1. Life & Culture

Mike Calta among staff with coronavirus at 102.5 The Bone

COVID-19 is spreading at Tampa Bay radio stations.
Mike Calta, seen in 2019, is the morning host at 102.5-FM. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
Mike Calta, seen in 2019, is the morning host at 102.5-FM. [LUIS SANTANA | Times] [ LUIS SANTANA | Times (2014) ]
Published Jun. 15, 2020|Updated Jun. 15, 2020

Tampa Bay radio host Mike Calta and co-host Anthony “Spanish” Polichemi have tested positive for COVID-19, Calta said on his live 102.5-FM The Bone radio show Monday morning.

The Cox-owned station, which broadcasts out of studios in St. Petersburg, is the second to report the virus spreading among on-air talent locally. Three DJs at Beasley Media Group-owned station Wild 94.1, also broadcasting from St. Petersburg, have also tested positive.

On Thursday’s broadcast, Calta noted that Polichemi was taking the day off due to a fever, along with another staffer who is Polichemi’s roommate. The show was not live on Friday, but Calta addressed the positive tests on Monday.

The plan for now was for the Calta show to continue broadcasting live with with everyone working remotely from their own homes.

Drew Garabo, an afternoon host on the station who broadcasts from the same studio as Calta, said on his show Monday that he received a call from a supervisor Friday night while en route to a Tampa strip club in a rideshare.

“It’s one of those things where I guess we should have known it was going to happen,” Garabo said, but he said he was also surprised because everyone in the studios had been so cautious. He said that although they use the same microphones, each host has their own microphone socks, and the studios were being disinfected between shows.

Garabo said he chose to broadcast live from the Cox studios on Monday, even though he was allowed to work remotely from home, because it makes for a better quality show. He said he also told the rest of the show’s staff they did not have to be there in person.

“I don’t know if it’s the right thing to be here right now," Garabo said, but "it’s the best thing for you listening to us.”

Garabo said that he and a co-host were, coincidentally, offered a COVID-19 test in the back office of that strip club after they arrived. Both came back later showing no signs of the virus. He said he’s unsure if it could have been a false negative, or if he has been exposed since then.

Garabo said he’d been questioning in recent days whether or not he needed to wear a mask, but has now changed his mind. “If there is any message i’d like to send," he said. "I would encourage you to wear a mask.”

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

THE CORONAVIRUS SCRAPBOOK: We collected your stories, pictures, songs, recipes, journals and more to show what life has been like during the pandemic.

SO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE? Read these 10 tips first

UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

Planning your weekend?

Planning your weekend?

Subscribe to our free Top 5 things to do newsletter

We’ll deliver ideas every Thursday for going out, staying home or spending time outdoors.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.


This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge