SiriusXM fires Anthony Cumia over Twitter remarks

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#1 Posted by comp_atkins (34681 posts) -

Story

reader digest version:

last week anthony from the opie and anthony show on siriusXM was assaulted in nyc by a black woman while taking photographs, was pissed off and tweeted a bunch of stuff about it. his employer caught wind of the "outrage" over the tweets and subsequently fired him

curious where people stand on this? should a person's words outside their job be held to the standards of their employer? should we demand that corporations/businesses now serve as the speech police of us all by threatening our livelihood?

thoughts?

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#2 Posted by jasean79 (2593 posts) -

People need to stop resorting to personal "social media" pages to vent their frustrations, especially twitter, where people are followed by thousands. I say he dug his own grave on that one and now he has to suffer the consequences of his actions.

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#3 Edited by Perfect_Blue (30446 posts) -

Don't see anything wrong with this, having political and social opinions isn't a protected class. People have gotten shit before for stuff they post on such a public forum such as Twitter. Dude is an idiot anyway, not sure what he expected to happen after tweeting that kind of stuff. It's like the other idiot from Man Vs. Food that got shit for insulting people on his Instagram a few days ago.

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#4 Posted by thegerg (18397 posts) -

I've heard his show before, and can say that I'm not surprised that his racist outlook came out like this. Though I'm not really sure how to look at this outburst. His racial comments on air are part of his character, part of the gimmick. Similar to a comic on stage or an actor on film playing a role. But to express those ideas in more of a personal manner is different.

I support his employer's decision to end their relationship based on this. They aren't policing his actions in the least, they are just deciding to no longer be associated with him.

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#5 Edited by comp_atkins (34681 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

Don't see anything wrong with this, having political and social opinions isn't a protected class. People have gotten shit before for stuff they post on such a public forum such as Twitter. Dude is an idiot anyway, not sure what he expected to happen after tweeting that kind of stuff. It's like the other idiot from Man Vs. Food that got shit for insulting people on his Instagram a few days ago.

Would you agree that just because this kind of thing is commonplace it is ok?

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#6 Edited by Perfect_Blue (30446 posts) -

@comp_atkins said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Don't see anything wrong with this, having political and social opinions isn't a protected class. People have gotten shit before for stuff they post on such a public forum such as Twitter. Dude is an idiot anyway, not sure what he expected to happen after tweeting that kind of stuff. It's like the other idiot from Man Vs. Food that got shit for insulting people on his Instagram a few days ago.

Would you agree that just because this kind of thing is commonplace it is ok?

Not exactly. If he was the first to get fired because of comments made on a Twitter page, I'd be a little more sympathetic to him but the company would still be justified in letting him go.

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#7 Posted by comp_atkins (34681 posts) -

@thegerg said:

I've heard his show before, and can say that I'm not surprised that his racist outlook came out like this. Though I'm not really sure how to look at this outburst. His racial comments on air are part of his character, part of the gimmick. Similar to a comic on stage or an actor on film playing a role. But to express those ideas in more of a personal manner is different.

I support his employer's decision to end their relationship based on this. They aren't policing his actions in the least, they are just deciding to no longer be associated with him.

But the threat of ( or in this case actually ) being fired for activity outside of the realm of your employment IS employer policing. Who needs the government to assault your right to speech when we're happy to let the media/corporations do it for us?

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#8 Edited by thegerg (18397 posts) -

@comp_atkins said:

@thegerg said:

I've heard his show before, and can say that I'm not surprised that his racist outlook came out like this. Though I'm not really sure how to look at this outburst. His racial comments on air are part of his character, part of the gimmick. Similar to a comic on stage or an actor on film playing a role. But to express those ideas in more of a personal manner is different.

I support his employer's decision to end their relationship based on this. They aren't policing his actions in the least, they are just deciding to no longer be associated with him.

But the threat of ( or in this case actually ) being fired for activity outside of the realm of your employment IS employer policing. Who needs the government to assault your right to speech when we're happy to let the media/corporations do it for us?

It's not policing, and it's not an assault on free speech. Sirius is not, in an way, policing what he says or interfering with his right to free speech. He is (and was) more than free to say what he wants, or post what he wants on Twitter without Sirius policing or stopping him.

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#9 Posted by Master_Live (18821 posts) -

I would need to see the Tweets.

