Opie and Anthony Reunite On the Air After 2 1/2 Years

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Today was a big day for fans of the and Anthony Show, it marked the first day for two brand new shows helmed by former hosts of the show. Nobody knew what to expect and fans on social media and reddit all speculated on what the new shows would bring, but one thing nobody expected was an and Anthony on air reunion to take place.

By now everyone knows that Gregg “Opie” Hughes and split up after SiriusXM fired Cumia in July 2014. Anthony started his own podcast network, Compound Radio, almost immediately after leaving SiriusXM, and fans were stunned when Gregg “Opie” Hughes stayed on with SiriusXM with the show’s third host, . Since 2014, a contentious “he said/he said” relationship has remained in place with both Opie and Anthony firing shots – some vicious- at each other, but never communicating directly.

As for Opie and Jim, there’s been a cold war simmering while they tried to make a go of a co-hosting partnership without Anthony. The cold war finally ended in September with official news that the Opie with Jim Norton show was ending, the two hosts were going their separate ways, and each would host a different radio show on the same channel.

The cold war turned hot when Opie and Jim began airing complaints about the other on social media, through video and on the air. Tuesday, both new shows premiered. Jim Norton and Sam Roberts debuted their new morning show, taking the 8am to 11am time slot, and Opie debuted his solo show in the afternoon from 3pm to 6pm, a timeslot that by the way competes with Cumia’s podcast show that airs from 4pm to 6pm.

There’s plenty to report, but the big surprise largely eclipsed all other news. Around 2pm, Opie went to the phones on his show and took a call from “HG From Long Island” that turned out to be a call from Cumia, live from his own show. It was the first time the two have spoken since Cumia’s firing, and they stayed on the phone for forty minutes along with Paul Mercurio (who was in studio with Cumia) and (who was in studio with Hughes). The conversation was mostly amicable, and fans remarked that it felt like old times with the exception of a few moments where things seemed like they could get tense. “It’s a little weird” both hosts agreed early on in the call. They caught up on recent events with Opie saying “I feel like a free man,” about finally being out from the remnants of the former Opie and Anthony Show, and Cumia said he’s been doing good.

Both hosts admitted to some problems– Opie saying “I’m in a bad spot, I’ve burned a few bridges,” at various points in the conversation, and Anthony sharing that it’s been a challenge building his network from nothing, and adding “You might have heard some legal wranglings that have been in the news. But we’re getting through them,” referring to his arrest on domestic violence charges in December.

The two also went over some of the contentious matters that had them at each other’s throats over the last few years, with Opie addressing the issue of whether he did or didn’t go to bat for Anthony vs the SiriusXM suits (Opie says he did, Anthony didn’t seem convinced), and both addressed some of the name calling that has gone on back and forth between the two.

Even with all the water on the bridge, it definitely appeared that Anthony is pursuing a reconciliation. His team placed the phone call, and it’s not the first time Team Cumia tried to get a call on the air on Opie’s show. It also came out that Cumia’s producer Keith Maresca reached out to Opie a week ago to talk about joining the network. And before the conversation ended, Anthony said he’d be “totally open to getting together and having a little chit chat.”

Opie responded saying he would keep an open mind, and followed that up with “Can you tell they fucked me pretty bad? Can you tell they really fucked me over?” His comment referred to problems between Opie and the SiriusXM brass, which he went into in detail during the first hour of the show. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of the long list of behind-the-scenes happenings Hughes revealed:

  • Opie said he was forced to take a substantial paycut or as the bosses told him, “you’re going to be taking a haircut.”
  • Hughes says he never wanted to do afternoons. “I was kicked off my own fucking show. It’s kind of embarrassing,” Hughes admitted. He said he was “blindsided” and was told by SiriusXM exec Scott Greenstein that it was either afternoons or nothing.  “I was pushed out,” he said.
  • “Jimmy told me a year ago he was leaving the show.” Opie said he started working with bringing comics on the show, knowing Jim was leaving. “Somewhere in there Jimmy went from I’m leaving the show to I’m taking the show. Even though we didn’t have the best chemistry I really believe we did good shows. I really do.”
  • Opie rejected the idea of an A-Lister co-host who he might not have chemistry with. His agent had suggested Bob Saget, and Billy Eichner as possible A List celebrities to partner up with.
  • Opie signed a one year contract and said if things don’t change, he is out after the year ends. He said he wanted to walk out, but stayed because realized it would be easier to find a new job from a position of employment than it would be from off air.
  • Opie says he was in the dark about podcasts “Race Wars” and “My Wife Hates Me” being fired from the SiriusXM Channel that bears his name. He also said Sherrod Small, co-host of “Race Wars” and frequent guest on the Opie and Jim Norton show isn’t speaking to him because he’s angry about “Race Wars” being cancelled on SiriusXM.
  • Frequent show guest Vic Henley seems to have cut ties with Opie. Opie speculated that it’s because he was trying to get Henley some money to appear regularly on the show, but wasn’t able to make that happen.“I couldn’t get him any fucking money. None. ‘Cause they weren’t paying attention the last year, seeing how the show was working at times.” Opie said Vic texted him “it’s been fun.”
  • Long time Opie and Anthony producer Erock, producer Paul and Louis will be the only staff for Opie’s afternoon show. He said he was told there is no money available for a co-host.
  • Opie had been approached by Cumia’s producer, Keith Maresca about working with Compound Media, but Opie said it was too much to try to “unwind” in such a short period of time.
  • Opie said when Anthony was fired, Jim Norton had suggested continuing the show. He also said that at the time, Sam Roberts suggested “while you’re at it, you should get rid of Jim Norton.”
  • Erock revealed that his Erik Nagel show is not necessarily dead, he is in talks about possibly continuing the show.
  • Opie answered allegations that he was trying to block guests from doing both his show and other shows on the channel. He said that his only issue was that he said no to comedian Doug Benson appearing on both shows Tuesday, on the first day of the new shows.

It’s way too soon to think that a reconciliation would be in the cards for Opie and Anthony. After all, we’re talking about one guy who called his former partner human garbage, and the other guy who sold merchandise mocking his former co-host. But given that neither of them is in a place of comfort career-wise on their own, and they got through the hurdle of a first call, anything is possible.

 

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