At 6 a.m., Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem returned to 98.7 FM. Clem early Monday tweeted: "And so the next Chapter in our radio career begins. 6am 98.7 Tampa. The 4th Tampa station in my 23 years in Tampa." He later retweeted a picture of a T-shirt stoking the fire between him and his old station. It bore the slogan: "Operation Bury the Bone" around the image of a snarling dog beside a gravestone marked "#Bone."
Rumors had circulated for a month that the shock jock — known for a passionate "army" of loyal listeners, and feuds with fellow disc jockey Todd "MJ" Schnitt and wrestler Hulk Hogan — might be headed for WHFS-FM in Holmes Beach. That's thanks in part to an ownership swap by CBS Radio, which recently dealt several stations, including WHFS and 1010-AM, to Beasley Broadcast Group in return for stations in other cities .
On Friday, Ker's WingHouse announced Clem's return in conjunction with promoting the rollout of its double-breaded "Bubba Style Wings," now on the menu in all WingHouse locations. The statement reported that Clem "will be returning to the Tampa Bay radio waves on Jan. 5 to WHFS-98.7 FM after departing from The Bone 102.5 in August of 2014."
No such announcement had come from Beasley Broadcast Group, and a company representative disavowed knowledge of the WingHouse statement.
Clem posted this on his Twitter account early Friday: "Headed to studio. Getting ready for Monday."
Times staff writers Andrew Meacham and Zachary T. Sampson and researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.