Shock jocks off air after New York Cathedral sex stunt
Opie and Anthony, co-hosts of WNEW-FM's popular drivetime program, remained off the air yesterday as a 350,000-member Catholic group pushed for their station to get its license revoked. The pair allegedly broadcast a live, eyewitness account of a couple having sex inside the landmark St Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.
"Nothing would make us happier than for WNEW's license to be revoked," said William Donohue, head of the Catholic League, which has also demanded a hefty fine for WNEW's parent company. The station is one of 180 owned nationwide by Infinity Broadcasting.
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, saying he had received hundreds of outraged phone calls and e-mails about the incident, promised that the complaints against WNEW were "on the fast track" for consideration by his agency.
If the complaints prove true, "this commission should consider the strongest enforcement action possible against this station, up to and including revocation," Copps said.
The incident occurred last Thursday, when a Virginia couple was arrested after they had sex in a vestibule just a few feet from worshippers inside the church, police said.
The encounter was described as it happened during the "Opie and Anthony" show; the man who provided the description was arrested, too. The incident was part of a regular feature where couples can win prizes for having sex in risky places.
Brian Florence, 37, of Quantico, Va., and Loretta Lynn Harper, 35, of Alexandria, Va., were arrested on charges of public lewdness. Show producer Paul Mercurio, 42, was charged with acting in concert for calling the show via cell phone.
The Virginia pair was due back in court Wednesday. Their attorney, Miranda Fritz, has said the pair were only simulating sex inside the church when they were arrested.
Infinity, after allowing its DJs back on the air Friday afternoon, decided to remove Greg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia from Monday.
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights | http://www.catholicleague.org/02press_releases/pr0302.htm#"OPIE AND ANTHONY'S" ST. PAT'S SEX STUNT MET WITH OUTRAGE BY FCC | St. Pat's sex romp aired on radio; FCC complaint filed
WNEW-FM | Opie & Anthony
Federal Communications Commission | Commissioner Copps Statement on Complaints Received Regarding Radio Broadcast of Sex Act in St. Patrick's Cathedral
21 Aug 2002