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Bubba The Love Sponge Clem is off the air at Tampa Bay's WBRN-FM 98.7

Radio host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, shown here leaving court after being cleared in a 2013 defamation suit, is now off the air in Tampa Bay. EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN   |   Times

Radio host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, shown here leaving court after being cleared in a 2013 defamation suit, is now off the air in Tampa Bay. EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Tampa Bay WBRN-FM 98.7 listeners will hear Christmas music during the time usually allotted for Bubba the Love Sponge Show this month. And come January, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem's show will no longer be broadcast on Beasley Broadcast Group's WBRN in the Tampa Bay area, according to Clem's lawyer, Todd Foster.

"Beasley has elected to perform a format change," Foster said on Monday. "If you turn on the channel now you'll hear Christmas music. After the new year, it will be a new music format."

A spokeswoman with Naples-based Beasley Media Group confirmed the change.

"Beasley looks forward to continuing its relationship with Bubba and The Bubba the Love Sponge Show on WRXK / 96K-ROCK in Ft. Myers, Florida," said Soni Dimond, a spokeswoman.

But what's next for Clem's radio career in his hometown of Tampa Bay is unclear.

"These days, you can broadcast from anywhere," Foster said. "There shouldn't be anything barring him from broadcasting elsewhere after this."

Radio shock jock Clem has been at the center of several controversies in recent years. Clem is currently embroiled in a ratings-tampering lawsuit filed against him by Nielsen, which is claiming $1 million in damages. Clem admitted to the ratings tampering charges at a news conference last year.

"We are still in the discovery phase," Foster said, adding that he doesn't expect much movement in the case in the next few weeks. "We're just waiting for the court to rule. We'll see what happens."

Read More: Could ratings-tampering scandal take Bubba the Love Sponge off the air?

In 2001 Clem was charged with animal cruelty for the castration and slaughter of a pig on air. He was later acquitted. Three years later he lost his job at Clear Channel after racking up $755,000 in fines for indecent behavior from the Federal Communications Commission.

In 2006, he recorded a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with Clem's wife, a tape that was later leaked to Gawker. Hogan and Clem settled a lawsuit out of court. In 2013, he won a high-profile and vicious defamation suit against a rival DJ, Todd Schnitt.

Bubba The Love Sponge Clem is off the air at Tampa Bay's WBRN-FM 98.7 12/12/16 [Last modified: Monday, December 12, 2016 2:22pm]
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