The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

28 January 2004

A little less spongeworthy

His real name, we are told, is Todd Clem, but the world — or at least the world which listens to shock-jock radio — knows him as Bubba the Love Sponge, and his zany antics/vulgar emissions (choose one) are going to cost his employer three-quarters of a million dollars.

I've never heard Bubba — obviously this isn't the sort of thing that is going to penetrate Oklahoma airwaves (we don't get Howard Stern either) — but I don't think my life is any poorer because of this lack.

Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan issued the following statement:

We work hard every day to entertain, not offend our listeners. None of us defend or encourage indecent content — it's simply not part of our corporate culture.

On one level, I'm inclined to believe Hogan; Top 40 radio and its fragmented successors have always been somewhat conservative, if only because the desire to reach the maximum number of listeners demands programming to encourage a minimum number of tune-outs. Clearly Bubba's audience sticks by him. Still, it's not like Bubba's never been in trouble before, and should the management decide he's more trouble than he's worth, they'll leave him on the shore soaking up unemployment benefits.

Posted at 7:35 AM to Overmodulation


Ah, Bubba. He's been a fixture here in the Tampa Bay area for over a decade. His show come out of Tampa, and thanks to the sorta-network that ClearChannel has become, has spread to a handful of major markets around the U.S. If I still listened to radio, I guess I'd be more into it the whole controversy, but I'm not.

I do know that Bubba has aspirations of having Howard Stern-like influence. The last couple of times his contract has come up, he's made tracks for Chicago or some other next-tier market, with the idea of proving how he's too talented to stay stuck in Tampa Bay. Each time, he's flopped in his new surroundings and come crawling back home.

Posted by: CT at 11:17 AM on 28 January 2004