Bubba’s Regenesis

Bubba The Love Sponge is back on the Tampa Bay airwaves, beginning next Monday. WWBA, 820 AM in the Tampa Bay area, will be his new location, the fifth different station (unless I’m forgetting one, or more) he’s worked at in the Tampa Bay market.

WWBA is one of those stations that’s gone through numerous formats over the years, a 50,000 watt AM station (but only 1,000 at night) with a transmission complex out of Largo, not too far from my old stomping grounds of Largo Middle School. Their current format is right-wing talk, one of many stations in the area with this format at present. As of this writing, I don’t know if WWBA will stick with this format, or go with a slightly different approach.

As always, I wish Bubba well. He’s going to be on a station that hasn’t had a lot of luck over the years, so if BTLS can turn it around on WWBA, it’s a feel good story all the way around.

 

 

Aircheck: CBS, 9/18/1977

A few old-school football highlights from “The NFL Today” for you this weekend, in honor of both Brent Musberger’s retirement and the Super Bowl tomorrow.

Back in the day  before computers, sports pagers, and ESPN, if you wanted to know what was going on in the sports world CBS didn’t air in your area, you watched the highlights at halftime. 

These clips are from the first week of the 1977 NFL season, the last to go only 14 weeks, with each team playing 14 games without the benefit of bye weeks. The Dallas Cowboys were the big winners of the season, beating Denver 27-10 to win the 12th Super Bowl.

 

Alternative Facts, You Say?


Well kids, this is going to be a bumpy ride, if the first two days of Trump’s administration are any indication of things. 

Kellyanne Conway just scared the bejesus of me, and I was a Trump voter! I saw a clip of her debating (for the lack of a better term) Chuck Todd on Meet The Press earlier today. 

Conway appears to have coined a new phrase that will likely be used repeatedly over the next few years: alternative facts. I wasn’t too pleased to hear that. 

A fact is something that can be proven beyond any doubt. As I type this blog, my heart beats. My fingers move across a cell phone technologically advanced enough to transmit these thoughts onto the Internet in blog form. Those are facts, things that can’t be in dispute. 

Tone of the argument aside, Mr. Todd is correct that alternate facts cannot exist by definition. Alternate opinions CAN exist. But Todd didn’t use that terminology.  Conway did. 

I found it all a bit embarrassing, and a bit of a blunder for the Trump team. Stay tuned. 

Aircheck: WLS AM (Chicago), 12/21/1990

Here’s a look at the late “Mad Dog” Bob Lassiter, back when he was on WLS in Chicago near Christmas time of 1990.

Lassiter was better known for being a ratings winner for various stations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market in the late 80’s and mid-to-late 90’s. He seems out of place in Chicago, as executives for the ABC station did all they could to rein him in, with Lassiter retorting by being in a state of denial that he ever worked at Tampa station WFLA.

Bob and WLS would part ways in 1991, with Lassiter reappearing in the Tampa Bay market at WSUN in early 1993.

I always enjoyed Bob’s shows. The difference between his work and what you hear on talk radio these days is a simple one. Now, you’re told what to think by these robotic hosts, outside of a few. Back in the heyday of talk radio (which I consider the 80’s and 90’s), you were taught HOW to think. A significant difference.

Aircheck: CBS, 12/24/1968

It was the first time American astronauts had been in space over the Christmas holiday. It was also the first time ever (unless some ancient trip is ever unearthed) that man had such a close-up of Earth’s moon. That’s what occurred during the mission of Apollo 8, which orbited the moon several times in those last few days of 1968, one of the “dress rehearsals” for the moon landings that began seven months later with the Apollo 11 mission.

Quite fittingly, the three astronauts, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, read from the biblical book of Genesis in the final part of their transmission. After which, the legendary Walter Cronkite sums things up. A couple of days later, the astronauts successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean in their spacecraft, and another stepping stone to man’s greatest achievement was checked off.

Bubba Out The Door, Kinda

I wasn’t too surprised to hear this morning that Bubba The Love Sponge was once again off of the Tampa Bay airwaves. I predicted this a couple of years ago based on their relationship with Neil Rogers in the latter years of his career in the late 2000’s when Neil was on WQAM, owned by Beasley Broadcasting.

They seemed (at least to me) to have a reputation for giving talent a blank check, just as long as they owned the carpet in their home which they can pull out from under them at any given time.

The ratings tampering allegations probably doesn’t help things, either.

Again, I have no beef with Bubba Clem. He does an excellent show, has a good vision of what his audience wants, demands accountability from his co-workers and his crew. Nothing wrong with those kind of values. There are people in the media business who are so driven by what they do they sometimes go out of bounds. It’s just one of those things in life that happens. He’s kind of become what Mason Dixon was in the past few decades, going from station to station until a new permanent home is found, much like Mason was eventually able to do returning to Q-105 when they went to oldies music.

I do wonder if another station in town picks him up, although Bubba being kept on by Beasley in Ft. Myers will probably prevent that in the short term. He’s pretty much going to be in exile in southwest Florida for a while I would think, until his ratings tampering trial is adjudicated.