Bubba vs Cowhead The Tampa Radio War is About To Explode

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    Geno
    Keymaster

    This thread originally appeared back on my old website back in 2014 when Bubba was first let go at 102.5 The Bone. Previous posts are pasted below.

    —-

    Everybody in our industry is talking about the inevitable radio war on the horizon with Mike Calta (“Cowhead”) and Bubba the Love Sponge.

    Even though they were on the same station, the Bubba Army and Cowhead fans were clearly divided. And now that The Bone has shaken things up and dropped Bubba, it’s going to throw gas on the fire. And I can’t wait. Radio wars are fun to watch. I don’t really have a side in the fight. I like both shows.

    A couple listeners have asked if I think Bubba will come to our company. I can honestly say I have no idea. I’m just a weekend DJ on our stations. I’m not in the office during business hours, so I really stay out of the day to day operations of the stations.

    I will say that it’s a no-brainer for any station to pitch an offer to Bubba. A pissed off Bubba = a motivated Bubba. And when you’re in his cross hairs, you know it.

    Next week, the ratings for the first week of the new Bone lineup come out. Will Cowhead be able to maintain the numbers Bubba had? How much of a dip will the Drew Garabo show take with no Cowhead in afternoons? I was surprised the Bone didn’t beef up Drew’s show with more of a supporting cast. I think Drew’s brilliant, but I don’t think his irritable one man show format is nearly as mass appeal as Calta’s.

    The move strikes me as odd by The Bone. Was Bubba too expensive? They’re clearly saving a boat load of cash with these moves, but how much revenue will they lose? The Bone had two dominating #1 shows in both primetime slots (mornings and afternoons) and when Bubba pops on somewhere in January, will they even have one?

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Geno.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by  Geno.
    #16175 Reply

    Geno
    Keymaster

    September 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm #2482 ————————————


    Michelle

    I’m a Bubba listener and since the separation from 102.5 I have not listened to The Bone. I did listen to The Cowhead Show but not anymore, I’ve never been a fan of Drew Garabo he’s just to harsh/negative for me. I’ve continued to listen to Bubba via the Bubba Army App and I’m waiting for him to come back and be direct competition to 102.5. I think then they will realize the mistake they made. I can’t wait for that day, Tampa will back him like they always have, sit back and watch.
    .

    September 18, 2014 at 1:27 pm #2484 ————————————


    Geno

    I just got to Tampa about 3 years ago. I was familiar with Bubba because I’m a HUGE Howard Stern fan. Cowhead was new to me.

    At first, I thought Cow was a typical Stern ripoff. There are so many. But after listening for a few weeks, I started to get the appeal and became a fan. I think Cowhead’s advantage is the show is well-rounded. Galvin is probably the funniest guy in Tampa radio. Dude is so fast and sharp. Carmen is (unintentionally) funny. I think that’s the big difference between the 2 shows. Bubba’s cast has gone through so many changes over the past few years. And I think it’s taken a toll.

    I really can’t pick a winner. I like both shows for different reasons. Bubba’s show is more slick. But Cowheads’ is more well rounded. It’s going to be fun in January to hear the war. The competition will make both shows better.
    .

    September 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm #2486 ————————————


    James

    I’ve never been a fan of bubbas show although he does great things for the community his show is not appealing to me however mike caltas show is hilarious and entertaining every single day and his whole cree brings something to the show and its a team effort nkt just a 1 man show like bubbas
    .

    September 18, 2014 at 1:36 pm #2487 ————————————


    Geno

    James: Bubba’s work he does for the fallen cops families is definitely admirable. And as I mentioned, I’m with you on Cowhead’s supporting cast. Not that Manson/Ned is a slouch either though.
    .

    September 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm #2490 ————————————


    John

    I’ve listen to both shows since Bubba came back on terrestrial. I liked all the shows on the bone. However there is something very strange about how this all came about. I’m very loyal. The very idea that letting Bubba go was in the works for sometime is enough for me to throw all my eggs in Btls basket. Now for my opinion. Bubba has a very loyal following we go where he goes. The bone underestimated how Btls lead meant for the ratings of the other shows. Calta has a following too. I don’t think however they are as loyal as the Btls listeners. The bone is dropping a lot of ad dollars on the calta show. That in itself shows me they are not 100% sure of this new direction. I believe Calta will slowly loose the ratings. If nothing else just from people like me that feel there was something low down about how all this took place.
    .

    September 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm #2491 ————————————


    Geno

    Interesting points John. I’m curious to know the rest of the story too. I’d imagine all will become clear in the next few weeks. A leading theory with the people I’ve talked to is that Bubba has already made a deal with another company so it may not even have been the Bone’s decision. I think they just pulled the plug on Bubba here so he doesn’t have 6 months to promote his move. Plus it gives Calta a 6 month head start.

