Report: Anthony Cumia will not return to radio


Anthony-CumiaAnthony Cumia, fired co-host of the ‘Opie and Anthony Show,’ will not return to the radio despite an online petition to bring him back, says a report. SiriusXM terminated Cumia after he posted a series of racially charged ‘hate-filled’ tweets, which have since been deleted.

“Shock jock Anthony Cumia, after two decades and three firings, is going off the airwaves for good,” a source indicated to the NY Daily News. “Cumia — canned Friday by Sirius XM Satellite Radio for a series of racially charged tweets — instead plans a live podcast-style broadcast from his Long Island home studio, the source said.”

“I would say that he is history as far as any corporate-owned media are concerned,” the source said Saturday.

Cumia, 53, would likely recruit many of the comics regularly featured on the “Opie and Anthony” show — Jim Norton, Bill Burr, Jim Florentine, Nick DiPaolo and others.

Fans of the fired shock jock launched an online petition demanding that SiriusXM return the co-host to the airwaves. Nearly 4,000 supporters, many threatening to cancel their subscriptions, backed Cumia after he was axed for the Twitter rants deemed “hate-filled” by his former employer.

“We are hereby pledging to boycott your service until you reinstate Anthony Cumia,” read the petition. “A member of your staff should not lose their job for exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. “You should be ashamed of your actions.”

The $3 million-a-year co-host was fired 7/3 after making “racially charged and hate-filled remarks on social media,” the satcaster announced.

Said Patrick Reilly, Sirius XM SVP/Communications, in a statement: “SiriusXM has terminated its relationship with Anthony Cumia of the Opie & Anthony channel. The decision was made, and Cumia informed, late Thursday, July 3 after careful consideration of his racially charged and hate-filled remarks on social media. Those remarks and postings are abhorrent to SiriusXM, and his behavior is wholly inconsistent with what SiriusXM represents.”

The whole thing surrounded an earlier tweet Cumia posted about an incident where he alleged that an African-American woman attacked him while he was taking pictures in Times Square. The host used offensive words and made racist statements in the tirade. Cumia tweeted he had been punched in the face by the woman when she was caught in one of the photos. The tweets drew widespread criticism on social media. Cumia defended himself, saying that while his tweets were profanity-laced, they were not racist. ”Why should I afford my attacker any courtesy. Insane,” he tweeted.

See the NY Daily News story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: Again, just another media host Twitter victim. Instead of using his smartphone to publicize the incident, he should have just used it to call the cops. If so, today he’d be on the air with a job. Would he have been so vulgar on Twitter if a white woman had hit him? Who knows, but bottom line:  THINK before you tweet.  If Cumia does go the podcast route, he will be hard-pressed to find an advertiser, so it will have to be totally supported by subscription revenue…and it won’t reach $3M per year.

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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.