XM Radio has suspended Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, hosts of "The Opie & Anthony Show," and ceased broadcast of the show for 30 days, effective immediately.

XM said in a statement today it "deplored the comments aired on 'The Opie & Anthony Show' last week" and added that "comments made by Opie and Anthony on yesterday's broadcast put into question whether they appreciate the seriousness of the matter. The management of XM Radio decided to suspend Opie and Anthony to make clear that our on-air talent must take seriously the responsibility that creative freedom requires of them."

The bit that sparked off this firestorm centered on a character named "Homeless Charlie," who declared his desire to rape secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, first lady Laura Bush and Queen Elizabeth. When asked about each woman, he responded, "I'd love to f--- that b----." Additionally, the hosts wondered aloud what the reaction on Rice's face would be if she was being held down and punched in the face. The bit originally aired May 10. Opie and Anthony apologized the next day, but apparently that wasn't enough for XM, which is hoping to merge with Sirius Satellite Radio, regulators willing.

In the statement released today, XM went on to say that "The Opie & Anthony Show" appears on one of the satcaster's explicit language (XL) channels and these channels may run content "inappropriate for certain listeners," according the satcaster. The company says it "frequently mentions" this fact on all its XL channels.

A CBS spokesperson has confirmed with Billboard.biz that "The Opie & Anthony" show -- broadcast from flagship CBS Radio talk WFNY/New York -- will be on CBS Radio stations tomorrow morning live. The company is not commenting on the XM suspension.

Radio personalities are increasingly under the public microscope since Don Imus was fired from CBS Radio for his racist and sexist remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Another CBS show, "The Dog House with JV and Elvis," airing in middays on WFNY, was also permanently yanked from the airwaves after a phone prank to a Chinese restaurant that contained ethnic and sexual slurs.

Additional reporting by Mike Boyle, Keith Berman and Katy Bachman, Mediaweek

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