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Bubba the Love Sponge returns to local airwaves — in full attack mode PDF Print E-mail
  Reporter-Tampa Bay Business Journal
Jan 5, 2015, 2:53pm EST

TAMPA - It's war, people. War, I tell ya.

Bubba the Love Sponge Clem returned to the Tampa Bay airwaves Monday morning — on WHFS-98.7 FM, as was expected. He and his on-air cohorts spent their first few hours hurling taunts and insults at his morning show rival, Mike "Cowhead" Calta, who took Clem's spot at WHPT-102.5 "The Bone."

The two personalities, who characterize themselves as bitter enemies, spoke by phone on the air. According to Clem, Calta said on the radio that he would punch Clem in his "fat face."

Adding a bit of theater to the war of words, Calta parked his tour bus — which touts his radio show and his band, Pitbull Toddler — outside Clem's studio off Cypress Avenue in Tampa's Westshore area.

Inside the studio — which is tricked out like a nightclub with full bar and stage — staffers walked around in camouflage T-shirts emblazoned with "Operation Bury the Bone."

Clem was perched, throne-style, at his workstation, which has the trappings of a DJ booth, while his sidekicks sat at floor level facing him.

Just after 9 a.m., Clem hosted the media for an on-air Q&A.

He confirmed some things that have been widely reported, and offered a few further details:

Cox fired him (not his words) in August and paid him his "seven-figure" compensation to stay off the air until Dec. 31.

He was wooed by Clear Channel's iHeartRadio and gave serious consideration to returning to WXTB-FM "98Rock," where he started his Bay area career. CBS radio was also part of the "bidding war," Clem said.

When CBS vacated the market by swapping stations with Beasley Broadcast Group, Beasley vied for his services "in the 11th hour," Clem said. "And gave me an offer I couldn't refuse."

Clem did not provide financial details of his deal with Beasley.

He did reveal that the new operator, which owns six Tampa Bay stations, is building 98.7's programming around Clem's a.m. show, and will have a plan in place by February.

Asked if his talk-intensive show could change, perhaps to include music, Clem said he was not sure, although he has final say-so. "We have veto power over the format they pick," he added, referring to Beasley. "At the end of the day, we're kind of our own bosses."

Clem also alluded to a potential move to another dial position owned by Beasley. That is widely believed to be WRBQ-FM (Q-105), which has a much stronger, market-wide signal than WHPT. 




Bubba The Love Sponge Clem returning to Tampa airwaves
10 News Staff, WTSP
12:42 p.m. EST January 2, 2015

TAMPA - Bubba the Love Sponge Clem will return to Tampa Bay radio waves on Jan. 5 to WHFS-98.7 FM after departing from The Bone 102.5 in August of 2014.
To celebrate his return, Bubba is teaming up withKer's WingHouse Bar & Grill to add some 'spice' to their menu with the addition of 'Bubba Style Wings'. 
"This is a man's man wing," explains Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. "It's big, meaty and definitely not for wimps."
All 24 WingHouse locations are now serving the unique wings which are double-breaded, double-sauced in WingHouse's famous Dallas Sauce and all drum.
"Bubba the Love Sponge Clem has a huge following, so this offers an opportunity for his fans and everyone else to enjoy, what I must admit, are delicious wings he developed," says Crawford Ker, CEO and founder of Ker's WingHouse Bar & Grill.
"It's really an honor," Bubba adds. "I'm a huge fan of WingHouse, so I've been ordering wings made this way for a long time now. I can't wait for everyone to taste the deliciousness for themselves."



Signs point to Bubba the Love Sponge returning to local airwaves – 98.7 FM changing formats
Eric Snider 
December 4, 2014

TAMPA - The way the chips are falling, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem could soon end up at WHFS-98.7 FM.

The inflammatory radio personality was surprisingly ousted from The Bone 102.5, owned by Cox Media Group, in August. Clem has surpassed his own prediction that he would be back on the air in Tampa Bay within 20 days.

The sports talk station called "The Fan" at 98.7 FM fired all of its on-air talent Thursday morning, according to locally-based radio consultant Gabe Hobbs. "I heard it from one of their personalities," he said. "They were told to come in and sign their severance packages."

At 3 p.m. on WHFS-FM, the scheduled time for the "Booger and Ryan" show, a recorded voice said, "Tampa radio is changing. Tune into the station on Monday morning Jan. 5 for a stunning announcement." Then they spun Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas."

"They might do some Christmas programming, but if it ends up a rock station, you can bet a fair amount of money that Bubba will be the morning man," Hobbs said.

Other factors come into play:

  • As of a Dec. 1 closing, Beasley Broadcast Group officially took over the six Tampa Bay radio stations previously owned by CBS Radio in a swap of assets. When new ownership comes in, it generally moves swiftly to make changes.
  • Further, a few Internet domain names were registered by the registrar normally used by Beasley: 987; and, according to
  • The Fan has struggled since launching in August 2012, languishing in the shadows 620 WDAE. RadioInsight reported that the station notched a paltry 0.8 share in October.
  • applies to the more successful Q105, a "Classic Hits" station. Q105 is part of Beasley's new Tampa portfolio, so they could be planning to move around some station formats.