- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2002

From combined dispatches
NEW YORK The "Opie and Anthony" show was cancelled by its New York radio station yesterday and dropped by its syndicator as federal regulators announced an investigation of the show's broadcast of a Virginia couple purportedly having sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"Based on recent events, 'The Opie and Anthony Show' has been cancelled, and will be replaced by other programming beginning tomorrow," according to a statement released by WNEW-FM.
Westwood One, Opie and Anthony's syndicator, also canceled the popular afternoon drive-time program, which aired in Washington on WJFK (106.7 FM), WCBS Newsradio 88 reported.
Yesterday's announcements came after the nation's top communications regulator ordered an investigation into complaints that the pair of radio shock jocks, Greg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, broadcast what they billed as a live, eyewitness account of a couple having sex in Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"I am deeply disturbed about the reports," said Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. "I have directed the FCC's enforcement bureau to proceed immediately with a thorough investigation."
In letter to the station dated Thursday, the FCC requested documents related to the broadcast and information about who approved the program.
If the FCC finds that a station violated federal indecency laws, the penalty is typically a fine ranging from $5,000 to $30,000, agency spokesman David Fiske said. The amount can be higher depending on the case, he said.
Loretta Lynn Harper, of Alexandria, and Brian Florence, of Quantico, Va., were arrested Aug. 15 on charges of obscenity and public lewdness inside St. Patrick's Cathedral. Their attorney has said they were not having sex, just simulating it, in the New York City landmark.
In court on Wednesday, Judge Analisa Torres ordered the couple to return on Oct. 2, when they will learn whether they have been indicted by a grand jury.
Also arrested was Paul Mercurio, a radio producer who purportedly was positioned near the couple and relayedthe stunt to the radio station via mobile phone.
As part of a regular radio show contest, six couples were given a list of 54 risky locations in New York to have sex, police said. For example, a couple having sex in a church would win 25 points, while sex in Rockefeller Center was worth 30 points.
The station's general manager and the program director also were suspended.

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