elsewhere, its likely O&A will still be doing a morning show on terrestrial radio. If that's the case, a lot of people who signed up to XM for their show are going to drop their subscription in a heartbeat as long as they're in a market area where O&A is syndicated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SUJets1988 View Post
    OT: Sooth, that picture of your little girl is adorable. It takes up the whole screen (as do all of your sig pics ) on my Blackberry when I'm scrolling through. The lady sitting next to me on the train yesterday asked if she was mine!
    Thanks and sorry about that...we are working on becoming more mobile user friendly as we upgrade the site. BTW, you can disable sig pics in your "UserCP" if you don't want them displayed.

  12. #12
    Id be pretty certain they will go terrestrial full time as Im not sure they would want to go back to doing afternoons and on Howards station of all places. Things is they have become increasingly boring and I think make pretty bland morning show. If they dont take a deal to stay on satellite Im not sure there is any guarantee they can last for an extremely long time over the air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason423 View Post
    Id be pretty certain they will go terrestrial full time as Im not sure they would want to go back to doing afternoons and on Howards station of all places. Things is they have become increasingly boring and I think make pretty bland morning show. If they dont take a deal to stay on satellite Im not sure there is any guarantee they can last for an extremely long time over the air.
    Probably makes the most sense.

    I would imagine that the $$$ will dictate where they go and free radio will offer more.

    Didn't they just re-up their terrestrial deal? I would assume that since terrestrial radio is scrambling to keep pace (CBS radio still hasn't recovered from Stern's departure) they will end up giving O&A big money to go with them exclusively.

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    How do you know Bubba's not coming back?
    I thought they were waiting for the merger to give they a long term deal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chops44 View Post
    How do you know Bubba's not coming back?
    I thought they were waiting for the merger to give they a long term deal?
    I don't. But someone who I know that's affilliated with Sirius told me that the reason they didn't give him more than a 1 year deal was because O&A would be aboard and they might need a slot for them.

    O&A is a much bigger entity than Bubba so if they had to choose, Bubba's out.

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    Is there a timeline as to when the stations will be combined ?

  17. #17
    That would be awesome if O&A came on board and Bubba was shipped out. I first heard O&A when they were on WYSP in Philly - pre Sex for Sam. They are light years ahead of Bubba the Love Sponge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SUJets1988 View Post
    Exactly. Howard has been whining for the past year+ about how long this has taken. Mel said this morning that he has worked on billions of dollars worth of M&A that were NOWHERE near the work of this minuscule merger.

    There's a little blurb in today's WSJ about how Mel had been pushing for this for a while (well before the public knew he was going to try for the merger).

    I don't see how Howard could work on the same network, and for the same company as O&A to be honest with you. Then again, I could see him doing what's best for the company, and if Mel thinks that is what's best, I don't see him dissenting Mel.

    OT: Sooth, that picture of your little girl is adorable. It takes up the whole screen (as do all of your sig pics ) on my Blackberry when I'm scrolling through. The lady sitting next to me on the train yesterday asked if she was mine!

    Of course Howard has been whining about the merger taking forever to happen....it's been keeping the stock of the company stagnant, and he has quite the vested interest in the stock.

    I think Howard and O&A will work fine in the same company. A lot of these radio feuds are complete b.s. If both sides benefit you won't hear a peep from either side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisrud View Post
    That would be awesome if O&A came on board and Bubba was shipped out. I first heard O&A when they were on WYSP in Philly - pre Sex for Sam. They are light years ahead of Bubba the Love Sponge.

    Bubba is funny sometimes but I'm not into his hillbilly schtick. I don't usually listen to him. Stern in the morning and uncensored O&A in the afternoon would be killer.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sourceworx View Post
    Of course Howard has been whining about the merger taking forever to happen....it's been keeping the stock of the company stagnant, and he has quite the vested interest in the stock.

    I think Howard and O&A will work fine in the same company. A lot of these radio feuds are complete b.s. If both sides benefit you won't hear a peep from either side.
    Exactly. I've been listening to O&A in one form or another since sixth grade when they were on WAAF. One thing I've learned is that they are masters of controversy, but when they feud with people it's always 75% fake. The Howard thing was contrived, just like the JV and Elvis yelling match, the Rocco BS and all that stuff. It's entertaining to listen to, and they make it believable, but you soon realize it's all business-oriented.

    At some point they realized that they weren't going to take that next step without cracking into Howard's audience. The only way to do that was to try and force Howard to respond to the "feud" on his show. They tried this for a while but Howard was smart and didn't give in, barely saying two words about them unless he had to (ie after the Letterman appearance). So they pretty much gave up on it. They did the same thing when WAAF refused to acknowledge them. All these shows are very entertaining and O&A are hilarious, but they are also shrewd businessmen, and their art lies in creating drama and making you believe it. That's why they respect people like Maury Povich and Rosie O'Donnell.

    If they have to work with Howard they will, and they'll come up with a rationalization and make people believe it.

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