Opie Radio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from The Virus (Sirius XM))
Jump to: navigation, search
Opie Radio
Opie Radio Logo.png
Broadcast area United States
Branding xL Opie Radio
Slogan N/A
Frequency XM103
SR 206
First air date August 6, 2004 as High Voltage
November 20, 2006 as The Virus
October 13, 2011 as
The Opie & Anthony Channel
July 14, 2014 as SiriusXM Talk
October 2, 2014 as Opie Radio
Format Talk radio
Class Satellite Radio Station
Owner Sirius XM Holdings
Website http://www.siriusxm.com/opieradio

Opie Radio (formerly known as High Voltage from 2004 to 2006, the ViRUS from 2006 to 2011, The Opie & Anthony Channel from 2011 to 2014, and SiriusXM Talk from July 2014 to October 2014) is a hot talk channel on XM Satellite Radio. It is one of only two talk-based XM channels in stereo, the other being XM Public Radio as well as Sirius channels Howard 100 and Howard 101.

It is one of XM Satellite Radio's 9 xL channels, which include frequent explicit language. Opie Radio is XM's only talk channel that has the xL tag, the others being either music or comedy channels.


High Voltage (2004-2006)[edit]

Former XM 202 Logo as High Voltage


The launch of the channel came the day after XM's 2004-08-05 announcement that they were hiring former Infinity Broadcasting talk radio personalities Opie and Anthony to be part of a subscription-only channel on XM.[1] For two months, High Voltage repeatedly looped two different, 40-second announcements with no background music touting Opie and Anthony's return. At midnight ET on 2004-10-01, the loop was interrupted to air "Opie and Anthony: Ungagged".

The original channel name High Voltage was decided by one of XM's lawyers, despite them telling Opie and Anthony they had time to think of a name. The decision was made without consulting Opie or Anthony when XM decided to put out a press release that afternoon.

Opie and Anthony premiered on 2004-10-04 where their show ran from 6-10 AM ET, with replays throughout the day, and blocks of music at night which usually consisted of an active rock playlist. Due to technical restrictions on XM's master computer in Washington, D.C., no previously recorded show on XM is able to run past 12 AM ET. This was the main reason why High Voltage had to have "variety hours" and Worst of O&As airing at night time, due to the replays either ending at 10 PM or 11 PM ET. Up until early Spring 2005, the channel would run stand-up comedy bits during the commercial breaks. In the show's early days on XM, most of these bits were from George Carlin. Carlin's spots were so frequent it caused listener complaints. In March 2005, they moved their start and end time back an hour, beginning to air from 7-11 AM ET each weekday. This was done to encourage more west coast participation.

End of premium channel[edit]

Originally launched as a premium subscription channel, XM abandoned the premium charge in April 2005, making High Voltage a standard part of the XM platform. High Voltage became available to all XM subscribers, as did XM Radio Online. In exchange, XM increased the monthly rates of its subscribers. However, they offered a pre-payment plan beforehand that allowed subscribers to pay the same rate for a long-term period.

Ron and Fez arrival[edit]

For nearly eleven months, O&A were the only program on the channel. After their original show had ended, the replay of the show from that day would begin immediately after. On 2005-08-01, XM announced that they had signed talk-show hosts Ron and Fez, who worked with O&A at WNEW-FM years prior and were long-mentioned on the Opie and Anthony Show as O&A's best friends in radio.[2] On September 12, 2005, Ron and Fez began airing on channel 202 from Noon-3pm every weekday, beginning immediately after O&A end their program. Now, Ron and Fez air on Raw Dog Comedy Hits channel 99 from 12 pm -3pm EST.

Since November 2005, The Virus has been a part of the DirecTV Total Choice Plus package on channel 879. XM has rated the channel TV-MA L for DirecTV listings. However, shortly after Opie and Anthony returned to FM radio, DirecTV decided to remove the channel from their service, claiming they wanted to go "all music." Thanks to a series of listener complaints, DirecTV restored High Voltage to its lineup. However, as of Wednesday, November 12, 2008, The Virus has been removed by XM from DirecTV.

In honor of Jim Norton's birthday, on July 19, 2006, the channel was renamed xL Jimmy Day, and on the new line of XM2Go's that include color displays, Jim Norton's face was put on the display.

