Todd "MJ" Schnitt announces on Twitter he will leave WFLZ-FM's MJ Morning Show on Feb. 17
Todd “MJ” Schnitt, the radio personality who has led the morning show at WFLZ-FM (93.3) for nearly 20 years, announced on Twitter that he is leaving his MJ Morning Show on Feb. 17.
His Twitter message read: “Let me be first to officially announce that Feb. 17 will be the last broadcast of “The MJ Morning Show.” 18 great years!”
In another post, Schnitt said the change would allow him to focus on a newsy talk show he hosts at 3 p.m. weekdays on sister station WFLA-AM (970), The Schnitt Show. Both WFLA and WFLZ are owned by Clear Channel Radio.
“I can now focus 100% of my energy on the growing national footprint of “The Schnitt Show,” the post read. “This also lets me spend more time with my family!”
Schnitt also told listeners today his Schnitt Show would be traveling a lot in 2012.
In August, the Facebook page for Schnitt’s MJ Morning Show filled up with tough comments from fans after the program revealed changes that included playing more music, shortening segments where the hosts talk and ending the show an hour earlier, at 9 a.m. The station’s website touted the new format as “MJ + music in the morning.”
But industry experts said the changes de-emphasized Schnitt’s presence and angered his longtime fans.
Schnitt had been on vacation for two weeks before the changes were implemented, angering fans more. “Well there goes my mornings; no more MJ and crew,” wrote one fan on the show’s Facebook page. “Playing the same 5 songs is like having pins being stuck under my nails.”
WFLZ’s new format came about six weeks after rival Cox Radio flipped the format of its ‘80s radio station WPOI-FM (101.5) to a Contemporary Hits Radio format, directly challenging WFLZ with pointed promotional ads taking shots at Schnitt’s age and lack of music.
A native of New York City, Schnitt came to Tampa in 1994 after stints at radio stations in New York and West Palm Beach. He joined B.J. Harris, then also working as operations manager at WFLZ, leading it's newly-adopted, irreverent "Power Pig" format under the name M.J. Kelli as part of The MJ and BJ Show.
By 2001, Harris was gone, later admitting he had a problem with cocaine which derailed his life and career. Schnitt kept hosting a retitled MJ Morning Show, adding the 3 p.m. Schnitt Show on WIOD in Miami that year and on WFLA the next year.
Schnitt fought with rival radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, who started a morning show on Cox Radio's WHPT-FM (102.5) in 2008 vowing to unseat his Clear Channel-based rival as the top-rated morning show. Clem's plan worked, though Schnitt sued his rival that year accusing him of making "highly offensive, insulting or fighting words and defamatory statements" broadcast about Schnitt and his wife Michelle.