A rival of SiriusXM star morning host Howard Stern broke into the shock jock’s restricted office compound in the building where they both work, and live streamed footage of the area on his YouTube channel. The culprit, rival DJ Gregg “Opie” Hughes is a longstanding rival of Stern, and may be fired as a result of the incident.
Howard Stern vs. Opie Feud Dates Back
Hughes and Stern have been at odds for years, ever since Opie was one half of the “Opie and Anthony” radio show which aired on terrestrial New York radio station WNEW, owned by the Infinity broadcasting group, who also owned WXRK, Stern’s station at the time. Stern was incensed that “Opie and Anthony,” who he regarded as inferior copycats, were constantly baiting him and his show, in order to get attention, and demanded successfully that Infinity not allow them to mention his name on the air.
The animosity remained when “Opie and Anthony” moved to SiriusXM alongside Howard, but was not allowed to broadcast on mornings in competition with Stern, who is the unrivaled star of the platform and earns a reported $90 million per year and has two full channels on the slate.
Opie Breaks Into Howard Stern Offices
Opie now has his own SiriusXM show (Anthony was fired in 2014), and he decided to take fans and two of his on-air contributors — comedians Sherrod Small and Vic Henley — on a tour of the Manhattan building from which SiriusXM broadcasts. Livestreaming on YouTube as he made his way through, Hughes reached the limits of the locked down Howard Stern area of the building. Rather than turning back, he instead convinced a cleaning lady to allow him entrance after telling her he had forgotten something in the off-limits Stern area. After entering the compound and making their way partially through, the trio was then apprehended by security and removed.
The next day, Opie admitted on air that he had been given a torrid scolding by Scott Greenstein — SiriusXM’s president & chief content officer.
“I knew it was wrong! I said that to [Greenstein],” Hughes admitted. “I know it was wrong, I know” … this might be a bad one. I didn’t sleep last night, I knew……we went too far.”‘
Many observers also criticized Hughes for potentially getting the cleaning lady fired, but he insisted that he was assured she was not being blamed for the incident — he was.
“I’ll be the one fired before they fire a cleaning lady, trust me,” he said, explaining that the situation was under review by the SiriusXM legal department. “They’re talking about breaking and entering … I might be fired, I might be fired,” he lamented, but also said he felt the ultimate decision would be in the hands of rival Stern.
“We’ll see if the old man has a sense of humor, cause I think it comes down to him,” Hughes admitted. “The old man just has to go like that and it’s over, it’s over for everybody.”
Stern of course is the most powerful on air figure at SiriusXM, and has been credited with helping turn the once struggling satellite radio company’s fortunes around after Sirius and XM Radio joined forces. Stern renewed his contract with the company for five more years in December 2015.
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