Anthony Cumia

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Anthony Cumia
Born (1961-04-26) April 26, 1961 (age 55)
Long Island, New York
Alma mater Elwood-John H. Glenn High School
Show The Anthony Cumia Show
Country United States
Previous show(s) Opie and Anthony
Spouse(s) Jennifer Cumia (m. 1990; div. 2002)
Website anthonycumia.com

Anthony Cumia (born April 26, 1961)[1][2] is an American talk radio broadcaster known for his long association with Gregg "Opie" Hughes and their series of radio shows, named The Opie and Anthony Show or Opie and Anthony, from 1995 to 2014. Comedian Jim Norton was a frequent collaborator with the pair.

In 2014 Cumia was fired by Sirius XM radio for a series of racist tweets. Soon after that, he started his own video podcast, known as The Anthony Cumia Show.

Early life[edit]

Cumia was raised on Long Island, New York, in Elwood and Central Islip, and attended Elwood-John H. Glenn High School but did not graduate. Part of his childhood was spent living with his father in California.[3] Before breaking into radio, he was earning a living as a "tin knocker" on Long Island, and began recording comedy songs with his brother Joe.

Radio career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Opie's Nighttime Attitude, an evening show at WBAB on Long Island, 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 the band Rotgut, of which the Cumia brothers were both founding members and the primary creative force.[4] Joe Cumia managed to get a tape of Rotgut's parody songs to Opie to play on the air, and Opie invited the Cumia brothers to the studio to play live in September 1994.[5] Soon afterward, Hughes and Cumia became a radio team. Cumia, prior to meeting up with Opie, always wanted to get into radio, after listening to his idols Howard Stern and Don Imus.[6]

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 Worcester, Massachusetts, where they premiered on March 13, 1995 as Opie & Anthony.[7] They remained in Worcester 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.[8]

Anthony, originally thought that by getting into radio he would make very good money, however at WAAF he barely was making more than he did as a tin knocker.[9] Anthony has referred to their days on WAAF as the most cringe inducing moments of his career.[10]

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.[11] In 1999, Opie considered leaving the show, however Anthony convinced him to stay, and bring Jim Norton on full-time, as a go between for their off air troubles.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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.

Live from the Compound (2012—2014)[edit]

Cumia, looking for more freedom than he had on Sirius XM decided to build a studio in his home. He would often pop on live whenever there was something he wished to discuss, and occasionally would broadcast a schedule show, and made it available to download online.[15] Cumia retired this show when he began The Anthony Cumia Show.

The Anthony Cumia Show (2014–present)[edit]

On July 3, 2014, Cumia was fired by SiriusXM, after making a series of racist 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".[16][17] Cumia stated on the Saturday, July 12 episode of Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld that he was not going to apologize for the incident.[18]

Cumia announced on July 8, 2014, that he would launch a new Internet-based podcast as "The Anthony Cumia Show," which began airing in August 2014.[19] This show was kept separate from his old internet radio show Live from the Compound.[20] Cumia's website later specified that "his live, uncensored HD video podcast" called The Anthony Cumia Show would launch on August 4.[21]

Beginning August 2014 the show airs from Cumia's home studio, before moving the primary location to New York City in August 2015. Cumia in June 2015 expanded Compound Media adding additional shows to the platform.[22]

Other ventures[edit]

XFL Gameday[edit]

Along with Opie, Cumia co-hosted XFL Gameday, a pregame show for Vince McMahon's startup football league, for four weeks in February 2001. The half-hour show was produced by NBC's owned and operated stations and shown on Channel 4 in New York. The show was taped on Wednesdays at the WWF's "World" 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 segment featured Opie and Anthony as chefs, inserting a cucumber between two melons.

After the show's cancellation four weeks into the season, XFL creator Vince McMahon stated that he'd had no creative control over the show, further elaborating, "I heard it was horrible. Had I seen it, I would have shut it down."[23]

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.[24]

Opie and Anthony Traveling Virus[edit]

The Traveling Virus was a comedy tour headlined by Opie and Anthony, as well as friends of the show, that performed 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 it featured teams of comedians performing various tasks throughout New York City.[25] Opie and Anthony believe that it may have been too graphic even for cable television.[25] Although Opie and Anthony considered the pilot a success, Comedy Central did not pick the show up.

Personal life[edit]

In 1987, Cumia met the future Jennifer Cumia, who he began dating 1989 and married after seven months.[26] In March 2002, they finalized their divorce.[26] Cumia later stated that marrying Jennifer was the biggest mistake of his life.[6] He dated Jill Nicolini in 2008,[27] and model Melissa Stetten in 2012.[28] Cumia also took an 18-year-old date to his high school reunion.[29]

On December 19, 2015, Cumia was arrested by Nassau County Police on charges of strangulation, assault, criminal mischief, and unlawful imprisonment. Cumia was released without bail on December 21 pending a court appearance in early January 2016. Cumia was in an alleged argument with his 26-year old girlfriend Dani Brand in his house, which allegedly turned violent. Cumia's attorney said he "emphatically denies the allegations."[30] In June 2016 Cumia accepted a plea deal, in which he plead guilty to third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing.[31] As a condition of the plea deal, if Cumia completes six months of outpatient alcohol rehab and participates in a program designed for batterers, his original charges which he plead guilty to would be dropped and reduced to harassment, which would not leave Cumia with a record.[32]