The Virus (2006-2011)[edit]

High Voltage was rebranded as the ViRUS on 2006-11-20 and remained on channel 202. The name is derived from the Opie and Anthony slogan 'Spread the Virus,' a reference to Viral Marketing. The launch featured a new channel logo as well as exposure on packaging of XM Radio products. In addition, some extra spots on the weekend were dedicated to new weekly shows, such as the Razzle Dazzle Variety Hour, and the Saturday Night Virus.[3] The latter is a weekly rotating slot featuring comedians and friends of the show. Weekend programs were not restricted to Saturday nights though, as The Cosmic Circus aired during a Ron and Fez weekend afternoon replay. Sometimes the Saturday Night Virus includes a second show, running it to 3:00 in the morning. On October 13, 2011 it was announced that the channel was renamed the Opie & Anthony channel.

Opie and Anthony suspension[edit]

In May 2007, an Opie and Anthony audio byte appeared on the website Breitbart.tv, which had a clip of their show featuring a homeless man talking about how he would sexually abuse Condoleezza Rice, and the Queen of the United Kingdom. This clip soon made its way to the Drudge Report, and gained a lot of attention through news media outlets, as this was following the firings of CBS Radio peers Don Imus, and JV & Elvis. Opie and Anthony were not allowed to discuss the situation on the air, and continued their show. On May 15, 2007, Opie and Anthony were suspended for 30 days for comments made on the previous days broadcast.[4] The show could no longer be heard on XM, but it was still heard on the terrestrial outlets. The Virus turned into Ron and Fez every hour, every day, and the weekend programs were also suspended. The fans of the show were angered by this decision, and were calling XM to complain or cancel their subscriptions. Weeks later, XM began hyping up Opie and Anthony's return, and even abandoned the embargo on the show to run worst-of CBS show blocks four days before the live show returned. The show returned on time as promised, on 2007-06-15 As of 12 November 2008 The Virus was off Directv channel 879 where it had been carried 24/7.

On 2007-09-23, the ViRUS added Unmasked to the weekend lineup. The show is hosted by Ron Bennington of Ron and Fez, as he interviews a comedian in front of an audience of their fans. The show runs every other Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, which will be an encore of the show's real premiere on XM Comedy Saturdays. Following the Sirius / XM merger, the ViRUS was added to Sirius on 2008-09-30 as part of its "Best of XM" package and broadcasts on channel 206. On 2008-11-12, the ViRUS was removed from the DirecTV lineup.

The Opie & Anthony Channel (2011-2014)[edit]

On October 13, 2011 it was announced that the channel was no longer the ViRUS, and renamed the Opie & Anthony channel.

SiriusXM Talk (July 2014-October 2014)[edit]

After Anthony Cumia's firing from SiriusXM, the channel was renamed to SiriusXM Talk.[5]

Opie Radio (2014-present)[edit]

Opie and Jim Norton re-signed a contract with SiriusXM as of October 1, 2014. The following day, October 2, 2014 the channel name was changed from SiriusXM Talk to Opie Radio.

Weekend programs[edit]

  • The Ron and Fez Flashback Show - A replay of parts of shows from the week. This is hosted by Fez "Marie" Whatley.
  • Ron Bennington Interviews - A weekend show which re-airs interviews of guests on the Ron & Fez show.
  • Unmasked- A weekly show hosted by Ron Bennington (and occasionally Sonny Fox) on Raw Dog Comedy that features in-depth interviews with comedians in front of an audience of fans. The show is similar in spirit to XM's music series, Artist Confidential.
  • My Wife Hates Me- Married comedians Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane's podcast. 'My Wife Hates Me' combines all of the bickering of a husband and wife with the sharp wit of two cutting edge comedians. Both painfully honest and brutally funny, Vos and Bonnie give you a glimpse into their lives every week as they vent about the industry, every day life and each other. Airs on multiple times weekly and on the weekends.
  • SModcast- Syndication of director Kevin Smith's podcast began in September 2010. In addition to replaying the Internet podcast, there are monthly SModcasts which are exclusive to the satellite radio channel.[6]
  • The Joe Rogan Experience - Syndication of comedian and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan's podcast, with co-host Brian Redban, began in May 2011.[7]

Saturday Night Virus[edit]

Saturdays at 8 pm Eastern, a variety of programs collectively known as the Saturday Night Virus have featured a number of Opie and Anthony show and Ron and Fez show staff as well as guests of the show. .

