“It’s official: today is my last day.”
So said David Lee Roth at the start of his morning radio show on Friday (4/21). “I was booted, tossed and it’s going to cost somebody.”
Roth reportedly had signed a $4 million contract with CBS Radio to take over the morning slot previously occupied by Howard Stern. His show, dubbed Roth Radio, debuted less than four months ago. The former Van Halen frontman said that he has talked to Stern’s lawyer about representing him in any legal action he may decide to take against the radio conglomerate.
The move is the latest spasm in an ongoing seizure that CBS Radio has been having since Stern announced in late 2004 that he was jumping to SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Following Stern’s departure at the end of last year, the seemingly rudderless company canned a number of its other radio hosts and switched many of its stations to an all-talk format.
Though many critics and listeners panned Roth’s program from day one, the move by CBS Radio is somewhat surprising when one considers that the befuddled execs who canned Roth are presumably the same ones who vetted him at length for the job, a process that included having him host an afternoon show in Boston for a week and execute a series of mock on-air performances before his syndicated morning show debuted on Jan. 3.
Replacing Roth will be Opie and Anthony, the same duo that CBS (then Infinity) dumped several years ago after the pair aired a couple that was allegedly having sex in New York’s St. Patrick’s cathedral. To increase the irony, CBS has cut a deal with XM Satellite Radio—which currently broadcasts Opie and Anthony exclusively—to allow the show to air simultaneously on both XM and CBS for three hours per day, after which it will air exclusively on XM for two hours … this all while CBS is currently suing Stern for publicizing SIRIUS Satellite Radio during the 14 months leading up to his departure from CBS.