Tampa Bay area shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge renews deal with Cox Radio for three years
Despite rumors that he might be pulling together a deal with former employers Clear Channel Radio, top-rated Tampa Bay area radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge has signed a new, three-year deal keeping him at Cox Radio.
The agreement allows Clem to remain at Cox-owned WHPT-FM (102.5 The Bone), where officials there say he has topped ratings among male listeners and adults almost since the show began broadcasting in 2008.
Cox brought him back to free, terrestrial radio nearly five years after he was fired by Clear Channel upon earning a record $755,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission for broadcasting skits in which cartoon characters talked about sex and drugs.
Clem's agent Tom Bean said that, after discussions with Clear Channel "we came the conclusion that Cox had shown a belief and faith in Bubba...We were glad that we had options, but it made sense to stick with a company which had shown faith in Bubba when he wanted to return to terrestrial radio."
Bean said Clem's history with Clear Channel wasn't the problem; a surprising answer, given that the company once sued him around the same time Clear Channel personality Todd "MJ" Schnitt also filed a lawsuit. The agent said Clear Channel would have given Clem a morning show, but would not say what station they offered to air it on.
He also said the new contract allows the Bubba Radio Network to offer Clem's show to stations in other markets on a "barter" basis. In other words, instead of paying a flat fee to air his show, stations would get it for free, allowing Clem's company to sell advertising in parts of the program and keep the revenue.
The change would make it cheaper for stations to air Clem's show which was dropped by outlets in Orlando and Jacksonville last year.
Clem also drew attention when he accused St. Petersburg-based political blogger Peter Schorsch of maintaining a blog and Twitter account critical of him under a psuedonym, later admitting he was wrong. Bean would not provide details, but said the situation was resolved with Schorsch, who had threatened to sue Clem and demanded compensation after the shock jock's fans pestered him.
"Everybody's met and reached an agreement," Bean said. "There's no more bad blood."
Just past a public divorce, Clem now has a new deal with Cox, a new studio complex for his show scheduled to open in early March and a renewed effort to syndicate his show.
See the press release from Cox Radio below:
TAMPA – Jan. 3, 2012 – Infamous radio personality, Bubba the Love Sponge, has renewed his contract with Cox Media Group (CMG) Tampa’s 102.5 FM The Bone (WHPT) effective immediately. The Bubba the Love Sponge show has been the #1 morning show in Tampa Bay since it’s return to terrestrial radio in January of 2008.
“After weighing my options and much consideration, I am happy to return to The Bone”, Said Bubba the Love Sponge. “Cox believed in me when no one else did and I am excited to return the love. I have a great relationship with local management, and The Bone will remain my home in Tampa Bay.”
"For the past four years, Bubba has been the highest rated show in Tampa Bay for nearly every month with both men and adults,” said CMG Tampa VP and Market Manager Keith Lawless. “We are proud to continue to bring Tampa Bay listeners Bubba and the guys on 102.5 The Bone."
Bubba is back LIVE on 102.5 The Bone in Tampa Bay, 96.1 K-Rock in Ft. Myers, and 98Rock in Charleston on Wednesday January 4. The Bubba The Love Sponge Show principle cast members include Bubba the Love Sponge, Manson, Brent, Spice, and Ned.