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MJ Morning Show returns to Tampa Bay radio

Todd Schnitt is back on the morning airwaves, reviving his once-popular show at Q105.

Longtime Tampa Bay radio listeners who tuned to Q105 on Monday may have recognized a sound from the past — the MJ Morning Show with MJ Kelli.

Although host Todd Schnitt never completely left the Tampa Bay airwaves, classic hits station WRBQ-FM (104.7) has revived his popular morning show that ran for 18 years with Schnitt hosting as “MJ Kelli."

The station moved longtime Q105 morning host Mason Dixon to the 3 to 7 p.m. afternoon drive time slot, with the MJ Morning Show now taking weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., broadcasting from the station’s St. Petersburg studio.

Q105 owners Beasley Media Group said to expect the show’s “classic benchmarks.” The MJ show was known for stunts — a co-host supposedly jumping off the Gandy Bridge, or dropping a turkey filled with ice water into a deep fryer and torching a van in the station parking lot — and prank calls with “crotchety old man” character “Milton Fludgecow.” The show will also play music.

The original MJ Morning Show originated on 93.3 WFLZ back when that station was known as “the Power Pig.”

“Research shows that the market familiarity of the MJ Morning show is still through the roof and people miss the program,” Schnitt said. “The timing is perfect and Q105 is perfect. People who grew up listening on WFLZ as teenagers have grown up with us, and it’s an absolute perfect fit.

“I’m hearing from people I haven’t heard from in years saying, ‘You’re back!'."

Schnitt left the MJ morning show in 2012, and focused on striking a different tone on his nationally-syndicated Schnitt Show, described as a mix of conservative talk and independent thought. Schnitt said that live, afternoon show, which he hosts under his real name, will soon leave local, iHeartRadio-owned stations WFLA and WHNZ and move to Beasley’s WHFS 1010-AM.

“We are excited and proud,” Beasley Media Group Tampa Vice President Steve Triplett said in a statement about the MJ Morning Show. “For nearly two decades, the people of Tampa Bay welcomed this show into their lives and made it one of the most successful ... in the history of the market.”

The new MJ Morning Show adds Q105 host Roxanne Wilder to the lineup, and brings Michael “Froggy” Cusamano and Dom “Fester” Siciliano back to their roles from the WFLZ version of the show.

The crew had tested the water earlier this year with an MJ Morning Show podcast. Schnitt said Beasley heard the podcast, and approached him about coming back to Tampa Bay mornings.

Fester was working in sales for a large RV dealership, and Froggy had a job with a family business that installs displays in retail stores, but Schnitt said they were both excited to return to broadcasting.

“Fester is going to keep working for General RV one day a week,” Schnitt said, laughing. “He could be the only morning radio host you could also buy an RV from. I find that pretty funny."

In the first episode of the MJ podcast last year, Schnitt said he planned to eventually discuss the 2013 trial in the multi-million-dollar defamation lawsuit he brought against a rival radio host. Schnitt lost in court, but the trial was nearly derailed when Schnitt’s lawyer was arrested for drunk driving. It was later found that Clem’s lawyer used a young paralegal at a downtown bar to ply the lawyer with drinks, then tipped off a Tampa police sergeant, a friend of one of the lawyers, to orchestrate the DUI arrest.

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