Gregg Hughes

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Gregg Hughes
Birth name Gregg Hughes
Born (1963-05-23) May 23, 1963 (age 52)
Centerport, New York
Alma mater SUNY Geneseo
Show Opie with Jim Norton
Previous show(s) Opie and Anthony
Spouse(s) Lynsi Smigo Hughes
(November 2008—Present)
Children 2
Website opieradio.com

Gregg Hughes (born May 23, 1963), best known by his on air name Opie, is an American talk radio broadcaster best known for hosting The Opie and Anthony Show with Anthony Cumia and Jim Norton. Following Cumia's firing, Hughes and Norton continued on with a show that airs in the United States and Canada on XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio under the title Opie with Jim Norton.

Personal life[edit]

Gregg Hughes currently resides in New York City,[1] and was raised on Long Island, New York, in Centerport. Hughes graduated from SUNY Geneseo.[2]

Hughes began dating Lynsi Smigo[3] in 2004. The two met during a Philadelphia event promoting the return of Opie and Anthony to radio. On September 5, 2007 Hughes announced their engagement, and the two were married on November 22, 2008. The couple has two kids,[4] Hudson born May 9, 2010 and a daughter, Melinda, born October 4, 2012. In 2008 the couple sued Chaunce Hayden for $10 million for claiming he had a sex tape between Smigo and Bam Margera.[5]

Radio career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After graduating college Opie spent the next seven years interned and worked at several western New York radio stations.

He worked weekends at 96.5 WCMF in Rochester, where he first worked for Brother Wease.[6] He then worked the Midnight-6AM shift at WUFX in Buffalo.[7]

Opie eventually took a job at WBAB on his native Long Island, hosting The Nighttime Attitude 8 pm-midnight. In August 1994, Hughes, seeking innovative ideas, received an entry during an O.J. Simpson parody song contest. The song was titled "Gonna Electric Shock OJ" (sung to the tune of Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay") by a local band known as Rotgut, of which Cumia was the lead singer.[8] The song was a hit on Hughes' show, and he invited the Cumia brothers to the studio to play live in September 1994.[9] Soon afterward, Hughes and Cumia became a radio team.

Opie and Anthony[edit]

Main article: Opie and Anthony

WAAF (1995–1998)[edit]

Shortly after Cumia's arrival, Hughes and Cumia moved the show to afternoon drive on WAAF in Boston, Massachusetts, where they premiered on March 13, 1995 as Opie & Anthony.[10] They remained in Boston until they were fired in April 1998 from WAAF for an April Fool's Day prank involving Mayor Thomas Menino. Opie and Anthony told their listeners that the Mayor had been killed in a car accident while transporting a young female Haitian prostitute.[11]

WNEW-FM (1998–2002)[edit]

In June 1998, Opie along with Anthony were back on New York station WNEW-FM, where they became a top 10 afternoon drive show in New York by 2000.[12] In 1999, Opie considered leaving the show, how Anthony convinced him to stay, and bring Jim Norton on full time, as a go between for their off air troubles.[13] Anthony attributed these issues to his divorce and off air personal troubles.[14]

In 2001, Opie and Anthony signed a syndication deal with Infinity to syndicate their show on 22 stations nationwide, including WBCN in Boston, longtime rival of WAAF.

On August 15, 2002, during "Sex for Sam 3", comedian Paul Mecurio encouraged Brian Florence and Loretta Harper, a Virginia couple visiting Manhattan, to have simulated sex in a vestibule at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Intense media scrutiny led to many demanding that Opie and Anthony be fired. Opie and Anthony broadcast the next day, but the show went into reruns the following week. On August 22, Infinity suspended Opie and Anthony for the duration of their contract, and canceled the show.

XM Satellite Radio (2004–2014)[edit]

Opie and Anthony returned to the air on October 4, 2004 exclusively for XM Satellite Radio.

On April 24, 2006, Opie and Anthony announced that they signed a deal with CBS Radio in which the first three hours of the show would be broadcast on nine of CBS's rock stations, the first official show airing April 26.[15]

On May 15, 2007, XM suspended Opie & Anthony for 30 days, in response to a broadcast featuring a homeless man who wandered into the studio. Opie and Anthony dubbed the man "Homeless Charlie", who mentioned the possibility of raping Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush.[16] After the suspension they returned to their normal split schedule.

On March 9, 2009, Opie & Anthony were heard on FM for the last time, and spent much of the time discussing the impending format change, and how their services were "no longer needed" at the station. Their executive producer for the FM portion, Michael "Stuntbrain" Opelka, was fired the following day. Following their removal from FM, they returned to being exclusively heard on Sirius XM until Anthony's firing in July 2014.

Opie with Jim Norton[edit]

Main article: Opie with Jim Norton

On July 3, 2014, Cumia was fired by SiriusXM, after making a series of tweets following an alleged off-air incident with a black woman on the street. Cumia tweeted that he was punched by the woman while attempting to take a picture in Times Square. The tweets were described by Sirius XM as "racially-charged and hate-filled".[17]

At the time of Cumia's firing SiriusXM made no comment as to Hughes' possible future with the company at that time. Cumia gave his blessing for the Sirius XM show to continue without him, acknowledging Hughes and Norton's obligation to fulfill their contract with SiriusXM.[18] A relaunched Opie with Jim Norton Show resumed on July 14, 2014 with Hughes and Norton discussing the incident and noting that "The Opie and Anthony Channel" was renamed "Sirius XM Talk", along with various other alterations by the company in light of the firing.[19] In October 2014, Hughes and Norton signed a new contract to continue the SiriusXM show,[20] which appears on the rebranded "Opie Radio" Channel.