On March 30, 2016, Cumia announced he would be spending April in rehabilitation for unspecified issues.[33] He said that although his decision to enter rehab was related to the December 2015 incident, it was not court-ordered.[34][35] However, Cumia has described on-air his frequent alcohol abuse that started at a young age due to the enabling from his father.[36] Cumia's alcohol abuse had also been a recurring source of humor on the show although at times his co-hosts would comment on the detriment his drinking had on the quality of the show as on occasion Cumia would be unable to perform due to a hangover.[37]

Cumia is a supporter of the National Rifle Association and has a carry permit for New York City.[38] His favorite weapon is the Heckler & Koch P2000 40 Cal.,[10] which he normally carries with him, in addition to his PPKS .380 ACP.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eidler, Scott; Irizarry, Lisa (December 20, 2015). "Anthony Cumia of ‘Opie and Anthony’ released without bail". Newsday (New York). Retrieved March 31, 2016. Cumia, 54... 
  2. ^ [Episode] 340 with Jim Norton and Ron Bennington. The Anthony Cumia Show. March 30, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ Madore, James T.; Gay, Verne (September 4, 2002). "Drive Time: Ambition, ratings and money push radio jocks toward the edge". Newsday. p. B8. 
  4. ^ Rotgut
  5. ^ Opie and Anthony celebrate twenty years in radio with a live SiriusXM Unmasked from Carolines in NYC
  6. ^ a b The Anthony Cumia Interview: On Becoming a Media Mogul, and the Surprising Person Who Inspired Him
  7. ^ Opie and Anthony Archive
  8. ^ "FCC hoax policy". 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  9. ^ Straight From The Mouth
  10. ^ a b IamA Anthony Cumia, host of The Anthony Cumia Show. AMA!
  11. ^ "Opie & Anthony Return To CBS Radio Beginning Wednesday, April 26". CBS Radio. 2006-04-24. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  12. ^ February 17, 2015, Opie stated during Larry King interview
  13. ^ Opie & Anthony are in. NY Daily News. April 22, 2006
  14. ^ "XM Radio Suspends Opie & Anthony". XM Satellite Radio. 2007-05-15. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  15. ^ Live From The Compound
  16. ^ Ryan Sit; Joe Kemp. "Anthony Cumia, host of Opie and Anthony, tells News he has 'options' after being fired by SiriusXM for racist Twitter rant". www.nydailynews.com. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Todd Leopold, Opie & Anthony's' Anthony Cumia fired over tweets CNN, July 4, 2014.
  18. ^ "Anthony Cumia: I Will Never Apologize". 
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Anthony Cumia Was "Getting Tired of SiriusXM's Bullshit" Anyway
  21. ^ "Embattled Former Opie and Anthony Host to Launch New Show". TheBlaze.com. July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  22. ^ Former Sirius XM Host Anthony Cumia Hires Controversial Media Personality Gavin McInnes
  23. ^ Richard Sandomir (2001-03-24). "PRO FOOTBALL; McMahon Readies XFL For Life Without NBC". NY Times. Retrieved 2016-06-02. 
  24. ^ Opie & Anthony's Demented World
  25. ^ a b Lafayette, Jon. (2008-03-12) Opie & Anthony, 'Krod Mandoon' on Burgeoning Comedy Central Slate – TVWeek – News. TVWeek. Retrieved on 2011-11-11.
  26. ^ a b Gregorian, Dareh (March 20, 2002). "Radio-Raunch Man in R-Rated Divorce". New York Post. Archived from the original on June 22, 2016. 
  27. ^ 'Opie and Anthony' host Anthony Cumia caught in a jam
  28. ^ Two Years After My Breakup, I’m STILL Being Harassed Online
  29. ^ Ant takes an 18 year old girl to his high school reunion
  30. ^ "Girlfriend of former shock jock Anthony Cumia streams footage of alleged domestic abuse on Periscope". ew. December 20, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  31. ^ Radio shock jock Anthony Cumia pleads guilty to assault
  32. ^ Anthony Cumia Pleads Guilty in Domestic Abuse Strangulation Case, Gets a Very Nice Deal
  33. ^ "Anthony Cumia To Take April Off, Hints Stint In Rehab". AllAccess.net. March 31, 2016. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Anthony Cumia Headed to Rehab". TheInterrobang.com. March 30, 2016. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  35. ^ Howerton, Jason (March 30, 2016). "Former ‘Opie and Anthony’ Star Anthony Cumia Drops Surprise Announcement: I’m Going to Rehab". TheBlaze.com. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  36. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0CHYcS8zPo
  37. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAkCoPzYpLI
  38. ^ Anthony Cumia: ‘I Have No Regrets’
  39. ^ High Profile NYC Celeb With a Concealed Carry Permit Responds to New York’s New Laws: ‘We’re All Just Sheep Now’

External links[edit]