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#10 Posted by Master_Live (18821 posts) -

@comp_atkins said:

should a person's words outside their job be held to the standards of their employer?

Put it this way, lets says he tweeted about agreeing with Hitler and how we should burn and exterminate the Jews; would you blame his employer for firing him?

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#11 Posted by Hallenbeck77 (15365 posts) -

@Master_Live: Just do a Google search for Gawker Anthony Cumia. Theres a few stories about his antics from them. He deleted them after his firing, but Gawker has saved them. They've been covering the story most of the weekend.

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#12 Posted by Master_Live (18821 posts) -

http://gawker.com/siriusxm-host-claims-cuntrag-assaulted-him-in-racist-1599491744

There is the link. Yep, can't blame Sirius for firing him. What an idiot.

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#13 Posted by comp_atkins (34681 posts) -

is calling someone a "savage" if they act in a violent manner racist?

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#14 Edited by Master_Live (18821 posts) -

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#15 Edited by Master_Live (18821 posts) -
  • "They aren't people". Who is they? African Americans? The people that attacked him?
  • "Illegal savage". That won't fly.
  • "I hope she gets killed". Yeah, no.

Those plus all the others tweets and the fact that it seems that this isn't his first transgression being an idiot is sufficient to fire him in my book. He can say whatever he wants, his employer is entitled to not wanting to be associated with such an unsavory individual.

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#16 Posted by comp_atkins (34681 posts) -

@Master_Live said:
  • "They aren't people". Who is they? African Americans? The people that attacked him? pretty clear he was referring to violent individuals, a jump to generalize a whole race is looking for racism because people cream themselves at the chance to call someone out as a racist
  • "Illegal savage". That won't fly. illegal savage = non-law abiding ( illegal ) violent individual ( savage ) again, not good taste but also not overtly racist, the perception of racism is on the reader
  • "I hope she gets killed". Yeah, no. agreed he should not have expressed that, but perfectly understandable why after being attacked

Those plus all the others tweets and the fact that it seems that this isn't his first transgression being an idiot is sufficient to fire him in my book. He can say whatever he wants, his employer is entitled to not wanting to be associated with such an unsavory individual.

Avatar image for KHAndAnime
#17 Posted by KHAndAnime (17565 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

Don't see anything wrong with this, having political and social opinions isn't a protected class. People have gotten shit before for stuff they post on such a public forum such as Twitter. Dude is an idiot anyway, not sure what he expected to happen after tweeting that kind of stuff. It's like the other idiot from Man Vs. Food that got shit for insulting people on his Instagram a few days ago.

Oh do tell :)

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#18 Edited by BranKetra (51726 posts) -

One would think some who have made a career from talking would know what to say and what not to say. That he does not shows a severe lack of social awareness. I pity him.

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#19 Posted by foxhound_fox (96996 posts) -
@comp_atkins said:
should a person's words outside their job be held to the standards of their employer?

Uh... yeah.

Don't want your employer finding out you are a closet racist/sexist/bigot/etc? Don't talk about it on the internet. It will get out, and it willget you fired. And I won't have sympathy.

It's why the internet offers the ability to share thoughts anonymously.

@BranKetra said:

One would think some who has made a career from talking would know what say and what not to say. That he does not shows a severe lack of social awareness. I pity him.

Sirius XM is not bound by any regulatory commissions. Each station has it's own rules and demographics. Howard Stern and Vivid Radio are under their own set of rules just so much as The Message and other Christian talk radio stations. And the former will certainly do things to offend the latter. That's the beauty of satellite radio. You get to choose what you listen to, rather than having someone else choose for you.

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#20 Edited by Perfect_Blue (30446 posts) -

@KHAndAnime said:

@Aljosa23 said:

Don't see anything wrong with this, having political and social opinions isn't a protected class. People have gotten shit before for stuff they post on such a public forum such as Twitter. Dude is an idiot anyway, not sure what he expected to happen after tweeting that kind of stuff. It's like the other idiot from Man Vs. Food that got shit for insulting people on his Instagram a few days ago.

Oh do tell :)

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2014/jul/02/man-vs-food-adam-richman-thinspiration-rant-man-finds-food

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#21 Posted by dave123321 (35354 posts) -

Company's being able to be the speech police isn't anything new. And yes, company's should be able to terminate for it.