Other ventues[edit]

XFL Gameday[edit]

O&A hosted the short-lived XFL Gameday – the pregame show for Vince McMahon's startup football league – for four weeks in February 2001. The half-hour show aired nationally on Saturday nights on select NBC affiliates prior to the evening's games. The show was taped on Wednesdays at the WWF's theme restaurant in Times Square, and was open to the public. It featured analysis by WNBC sportscaster Bruce Beck and New York/New Jersey Hitmen head coach Rusty Tillman, but also featured plenty of raunch. One particular segment featured Opie and Anthony as chefs, inserting a cucumber in between two melons. Opie and Anthony were almost banned from Giants Stadium for life during the filming of one episode when they imitated a proposed XFL rule where first possession was determined by placing the ball at midfield and having two opposing team-members attempt to get it. Opie and Anthony did this as "God Bless America" began to play before a game.[21] They said that the $100,000 cost of making each new show was the cause of its demise, though no official reason was given for its cancellation.

Demented World[edit]

Main article: Demented World

Opie, along with Anthony released a compilation of segments from their show that aired on WAAF on a CD entitled Demented World in November 1997.[22]

Opie and Anthony Traveling Virus[edit]

The Traveling Virus is a comedy tour headlined by Opie and Anthony, as well as friends of the show, that had shows in various cities during 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Search and Destroy[edit]

On the morning of March 26, 2008, Opie & Anthony revealed they had taped a pilot for Comedy Central. The show was titled Search & Destroy and features teams of comedians performing various tasks throughout New York City.[23] Opie and Anthony believe that it may have been too graphic even for cable television.[23] Although Opie and Anthony considered the pilot a success, Comedy Central did not pick the show up.

Controversy[edit]

Cake Stomping Video[edit]

In August 2013, an internet video surfaced of Opie stomping on a homeless man's boxed cake during the show's "walkover" segment. After asking the man, named Andrew, how he came across the cake, Andrew explained it was a gift and offered to share with the co hosts. Opie responded by repeatedly smashing the cake with his feet while laughing. The video ends with Opie throwing money on the ground near the remains of the cake.[24][25][26]

Internet backlash was rampant, and provoked Hughes to speak out. Gregg remains unapologetic for the incident and even pleased with the outcome of that day, stating that "For the record I gave Andrew $100 that day for the pleasure of stomping his cake and everyone else gave him at least another $100. Now you know the story."[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Opie and Anthony’s Gregg “Opie” Hughes buys Trump Place condo - See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/02/19/opie-and-anthonys-gregg-opie-hughes-buys-trump-place-condo/#sthash.yVmMhyeX.dpuf
  2. ^ Famous SUNY Geneseo Alumni/Students
  3. ^ "Opie" Gal's Sex Tape Lawsuit
  4. ^ ‘Opie And Anthony': ‘I Don’t Know Why We’re Not Having A Revolution’ Over Obamacare
  5. ^ Chaunce Hayden Says He Talked About a Sex Tape, But He Didn't TALK About It
  6. ^ Rock Radio Scrapbook - Rochester, N.Y., lineups
  7. ^ Gross Prophets
  8. ^ Rotgut
  9. ^ Opie and Anthony celebrate twenty years in radio with a live SiriusXM Unmasked from Carolines in NYC
  10. ^ Opie and Anthony Archive
  11. ^ "FCC hoax policy". 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  12. ^ "Opie & Anthony Return To CBS Radio Beginning Wednesday, April 26". CBS Radio. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  13. ^ February 17, 2015, Opie stated during Larry King interview
  14. ^ The Anthony Cumia Show, Episode 109, ~9:00 marker
  15. ^ Opie & Anthony are in. NY Daily News. April 22, 2006
  16. ^ "XM Radio Suspends Opie & Anthony". XM Satellite Radio. 2007-05-15. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  17. ^ Todd Leopold, Opie & Anthony's' Anthony Cumia fired over tweets CNN, July 4, 2014.
  18. ^ Anthony Cumia confirms he'll launch new Internet-based show from his home after SiriusXM firing. New York Daily News. Retrieved on July 9, 2014.
  19. ^ 'Opie & Anthony' Co-Host: 'I Absolutely Do Not Believe That Anthony Should've Been Fired'. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on July 14, 2014.
  20. ^ Gregg 'Opie' Hughes and new partner Jim Norton sign deal to maintain morning radio show on SiriusXM. New York Daily News. Retrieved on October 6, 2014.
  21. ^ Media: Scrambling Fr The Ball At Xfl. Foundrymusic.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-11.
  22. ^ Opie & Anthony's Demented World
  23. ^ a b Lafayette, Jon. (2008-03-12) Opie & Anthony, 'Krod Mandoon' on Burgeoning Comedy Central Slate – TVWeek – News. TVWeek. Retrieved on 2011-11-11.
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ [3]]
  27. ^ [4]

External links[edit]