TAMPA — Bubba the Love Sponge Clem called his longtime morning radio rival a "fraud" and "nerd." He called the wife of Todd "MJ" Schnitt a "whore" on air and said he wanted Todd Schnitt dead.
"We seek and destroy," Clem said on his radio show on Oct. 15, 2008. "I will not be happy until I have an MJ funeral in the streets in Tampa, Fla."
And on Feb. 17, 2009, Clem said: "MJ, that's the only person I really want to die, seriously."
The man who was in charge of both Clem's and Schnitt's morning shows at that time testified Thursday, saying he was "stunned" by Clem's February comment.
Daniel DiLoreto, then general manager for Clear Channel, said he thought Clem's statement was an "implied call of action" to his listeners, who call themselves "Bubba's Army."
"Historically we know that Bubba's audience is very passionate and very large and very loyal," DiLoreto testified Thursday. "But you don't know the composition of the audience. We don't know who's listening. We just know that there's a lot of them. And we know they're very involved with the radio show. And that one scared me."
Bubba the Love Sponge is accused of defaming his longtime rival, Schnitt. Schnitt and his wife, Michelle, filed a lawsuit in 2008, accusing Clem of "false, highly offensive and defamatory statements" about them during a feud between the competitive morning radio DJs.
On Cox Radio's WHPT-FM (102.5), Clem targeted Schnitt, the then-top-rated morning guy on his MJ Morning Show at WFLZ-FM (93.3), in what lawyers called a "radio war" for ratings. Clem called Schnitt, among other things, "a lying piece of crap."
Cox was originally sued as well but agreed to a confidential settlement with the Schnitts on Jan. 11.
Clem's attorneys say the DJ's trash talk is free speech and part of shock jock radio.
During cross-examination of DiLoreto, Clem's attorney asked if DiLoreto recalled Clem specifically asking anyone to harm Schnitt.
No, DiLoreto replied.