Bubba the Love Sponge
Todd Clem (a.k.a. Bubba the Love Sponge) was born in Warsaw, Indiana, and began his career at college radio station WISU in Terre Haute using the on-air moniker “Rockin’ Bubba Clem.” In 1999 he trademarked and legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge, a name given to him by a deejay friend.
Working in CHR and Top 40 in markets like Grand Rapids, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Chicago, Bubba earned multiple national awards from Billboard magazine. His controversial show-style, which appealed primarily to blue-collar workers, began to develop while at Orlando’s WXXL 106.7 where he lasted only a year because he was said to be “too controversial.” In October 1992 he moved to the night shift at Tampa’s Power Pig 93.3 WFLZ.
After four years there, Clearwater’s 98 Rock WXTB hired him in late 1996 for morning drive. His ratings rose quickly and he became a major pop culture icon in the Tampa Bay area where he opened a series of restaurants and nightclubs, beginning with Clearwater’s Planet Bubba in 1997.
“The Bubba the Love Sponge Show” went into syndication at the beginning of 2001, airing on stations in Orlando, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Wichita, Shreveport, Hartford, and Macon. Reflecting his success, he was named the national Active Rock Personality/Show of the Year for 2002 and 2003 by Radio & Records, a trade publication.
On September 9, 2005, Howard Stern announced that he would bring Clem to Sirius Satellite Radio and he remained true to his word, but Clem left his spot there after deciding not to sign a new contract that had been offered to him.
In 2008, Tampa Bay's 102.5 The Bone WHPT became the flagship station for Bubba’s syndicated show. After carrying the program mornings for six years, the station took a new direction in September 2014 and dropped the show, with Cox Media Group announcing that it would continue handling technical duties for the Bubba Radio Network through the end of 2014. On January 5, 2015, the show returned to the air on Beasley Broadcasting's WHFS 98.7 (licensed to Holmes Beach). A month later, on February 2nd 2015, the station’s call letters became WBRN-FM (Bubba Radio Network).
Recent years were not good for Clem. In 2013, he won a high-profile and vicious defamation suit against rival DJ, Todd Schnitt, and then became embroiled in a ratings-tampering lawsuit filed against him by the Nielsen ratings company, which claimed $1 million in damages (Clem admitted to the ratings tampering charges). Late in 2016, Beasley took him off the air in Tampa-St. Petersburg, but he returned to the airwaves there in February 2017 via AM-820 WWBA and later, AM-1040 WHBO.
In mid-May 2019, media reports stated that Bubba was no longer heard on WHBO because the air personality could not reach a deal with the radio station to air his program. He was also facing foreclosure on his Tampa broadcast studio near Tampa International Airport and a racetrack that he owned in Ocala, FL.
1992 - 2004 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
2008 - 2019 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)