Bubba the Love Sponge will be back on the air in Florida as JVC Media plans to launch “Florida Man Radio” on WDYZ Orlando (660) and its corresponding translator, the Oviedo, FL-licensed W288CJ at 105.5.
JVC Media is in the process of buying the station and translator from Salem Media Group and is aiming for an early September launch of the station, which will also include Shannon Burke in afternoons. Burke, a former Bubba show member, was most recently at the now defunct “Talk 106.7” WYAY Atlanta. “Florida Man Radio” will also include radio veteran Scott Ledger in middays and attorney Justin Clark from 6-7pm.
“This will be a personality-driven talk station focused on Central Florida,” Director of Programming Len Shackelford said in a release. “There will be no topics off limits, including topics specifically about our on-air staff. Think sports, politics, pop culture... if you talk about it in your life or on social media, Florida Man Radio 660 AM and 105.5 FM will talk about it.”
JVC CEO John Caracciolo added, “The vision of a locally based talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big topics while not taking it too seriously, screams the mantra of JVC. We aren’t afraid to buck the norms – keeping live and local radio working for our clients and listeners, providing great results for clients, and continuing to invest in great programming. I’m thrilled for the future of our stations across the country.”
Bubba the Love Sponge, once the king of Tampa radio, now counts more lawsuits than affiliates. He lost his sole Tampa station in May, Genesis Communications “1040 The Team” WHBO. The Tampa Bay Times reported at the time that his studio and racetrack are under foreclosure proceedings.
Responding to the Times story, and the comments that accompanied it, Bubba posted, “Yes, I've made plenty of mistakes, most of which I'm paying for dearly. I will not give up. I will not quit. I will walk into whatever I have left for a studio and do a show that is better than anything that's currently available in most places.”
His lawsuits included a ratings tampering case, brought by Nielsen, which was settled in July 2018, and lawsuits Bubba filed against his one-time employer Cox Media Group and former show member Mike Calta, who wound up replacing Bubba at CMG’s “102.5 The Bone” WHPT. Bubba was also involved in the highly publicized Hulk Hogan sex tape controversy that ultimately shuttered Gawker.com.
Bubba the Love Sponge also airs in mornings on “98 Rock” WYBB Charleston.