After a week of melodramatic contract negotiations that played out both over social media and the satellite radio airwaves, SiriusXM’s Opie Radio channel remains intact — even if it no longer includes a morning time slot for the man who had occupied it since the channel first debuted on XM Radio as High Voltage some 12 years ago.
The web address actually still refers to Opie Radio as “theOpie&Anthonychannel” when listing the weekly schedule, which relaunched this morning with “Jim Norton & Sam Roberts” at 8 a.m. Eastern.
“Jim Norton & Sam Roberts” airs from 8-11 a.m. Eastern (5-8 a.m. Pacific) weekdays, with rebroadcasts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then again from 9 p.m. to midnight, where Roberts had hosted the channel’s nightly show before his time-slot upgrade. Opie (Gregg Hughes) meanwhile begins a new afternoon shift — something he hasn’t done since his early days with “Opie and Anthony” in Boston in the mid-1990s — today at 3 p.m. Eastern. His “Opie Radio Show” will air from 3-6 in the afternoons, then immediately replay from 6-9 at night, then again in the very early morning from 5-8 a.m. (so you will hear Opie in the mornings if you still tuned in at 7).
The status of other shows remains less settled, as the Opie Radio channel lists “Specialty Shows” airing at 3 a.m. Eastern on Wednesdays and Fridays, described as “Unique programming from comedians, celebrities, and more. Shows include: Robert Kelly, Rich Vos & Bonnie McFarlane, Tom Papa, Jim Breuer and more.”
Norton began his radio career on SiriusXM as the third mic for Opie & Anthony, and continued on as sidekick to Opie after Anthony Cumia was fired in 2014.
As the contracts for Opie and Norton expired at the end of September, they both talked about their disagreements with each other and with the radio company as they postured for new deals. Opie made vague statements via daily YouTube videos looking out at the ocean and in an aquarium, while Norton talked openly on the radio with then-temporary co-host Roberts.
Opie’s video on Monday wrote out messages in the sand: “Back tomorrow 3 pm. I did NOT want to leave mornings. Short term deal. They wanted longer. I said no f–king way. Will do a great show. Gotta go get worms.”
Even this morning, the melodrama continued as comedians wondered if they had to choose sides in terms of what shows they’d guest on.
Opie chimed back in with a series of Tweets, concluding with:
Let me make this perfectly clear I don’t give a fuck who’s booked on what show.
— opie radio (@OpieRadio) October 4, 2016
“The Opie & Anthony Show” and “Opie with Jim Norton” welcomed a lot of comedians into the studios over the years, giving them access to far wider audiences and even organizing comedy tours for them. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how both personalities develop shows without the influences of the others.
Speaking of which, Anthony called into Opie’s first solo show while he was broadcasting from his compound on Tuesday afternoon.
So stay tuned.