UNION, NJ – A successful radio and television host is proud to trace the perspectives he shares on his daily shows to his roots in Union.
Steve Covino is one half of the Covino & Rich daily radio show on SIRIUS XM and shares hosting duty with Rich Davis on a late night ESPN show.
Covino, 43, was born in Newark, but raised in Union, and attended Hamilton Elementary School, Central 6 (now Jefferson School), Kawameeh Middle School and Union High School, playing baseball and football. He graduated in 1994. Covino attended Montclair State University, where he studied broadcast communications. He graduated with honors in 1998.
“I loved music and played sports my entire life,” said Covino. Covino said while attending Montclair State he scored an internship with 92.3 K-ROCK, where he then was hired. “I did everything from drive the station vehicle in promotions to producing/cohosting and eventually my own on-air shifts which led me to Sirius Satellite Radio in 2002,” Covino said.
Covino said from 2002-2004, he was working double time at K-ROCK while hosting on the SIRIUS Rock Channel (Octane). He got his big break in 2004 when Sirius hired him full time as a talk show host on a new Channel called "Maxim Radio", bringing the Men’s Lifestyle magazine to life talking about entertainment, sports, music, technology, relationships and pop culture. “All of my favorite things,” said Covino.
Covino then teamed up with Rich Davis (formerly from Z100). “We are now one of the longest running radio shows on what’s now SIRIUS XM, going on year 16.” Covino describes the radio show as “a show about pop culture and life from our perspective, like hanging with your friends at the bar while getting feedback from listeners from all over the country” with frequent celebrity guests.
As a team, Covino & Rich has hosted various events. In Indianapolis while hosting a Superbowl Party in 2012, Covino said executives from SNY (Sports Net NY) watched their interviews with sports figures, from Deion Sanders to Antonio Brown. “But it was our interview with Tim Tebow that caught their attention,” he said. A year later, Covino & Rich were hired by Curt Gowdy Jr. to do ‘something different’. They began Covino & Rich Live every weeknight from Times Square. They spent two years at SNY while continuing their radio show at SIRIUS XM.
In 2015, Covino & Rich moved to the west coast for SIRIUS XM. After two years, they began weekends and fill-ins on ESPN Radio, which led to their television show in 2019, "Now or Never". “Our TV show is sports and pop culture from a fans perspective,” said Covino. “It’s a fun, light-hearted show giving a little "Covino & Rich" twist to the stories in sports and social media.”
Covino, who now lives in Los Angeles, said his views and opinions stem from growing up in Union, especially his humor, attitude and view on life. “My family and friends and the people I grew up with are a bunch of characters, so I'm happy to have brought our lifestyle to light on a national platform and hope I'm doing it proud.”
About his career, Covino says, ”balancing both Covino & Rich on SIRIUS XM and “Now or Never” on ESPN has been our toughest, yet most rewarding challenge yet.” He said he and Davis host the Covino & Rich show every weekday morning (on SIRIUS XM Faction Talk 103) and “Now or Never” every week night. “The split schedule is tough to navigate because it only leaves me a little window to be the best dad I could be, so more than ever before I try to make the most of my weekends to enjoy quality time and relax with friends, family and my daughter, Melody”.
“I love connecting with people from all over the country and throwing my thoughts out there, seeing what sticks and making people laugh,” said Covino. “I love a good interview where we get to see a different side of someone, and get the opportunity to ask lifestyle questions nobody else is asking. I live for a good joke , reference or one-liner."
Reminiscencing about growing up in Union, Covino recalls getting his haircut at Luigi's and drinks at Sports Section (now El Chingon). He is the oldest of five kids of parents Steve and Tensia, who still live in Union. He has three sisters, Grace, Dawn and Jen, and a brother, Tommy.
“My parents are loving, hard-working people who gave us the best childhood,” Covino said. “They taught us that family was first while work was a close second. Everyone in town was welcome at my house growing up.” He said he and his friends could always be found battling it out playing basketball or in the middle of a heated wiffle ball battle match with his Uncle Joe (now a Union police officer) and his friends. “My mother and Uncle Joe instilled a love of music, which I have to this day and which is why we named my daughter Melody,” he said. “Melody has more talent at 10-years old than I ever had and I love being her dad. She’s my everything and my motivation”.
Regarding the future, Covino says he hopes to enjoy more time with the people that matter. “I'm a family guy at heart,” he says. “I'm willing to take on any challenges that this industry gives me so that it gives me more longevity to keep doing my radio show until I retire. If I ever retire!”
Covino says the future is also sure to bring more talk about his life, relationships and experiences, from growing up in Union Little League to his visits back home to see his family. “Union helped make me who I am...and the rest of the country seems to be entertained by it.”