  • Weird Medicine - Hosted by Dr. Steve and PA John.
  • Big Kev's Geek Stuff - Hosted by resident O&A show geek, Big Kev.

Former programs[edit]

  • Opie & Anthony Worst of the week - A replay of parts of show from the week. Divided into two parts.
  • The Davey Mac Sports Program - Hosted by former Ron and Fez show producer East Side Dave, Chris "Pepper" Stanley, and band leader Roy "Shaffer" Harter.
  • The Jason Ellis Show - Hosted by Jason Ellis
  • Razzle Dazzle Variety Hour- Programming included "the Opie and Anthony Staff Musical Adventure Hour," "worst of the walks," and "when the mics are off."
  • The Big City - A weekly hour long show hosted by Ron & Fez discussing the news and commentary of New York City during the past week.
  • CT and Jivin - Hosted by Corey Thompson and dump guy for O&A's K-Rock show Matt Jivin
  • The Than and Sam Show - Hosted by Opie and Anthony show producer Sam and former producer Than.
  • Dee Dee's Basement - Hosted by former XM Kids personality Dee Dee Grucelski.
  • Storytime with Francine - Hosted by former Opie and Anthony intern Francine.
  • Bob Kelly and Sometimes Colin Quinn - Hosted by comedian Robert Kelly, and rarely Colin Quinn co-hosts with him.
  • Bad News - Hosted by O&A regular Robert Kelly and comedian Russ Meneve.
  • Black Phillip - AKA Bitch Management, hosted by Patrice O'Neal and a few friends.
  • Uninformed - Hosted by comedians Bill Burr and Joe DeRosa.
  • Louis CK - Hosted by comedian Louis CK.
  • The Secret Show - Hosted by a drunk Danny Ross, Co-hosted by a drunk Anthony Cumia.
  • The Lazlow Show - Hosted by former Technofile host and Grand Theft Auto producer Lazlow.
  • The Back to the Future Secret Show broadcast on July 27, 2008, The Opie and Anthony crew watch Back to the Future and comment. Compared to Mystery Science Theater 3000 but with adult language.
  • Sam & Dave: The Lost Tapes - Hosted by O&A show producer Sam Roberts and Ron and Fez producer East Side Dave.
  • Brother Wease - Hosted by WCMF personality Brother Wease, and other personalities from his morning show in Rochester.
  • The Hideout - Hosted by El Jefe and J-Dubs, a show broadcast previously on WXXM in Lansing, Michigan, WJFK-FM in Washington, D.C. and WTKS-FM in Orlando, Florida
  • Vos & Bonnie - Hosted by Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane.
  • Black Rock Coalition - Hosted by Ron and Fez producer Earl Douglas.
  • High Society Radio - Hosted by Pepper Hicks, Bronx Johnny, and Chris from Brooklyn
  • CineMassacre Radio - Hosted by O&A show producer Danny Ross, Co-hosted by The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe.
  • Special Delivery Starring Sam and Dave - Hosted by O&A show producer "Prime Time" Samuel Wood Roberts and former Ron and Fez show producer East Side Dave


  1. ^ "TALK RADIO STARS OPIE AND ANTHONY TO JOIN XM SATELLITE RADIO" (Press release). XM Satellite Radio. 2004-08-05. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  2. ^ "TALK RADIO PERSONALITIES RON AND FEZ TO JOIN XM SATELLITE RADIO" (Press release). XM Satellite Radio. 2005-08-01. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  3. ^ "XM ANNOUNCES NEW "OPIE & ANTHONY" WEEKEND PROGRAMMING" (Press release). XM Satellite Radio. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  4. ^ "XM Radio Suspends Opie & Anthony" (Press release). XM Satellite Radio. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  5. ^ 'Opie & Anthony' Co-Host: 'I Absolutely Do Not Believe That Anthony Should've Been Fired'. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on July 14, 2014.
  6. ^ "Kevin Smith's Smodcast Joins Sirius XM Radio". Slashfilm.com. Retrieved September 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ [1]

External links[edit]