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In this special column, Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, talks to radio co-hosts Carla Marie and Anthony about starting their own show on Twitch, how their friendship turned into romance and why they kept their relationship a secret.
Carla Marie and Anthony met in New York in 2010, while working for Elvis Duran on the Z100 Morning Show. The duo became quick friends, and as an experiment to see what hosting their own show would be like, they created their own podcast on the side. Their talent was recognized by executives at parent company iHeartMedia, who offered Carla Marie and Anthony their own morning show in Seattle.
In 2016, “The Carla Marie & Anthony Show” launched on Seattle’s POWER 93.3. Two years in, the company made formatting changes, moved the show to KISS FM and eventually gave Carla Marie and Anthony a morning show slot. That lasted a little over a year before the company made another programming change — one that did not include the pair. After more than a decade with iHeartMedia, Carla Marie and Anthony were let go in July 2020. Three days later, they started their own new show, this time on the streaming service Twitch. Their new show has thrived, with loyal followers they’ve gained over the years from New York to Seattle.
This past June, the pair made another big surprise announcement: They are dating! Sometime in the time they’ve been working together — they declined to say exactly when, but hint that it happened before the coronavirus pandemic — the duo’s friendship grew into a romance. But for the sake of professionalism, they kept it a secret from fans, friends and even some family members.
The pair recently sat down with us to talk more about the big secret they revealed on the air this summer.
Why do you think it was such a shock to your followers when you announced that you were dating?
Carla Marie: The people who listen/watch our show spend so much time with us, they were more shocked we didn’t slip up! I think the people who were most shocked were our friends, so many of them didn’t know, and they literally stared at us with their jaws dropped when we told them. After we got let go [by iHeartMedia] I was so, so grateful we never mentioned on air that we were dating, because now we could do it our way with no one else telling us what to do or say.
Anthony: People have been “accusing” us of dating since we met 11 years ago, and we both were in other relationships at the time, so they were 100% wrong. I went from vaguely talking about past girlfriends or matching with women on dating apps to being like, “Hey look, I have a girlfriend and it’s Carla Marie!”
What’s your advice to someone who has been friends with a person for a long time and wants to explore if there is something more without “ruining” their friendship?
Carla Marie: I truly cannot keep any thoughts or emotions to myself, I didn’t want to live with the regret of not sharing my true feelings. I knew there was more than a friendship between us. It’s easy for me to give someone the advice of “just do it” because currently, it’s working out for me. It just has to be a risk you are willing to take.
Anthony: I would tell anyone in this situation to take your time, make sure it’s something you are really willing to make a sacrifice for. You have to understand that your relationship will never be the same. I’ve learned so much by just being friends with Carla Marie. Arguing as friends is different than with someone you met through the dating world. The connections are deeper than just meeting and dating. I found myself thinking about what I said, or how my actions would make my girlfriend feel differently than I had in other relationships because I knew that there was more than the relationship at stake.
How long did you keep it secret and why?
Carla Marie: It was kept a secret for longer than we both anticipated. We felt like we had to keep it a secret and had always heard from our old bosses “don’t date each other, you’ll ruin your career.” We also knew that if we did tell them we were dating they were going to want to make it some corny radio stunt, which neither of us wanted.
Anthony: We wanted to be respected as individuals and contributors to this show that we built. The secret was kept much longer because of weird things that often happen in the radio world. If a morning show pair happens to also be a couple, or becomes a couple, the woman is often relegated to this weird sidekick role. That’s not how I wanted Carla Marie to be treated. Our show has always been a 50/50 deal. I would often be pulled into meetings and asked questions without her there and I had to constantly remind executives and managers at iHeartRadio that I don’t make the calls on my own, then I’d go down the hall and grab Carla Marie. It’s a sad truth but, on average, women in radio still don’t get the respect they deserve, and I didn’t want our relationship to be another thing that became a hurdle for Carla Marie in being a respected team member in that building.
How would you say your relationship has adapted since you have told everyone about your new status?
Carla Marie: We recently celebrated my sister’s wedding together and it was our first event since going public and it was the best night of my life. My family loves that everything is public now as they have known for quite a while. The ability to just dance together and not hide our feelings for one another was incredible — plus he was able to hang out with my whole family, which was so special to me. My nieces keep yelling, “HEY, ARE YOU GUYS DATING?!” Because they think they’re funny. Our relationship itself hasn’t changed but it feels like a weight has been lifted off of us and we can just live.
Anthony: Other than that initial freedom [after] the burden of not being honest was lifted, everything else has been the same. The response from our listeners was great, we felt a ton of love. We enjoyed the moment and then it was back to business, figuring out how we can take all of the things we’ve experienced and learned to keep making people’s mornings a little bit better each day, in our own way and on our own terms.