As one of my long-time friends would say, Bubba The Love Sponge was so predictable today as he debuted on the former “98.7 The Fan” this morning, as the station launched an all-Bubba format that will last at least a month.
That’s what happens in anything you do in life. When you get too predictable, someone paying attention will take notes and then pounce on you. Mike “Cowhead” Calta was the one taking notes today, and it showed when he fielded Bubba’s call on “102.5 The Bone” this morning.
In some ways, it was Bubba getting his a long awaited comeuppance, just as what happened to Jameis Winston at the 2015 Rose Bowl last week at the hands of Oregon. But neither Bubba nor Cowhead had anything to lose challenging each other. As I mentioned a little over a month ago, I suspect Beasley will use Bubba (and vice versa) as a commodity to be thrown away a couple of years down the road. He was a very relevant figure in the radio business for the past couple of decades, but unless you reinvent yourself, there is a “law of diminishing returns” in play here. Bubba is not immune to those rules, and he will soon figure out if he hasn’t already.
As Bubba struggles, Cowhead is somewhat in the same boat, as a non-conservative, non-political FM talk format tries to stay entertainment and relevant in a medium dominated by the right. Entertaining talk radio in this market doesn’t tend to last long, as Cox discovered in the 1990’s with their “620 WSUN” format that featured Neil Rogers and Bob Lassiter. The reason why (I think, anyway) is conservative talk radio has an easier time finding products to match up with shows and stations, whereas shows that are a bit extreme (with a few exceptions) struggle more for the same revenue.
It’s a shame Cowhead and Bubba can’t get along, but at this point in time, the student (Mike Calta) has outshined the master (Bubba).