98.7 Tampa

Nielsen & Bubba The Love Sponge Settle Ratings Tampering Lawsuit

Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge have come to a settlement agreement in their lawsuits alleging ratings tampering by Bubba in the Tampa market. Nielsen began investigating Bubba The Love Sponge in September 2015 accusing him of inappropriate contact with at least one household on the PPM panel while he was hosting mornings at Beasley Media’s “Bubba 98.7” WBRN-FM. Nielsen then sued the host for $1 million in damages stating that Bubba was approached by a listener that an acquaintance had a PPM device leading to offering to pay said person $300 per month to help increase his ratings and with bonuses up to $400 per month if a target result was reached. The suit mentions that Bubba purchased additional radios for the panelist. He sent texts stating that “U have to PROMISE NO...[Read More]

George Toulas Named Beasley Tampa Market Manager

Beasley Media has named George Toulas as its new Market Manager for its Tampa cluster. The move marks a return to radio after a six year absence for Toulas who had been serving as CEO of Alpha Astra LLC, a franchisee of womens retailer Apricot Lane Boutiques in Raleigh and Charlotte NC that he and his wife ran until its final location was seized by the North Carolina Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes earlier this year. Toulas previously served as Senior Vice President of American Media Broadcasting, Executive VP/Operations for Chancellor Media/AMFM Inc., Executive Vice President of Salem Media where he helped launched the company’s “Fish” branded Christian AC stations, and Market Manager and EVP/Operations for Clear Channel Miami. Toulas replaces Kent Dunn, who moved...[Read More]

Chadd Thomas Upped To B98.7 Tampa Program Director

Beasley Media AC “B98.7” WPBB Holmes Beach/Tampa has promoted morning host Chadd Thomas to Program Director. Thomas and wife Kristi joined the station as its morning show when it launched in January from Cox Media AC “Magic 94.9” WWRM. Tee Gentry, Operations Manager of Beasley Tampa and PD of Country 99.5 WQYK had been serving as WPBB Program Director. Tampa’s long running, top-rated Morning Show host Chadd Thomas has been named Program Director of b98.7.This new position has been added to his co-host role on the Chadd & Kristi Morning Show, which airs each weekday. “I’m thrilled to serve as Program Director for our family-fun morning show and our entirely new b98.7! I’m looking forward to continue co-hosting with Kristi, my wife and morning show partner,...[Read More]

Bubba The Love Sponge Countersues Nielsen, Cox Media & Mike Calta In Ratings Tampering Case

Bubba The Love Sponge Clem has filed a motion to file a counter claim against Nielsen in their lawsuit against him for ratings tampering. Clem also seeks to have Cox Media and Mike Calta morning host at “102.5 The Bone” WHPT Sarasota/Tampa added as a third party in the suit. Bubba’s complaint (embedded below) states that Cox and Nielsen conspired against him and Beasley Media through a sting operation and use its monopoly power to interfere with his relationship with Beasley by artificially increasing WHPT’s market share. Clem states that Nielsen was using the competition to entice Cox to pay for additional services and conceal their own fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees including Calta (who had replaced Clem in mornings at WHPT). Beasley Media termi...[Read More]

Beasley Launches AC “B98.7” Tampa

After weeks of stunting with Christmas music and as “98.7 Donald-FM“, Beasley Media has launched AC “B98.7” WBRN-FM Holmes Beach/Tampa. The new “Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” approach positions WBRN-FM between Cox Media AC “Magic 94.9” WWRM and Soft AC “105.5 The Dove” WDUV. The two stations combined for a 14.6 share in the December PPM monthly, while the Bubba The Love Sponge fronted “98.7 No Rules Rock” had a 1.2 share. Chadd and Kristi Thomas, who exited Cox’s “Magic 94.9” last week will host mornings at WBRN-FM. They will host the station’s 10,000 songs-in-a-row promo before taking over mornings on February 6. Tee Gentry, Beasley Tampa Operations Manager and PD of Country ...[Read More]

Stunting Continues At 98.7 Tampa With Donald-FM

With Christmas come and gone, the stunting continues on 98.7 WBRN-FM Holmes Beach/Tampa as the station is now “98.7 Donald-FM“. Attempting “to make radio great again”, the station is airing money themed songs such as Pink Floyd’s “Money”, Notorious B.I.G. “Mo Money Mo Problems”, Calloway “I Wanna Be Rich”, and Dire Straits “Money For Nothing”. No word yet on when the permanent format will debut. Original Report 12/12: Beasley Media’s “98.7 No Rules Rock” WBRN-FM Holmes Beach/Tampa has dropped the Bubba The Love Sponge show and the station’s Rock format for commercial-free Christmas music as “Santa 98.7“. WBRN-FM previously used the same stunt in 2014 prior to the addition of Bu...[Read More]

