The idea surfaced over cheeseburgers at the Cherry Cricket, a legendary Denver bar: Why not reunite one of Tampa's most successful morning show teams, more than eight years after they broke up?
That's how BJ (real name: Barry Harris) suggested coming back to Florida and appearing on former partner Todd "MJ" Schnitt's morning show at WFLZ-FM 93.3 to explain why the two broke up back in 2001.
Scheduled for Thursday and Friday mornings, the shows reunite Schnitt with Harris, who now serves as one-third of the morning team at KALC-FM in Denver. Harris said the two had been talking about the 20th anniversary this year of the successful "Power Pig" format at WFLZ and figured a reunion might be fun.
A lot of times, when people leave a radio station, nobody explains why they're gone," said Harris.
Harris resigned abruptly from their WFLZ show in February 2001, seemingly at the height of his career. Back then, The MJ and BJ Morning Show was the top-rated program in morning drive time locally; Harris was serving as co-host of the show, operations manager for WFLZ and another area station, and national director of contemporary hit programming for WFLZ's owner, Clear Channel Radio.
"BJ wanted to set the record straight and clear the air," Schnitt said. "Everything will be on the table; the whole story will be told."
Harris denied rumors of bad blood between he and Schnitt but declined to say whether a problem with substance abuse led him to leave the station.
"I can't tell everything I'm going to talk about; that's for the show," he said. "But when that question comes up, and I'm sure it will, I will answer it completely."
Rival shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem began his tenure at WHPT-FM 102.5 The Bone last year by criticizing Schnitt, saying he informed Clear Channel management about Harris' personal problems to get him ousted.
Schnitt filed a lawsuit against Clem last year, alleging a long list of "false, highly offensive … and defamatory statements" made about him on air.
Those statements included calling his WFLZ program "the snitch show" and referring to him as "a real modern-day stool pigeon."
The lawsuit is still pending; Schnitt declined to comment on Clem.
But Harris said the allegations were not true, insisting their reunion had nothing to do with the lawsuit or Clem's insults. "If (Clem and Schnitt) have a tiff, that's between them," he said. "I've been friends with MJ for a long time … this is all about the anniversary."