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#22 Edited by lostrib (49999 posts) -

Why not? I mean he put all this out there for the world to see

And he's in an industry that requires support from the public

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#23 Posted by BranKetra (51726 posts) -

@foxhound_fox: Of course, but there are limits to tolerating hate.

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#24 Posted by Hallenbeck77 (15365 posts) -

There's a few things I'm wondering about.

Cumia claims he was attacked at Times Square. Never mind the fact that he never got in contact with the police to report it, I'm amazed that if this is true, there's no footage or pictures--aside from the ones he took himself. With all of the video cameras in that area, a police station nearby, and a majority of people with camera phones, there's would be SOMETHING that a bystander or camera would have caught.

Cumia hasn't made any appearances since the incident. I would think that maybe he would have shown a picture of himself after the attack to show what happened to him.

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#25 Edited by lostrib (49999 posts) -

@hallenbeck77 said:

There's a few things I'm wondering about.

Cumia claims he was attacked at Times Square. Never mind the fact that he never got in contact with the police to report it, I'm amazed that if this is true, there's no footage or pictures--aside from the ones he took himself. With all of the video cameras in that area, a police station nearby, and a majority of people with camera phones, there's would be SOMETHING that a bystander or camera would have caught.

Cumia hasn't made any appearances since the incident. I would think that maybe he would have shown a picture of himself after the attack to show what happened to him.

...but why would he fake it?

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#26 Edited by Hallenbeck77 (15365 posts) -

@lostrib: From what I understand, the Opie and Anthony show has a history of pulling stunts to get into the public. There was the incident where they encouraged listeners to call in while having sex in public--one of those places was a church in NYC. Another was an incident in Boston where they said the mayor was killed in a accident--prompting the mayor's daughter to call in. They were fired shortly after that.

I'm not saying that he's lying about what happened, but given a long history of stunts and no other verification of what happened other that his own, it does make me wonder if this is some sort of stunt gone wrong, or if this is legit.

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#27 Edited by lostrib (49999 posts) -

@hallenbeck77 said:

@lostrib: From what I understand, the Opie and Anthony show has a history of pulling stunts to get into the public. There was the incident where they encouraged listeners to call in while having sex in public--one of those places was a church in NYC. Another was an incident in Boston where they said the mayor was killed in a accident--prompting the mayor's daughter to call in. They were fired shortly after that.

I'm not saying that he's lying about what happened, but given a long history of stunts and no other verification of what happened other that his own, it does make we wonder if this is some sort of stunt gone wrong, of if this is legit.

ah, I didn't realize they were that kind of show.

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#28 Posted by worlock77 (22552 posts) -

Absolutely, your employer has every right to disassociate itself from you over shit you say in public. This is even more true when you make your employment as a public persona.

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#29 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (9471 posts) -

I don't see a problem here. He said some stupid shit and his employer saw him as a liability.

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#30 Edited by lamprey263 (35005 posts) -

I don't know who he is, but given his position on the radio and his quasi-celebrity status, he should have had a little concern for his career with regards to public comments he makes. I wouldn't call his remarks overtly racists per se, maybe racially charged remarks, which I feel a temporary suspension would be adequate. Anyhow, I've no idea who this person is, I don't know if I'm out of the loop or he belongs to some fringe audience of listeners, but if the radio programming generally has a smaller audience then I don't really see why keeping him on air could hurt them. As for firing... well, let's be fair, if you hurt the reputation of those that you work for they can fire you. Being a celebrity or even a media personality, you have to be diplomatic, your image and how others perceive you is a commodity businesses wish to obtain when they hire you.

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#31 Edited by HailtotheQueen (290 posts) -

My thoughts are that he is an idiot racist and deserved to be fired. I also don't believe for a second that he was just taking random photos of Times Square. Look at the photo of the woman and tell me what you see in the background. Doesn't exactly look like something that would make a great photo unless you enjoy looking at a sidewalk and some poles. You'll also notice that the woman is in the center of the photo not just some person off in the background.

I think one of two things happened here and the first one is most likely. This guy has a history of racism so i think he saw a black woman and was purposely trying to provoke a reaction so he could go on his racist rant for publicity. He probably just didn't expect to get fired over it. LOL Either that or he could just be some perv taking photos of random women in public but I think the first one is more probable.