Jeff Zito Named WBRN-FM Program Director

Beasley Media Rock “98.7 No Rules Rock” WBRN-FM Holmes Beach/Tampa has named Jeff Zito as their new Program Director. Zito joins WBRN-FM from sister “96.1 K-Rock” WRXK Fort Myers where he served as PD/Midday host since January 2015. He has been a longtime personality in the Fort Myers markets as morning host at Alternative “99X” WJBX with Bob Garrett from 1999-2012 followed by a brief midday run with him at WRXK during its short-lived Hot Talk run. Zito returned to WRXK in 2015 after a brief run at Sun Broadcasting’s “93X” 93.7 WXNX as morning host. Zito replaces Carl Harris who exited in February. Beasley Media Group, Inc. a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc, (NASDAQ: BBGI ) today confirmed Jeff Zito is moving up the Gulf Coas...[Read More]

WBRN-FM Tampa Drops Bubba 98.7 Branding

With all the controversy surrounding namesake Bubba The Love Sponge, Beasley Media has made the first move towards potentially separating themselves from the embattled morning host. The former “Bubba 98.7” WBRN-FM Holmes Beach/Tampa FL has rebranded as “98.7 No Rules Rock” with the station’s website showing it as “Under Construction”. Bubba The Love Sponge remains in mornings at this point despite the renaming. Bubba The Love Sponge is currently embattled in a lawsuit with Nielsen Audio claiming that the host attempted to to distort WBRN’s ratings by bribing PPM panelists. WBRN-FM debuted in February of this year following a month-long stunt looping Bubba’s show. It previously was Sports “98.7 The Fan” WHFS-FM under CBS owne...[Read More]

FCC Report 12/6: A Signal Upgrade For Bubba

Nielsen Delists Bubba 98.7 Again After Uncovering More Manipulation Attempts

Bubba The Love Sponge keeps digging a larger hole for himself and Beasley’s “Bubba 98.7” WBRN-FM Holmes Beach/Tampa. Update 5:00pm: Beasley has released the following statement regarding today’s action by Nielsen: Beasley Media Group commented today on the announcement by Nielsen Audio that it would delist the Company’s Tampa Bay, Florida station, WBRN-FM 98.7, from its October 2015 Ratings Report. WBRN-FM was previously excluded from the September 2015 Ratings Report even though Nielsen announced that the affected PPM Panelist’s listening was not included in that Report. Beasley Media Group President Bruce Beasley stated, “Since the initial incident was reported to Beasley Media, we have had a constructive dialog with Nielsen as we were also victimized by Mr. Clem’...[Read More]

Beasley Announces Bubba The Love Sponge Investigation Results

Update 10/5: Beasley Media has released the following statement in regards to the ratings distortion activity made by Bubba The Love Sponge: Beasley Media Group announced today that following an investigation into Nielsen’s allegations of attempted ratings distortion activity it has determined that Todd Clem (AKA, ‘Bubba The Love Sponge’), who provides syndicated programming as an independent contractor to radio station WBRN 98.7 in the Tampa Bay radio market, was contacted directly by a PPM (Portable People Meter) holder and subsequently attempted to influence the listening habits of the PPM holder. Nielsen Audio confirmed that Mr. Clem’s conduct has no impact on the Tampa Bay radio market ratings because the improper activity was discovered in a timely manner and Nielsen moved quickly to...[Read More]

Bubba The Love Sponge Announces Bubba 98.7 Launch

98.7 WHFS-FM will become “Bubba 98.7” WBRN-FM at 10am today. In discussing the new format of the station, Bubba The Love Sponge explained on his show that it will be a personality based Rock leaning Variety Hits station focusing on music that he likes positioned as “No Rules Radio”. Bubba 98.7 will feature a 700-1000 song playlist with a “non-corporate sound”. Following his morning show the station will air two hours of commercial free music from 10am to 12pm. Bubba’s morning co-hosts Manson, character Ned, and 25 Cent will follow in the 12-3pm, 3-7pm, and 7pm-12am dayparts respectively. Bubba’s morning show will repeat from 12-4am. The core playlist will feature artists such as AC/DC, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Led Zeppelin...[Read More]

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