BUBBA FIRED - Mitch Perry02/24/04
The President of radio giant Clear Channel Communications said today that the decision fire popular radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge was made AFTER the company deciding his raunchy radio show didn't fit its standards.
In a statement, Hogan said Clear Channel Radio supported the decision of the local managers of WXTB-FM in Tampa in severing its contract with the talk show host, whose sexually explicit morning show prompted a proposed $755,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission last month.
The FCC said that the segments included graphic discussions about sex and drugs that were "designed to pander to, titillate and shock listeners
The segments ran 26 times and the commission proposed fining Clear Channel $27,500 for each airing.
In 1998, Clem was fined $23,000 by the FCC for airing indecent material that included describing a member of his radio entourage receiving an enema.
In 2002, Bubba - also known as Todd Clem - was acquitted in 2002 of animal cruelty charges stemming from the on-air slaughter of a feral pig. The animal was castrated and slaughtered during a show in February 2000.
But throughout those antics, Clem's program had consistently ranked #1 in its time slot among listeners 18 to 54. Without knowing all the details as to the reason Clem was fired, St. Pete Times Media Critic Eric Deggans admitted surprise
(roll tape#1 "broadcasters pay") In the past, radio corporations like Clear Channel, or in the case of Howard Stern bosses,
Infinitity, have always paid their fines and continued to employ their popular Shock Jocks- but not this time. Again, Eric Deggans (roll tape#2 o.q."that we're not aware of")
The half-time entertainment of this year's Super Bowl - involving performers Janet Jackson and Jason Timberlake - led to an uproar among some sectors of the public AND in Washington, where FCC Chairman Michael Powell called for an immediate investigation into the risque performance, and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Viacom head Mel Karmazin were brought before Congress and scolded by some lawmakers. There appears to be a demand now for some sort of increasing standards - and perhaps higher fines by the FCC - for the display of a female breast......
And according to St. Pete Times Media Columnist Eric Deggans, that's not a bad thing
(roll tape# 2 o.q."content") The St. Pete Times Media Critic Eric Deggans says that whatever one's take is on what happened at the Super Bowl - there is now a demand by the American public for a tightening of standards on the public airwaves (roll tape#3 o.q."of the content") Bubba Clem will finally comment on his firing at a news conference on Wednesday .