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#32 Edited by byof_america (1866 posts) -

Corrected it for him

With those legs you know she's got booty.

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#33 Posted by foxhound_fox (96996 posts) -
@BranKetra said:

@foxhound_fox: Of course, but there are limits to tolerating hate.

Howard Stern sometimes has some really crazy people call in and he usually entertains them no matter what they have to say. He does it for the audience's lulz, and it usually succeeds. If people don't like what they are hearing on the air, they can turn the station or turn it off.

But the employer has every right to disagree with what someone says and fire them for it.

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#34 Posted by hippiesanta (10299 posts) -

pffttt.

I support Anthony's action ...... this is like another trayvon martin case ...... anthony is the victim here

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#35 Posted by thegerg (18397 posts) -

@hippiesanta said:

pffttt.

I support Anthony's action ...... this is like another trayvon martin case ...... anthony is the victim here

The victim of what?

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#36 Posted by worlock77 (22552 posts) -

My guess is that this was an attempt at generating publicity that backfired on him, or it was a deliberate ploy on his part to get released from his contract. Although it's equally possible that he simply is a idiot and a human shitbag.

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#39 Edited by Hallenbeck77 (15365 posts) -

@worlock77 said:

My guess is that this was an attempt at generating publicity that backfired on him, or it was a deliberate ploy on his part to get released from his contract. Although it's equally possible that he simply is a idiot and a human shitbag.

Could possibly be all of the above. When they first re-signed their contract with SiriusXM back in 2010, allegedly they were very unhappy with what they got compared to when they first signed back in 2004. At the time XM was the dominant satellite radio company, until Howard Stern began broadcasting with Sirius in January 2006. April of that year, O and A started broadcasting simultaneously with an FCC friendly version of their show on Stern's former terrestrial radio station until 9 am, in which they switched to an uncensored version on satellite--I would think that would dilute the brand that you're working for doing something like that; If you're able to be uncensored, why would anyone go back to a censored format?

AT any rate, Sirius eventually went on to become the dominant company and absorbed XM in a merger. Opie and Anthony were eventually dropped from terrestrial radio due to low ratings, and were only offered two 2 year renewal deals with Sirius XM in 2010 and 2012, the second which was due to expire this fall. Like Worlock said, maybe this is part of a stunt to get out of their contract early.

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#40 Edited by Star0 (451 posts) -

I have no sympathy for anyone who thinks Twitter or Facebook are adequate arenas to vent their frustrations.

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#41 Posted by BranKetra (51726 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:
@BranKetra said:

@foxhound_fox: Of course, but there are limits to tolerating hate.

Howard Stern sometimes has some really crazy people call in and he usually entertains them no matter what they have to say. He does it for the audience's lulz, and it usually succeeds. If people don't like what they are hearing on the air, they can turn the station or turn it off.

But the employer has every right to disagree with what someone says and fire them for it.

Sure. I was referring to the perspective of an employer.

As far as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, etc. we continue to see the value of the most important documents by the United States in our worst. If the situation is only viewed as hate speech and not one in which speech is allowed then the self-evidence of the truths America holds might be overlooked which does a disservice to everything people have fought and died for.

I do not mean to be patriotic. I simply like the pros this representative republic consists of.

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#42 Posted by Xeno_ghost (990 posts) -

"Punched in the face by a black woman who had stepped into the frame while he was taking a photograph in New York's Times Square"

Lol!! Stepped into the frame my ass!

She obviously didn't take kindly to having some random guy take pictures of her, which he blatantly was, I mean what else was in that shot that he would want a pic of? I've seen video clips of celebs that have resorted to physical confrontations with photographers and I think most of them were white if I remember correctly, but race has nothing to do with anything some people are violent some people are not its that simple.

They really had no choice but to sack him.

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#43 Posted by Solaryellow (4058 posts) -

The average American is a moron. We all know someone who has to use social media to talk about everything and anything on a never-ending basis and I'm sure, much like I think, you too think they are nuts and/or compensating for something.

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#44 Posted by gamerguru100 (12701 posts) -

@Master_Live said:
  • "They aren't people". Who is they? African Americans? The people that attacked him?
  • "Illegal savage". That won't fly.
  • "I hope she gets killed". Yeah, no.

Those plus all the others tweets and the fact that it seems that this isn't his first transgression being an idiot is sufficient to fire him in my book. He can say whatever he wants, his employer is entitled to not wanting to be associated with such an unsavory individual.

Damn, the dude must be a time traveler from the 1840s. Seriously though, what an asshole. :|

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#45 Posted by SolidSnake35 (58797 posts) -

If every individual ought to be fired for being politically incorrect, the whole world would be unemployed. We all do things that ain't cool bro.

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#46 Posted by comp_atkins (34681 posts) -

@hallenbeck77 said:

@worlock77 said:

My guess is that this was an attempt at generating publicity that backfired on him, or it was a deliberate ploy on his part to get released from his contract. Although it's equally possible that he simply is a idiot and a human shitbag.

Could possibly be all of the above. When they first re-signed their contract with SiriusXM back in 2010, allegedly they were very unhappy with what they got compared to when they first signed back in 2004. At the time XM was the dominant satellite radio company, until Howard Stern began broadcasting with Sirius in January 2006. April of that year, O and A started broadcasting simultaneously with an FCC friendly version of their show on Stern's former terrestrial radio station until 9 am, in which they switched to an uncensored version on satellite--I would think that would dilute the brand that you're working for doing something like that; If you're able to be uncensored, why would anyone go back to a censored format?

AT any rate, Sirius eventually went on to become the dominant company and absorbed XM in a merger. Opie and Anthony were eventually dropped from terrestrial radio due to low ratings, and were only offered two 2 year renewal deals with Sirius XM in 2010 and 2012, the second which was due to expire this fall. Like Worlock said, maybe this is part of a stunt to get out of their contract early.

except that didn't get them out of their contract. anthony was canned but opie / jim norton are contractually obligated to stay on.

i doubt this was a planned stunt.

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#47 Posted by HailtotheQueen (290 posts) -

@thegerg said:

@hippiesanta said:

pffttt.

I support Anthony's action ...... this is like another trayvon martin case ...... anthony is the victim here

The victim of what?

The only thing he is a victim of is his own stupidity.

Avatar image for lostrib
#48 Posted by lostrib (49999 posts) -

@Solaryellow said:

The average American is a moron. We all know someone who has to use social media to talk about everything and anything on a never-ending basis and I'm sure, much like I think, you too think they are nuts and/or compensating for something.

Source?

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#49 Posted by Solaryellow (4058 posts) -

Reality.

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#50 Posted by Hallenbeck77 (15365 posts) -

@comp_atkins said:

@hallenbeck77 said:

@worlock77 said:

My guess is that this was an attempt at generating publicity that backfired on him, or it was a deliberate ploy on his part to get released from his contract. Although it's equally possible that he simply is a idiot and a human shitbag.

Could possibly be all of the above. When they first re-signed their contract with SiriusXM back in 2010, allegedly they were very unhappy with what they got compared to when they first signed back in 2004. At the time XM was the dominant satellite radio company, until Howard Stern began broadcasting with Sirius in January 2006. April of that year, O and A started broadcasting simultaneously with an FCC friendly version of their show on Stern's former terrestrial radio station until 9 am, in which they switched to an uncensored version on satellite--I would think that would dilute the brand that you're working for doing something like that; If you're able to be uncensored, why would anyone go back to a censored format?

AT any rate, Sirius eventually went on to become the dominant company and absorbed XM in a merger. Opie and Anthony were eventually dropped from terrestrial radio due to low ratings, and were only offered two 2 year renewal deals with Sirius XM in 2010 and 2012, the second which was due to expire this fall. Like Worlock said, maybe this is part of a stunt to get out of their contract early.

except that didn't get them out of their contract. anthony was canned but opie / jim norton are contractually obligated to stay on.

i doubt this was a planned stunt.

I wouldn't put it past him, though. Anthony claimed during their first years at XM, they pulled the Boston mayor prank as a ploy to get out of their contract early with WAAF in Worchester, Mass.

I'm just speculating here, but between them getting fired from Howard Stern's old station in 2009 for low ratings, complaining about their XM contract in 2010, and now this incident, I think they might of had a feeling that SiriusXM wasn't about to renew their contract when it expires this year. This is just me wondering out loud, There's no proof of this.