    Bubba was always like an island on the station. Both sides seem to say the other is at fault. I really am not close with anyone over there, so I can’t pick a side here.

    I really miss Cowhead in the afternoon. Since the switch, I really can’t say I’ve listened to the Bone much. But my schedule is different – I’m not usually up until 10.
    .

    September 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm #2573 ————————————


    Ryan

    The Bone should just replay Calta in the afternoon or at night.
    .

    September 28, 2014 at 9:40 am #2602 ————————————


    Geno

    I’d like that too Ryan. I wake up at 9 or 10. But for the station it wouldn’t make sense to rerun the show in the afternoon. It would give less incentive for Calta’s fans to listen in the morning. Plus they need to have 2 shows to sell instead of 1. Nights though could be a good move.
    .

    September 30, 2014 at 5:06 pm #2626 ————————————


    Geno

    It’s radio report card day and while I legally can’t say specifics about the numbers, I would imagine Bubba has a pretty big smile on his face.

    I saw Calta tweet his thanks for getting rated #1. I’ll just say that’s a glass half-full way of looking at things. And I’d also point out that we did NOT see that “thanks for making the show #1″ tweet coming from other Bone air talent today.

    This next year is going to be super fun to watch and it’s just beginning. But I’d have to say Round 1 goes to Bubba.

    Again, I know people are super one-sided on this. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m as impartial as you can be. I listen to both shows. If anything, I’d say I’ve listened more to Calta since moving to Tampa – but that’s also because I tend to wake up later than most.
    .

    September 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm #2630 ————————————

    John

    I think you have made a good assessment. To be fair I am a Bubba loyal listener. I would bet that the bone was prepared for this slide in numbers. The bone understands that Calta should be able to retain the #1 ratings until Bubba returns for sure. I would also assume that they planned for Calta to hold the listeners over for the other shows. While Calta remained #1 in am his tweet was both true and tellng. He wants to let people know he is number 1 while not admitting he is loosing audience. I like Calta in PM it suited his style. I look forward to the battle. I think it would be absurd to say Bubba will not be back at a powerhouse. The one thing that me and must people would like to know is why the new direction. Most people enjoyed the line up until the change Then everyone picked sides. It appears BA is up a round as you said. Please excuse the grammar errors had not time to go back and proof.
    .

    October 1, 2014 at 10:12 am #2634 ————————————


    Geno

    About Calta’s tweet, you’re spot on.

    As for why Cox made the decision, if it even was their decision, I can only think it’s a cost cutting move. Radio has been slashing budgets and pinching pennies for years. It’s why I just do it for fun now.

    I’ve been fortunate that I did all I wanted to do in the business. I’ve done every daypart from mornings to nights, just about every format… I even did a nationally syndicated pro wrestling talk show when I was 21. lol But radio’s decline began in the 90s with ownership change rules. The big corporations that own 95% of the radio stations try to squeeze a dollar out of every dime. And when the Janet Jackson incident at the Super Bowl created FCC paranoia, it was time for me to call it a day.

    Boring safe “family friendly” radio is why shows like Stern, Bubba, Cowhead etc all stand out. And I’ll tell you this – when the digital transition is over, and all people are listening online in their cars instead of FM radio – disposable safe radio stations are going to go belly up. Cox seemed to be the one company in this town that understood that. While all the other stations here are playing music and letting DJs talk for 12 seconds, Cox invested in a great lineup of true personalities – the kind that won’t be disposable when the digital transition is done. Unique content will be the only way to stand out. The Bone had that. But talent costs money. The big money maker in Tampa is The Dove. Their formula is simple. Play a bunch of Phil Collins songs from the 80s and cash the checks from the advertisers. But when the internet is the delivery method for radio vs FM, listeners will have 3,000 choices for Phil Collins music stations vs the 3 they have now. But compelling talk hosts like Bubba and Cowhead will still have unique content you can’t find anywhere else. So to me, it makes sense to keep building on that investment.

    The unknown variable here is how much Bubba was making vs. how much revenue was coming in for advertising. I’m still not convinced this move was all Cox’s decision. The short-term decision to pull Bubba now was their call. But I still have a feeling Bubba was moving on either way and Cox just wanted to give Calta a 6 month head start before Bubba starts somewhere else January 5.
    .

    October 1, 2014 at 10:33 am #2635 ————————————

    Geno

    My response to tweets from @BreakingClem & @TalkRadioJunkie:

    Sorry guys I hate being limited to 140 letters on Twitter so it’s easier to just reply to your thread here. Both Calta and Cowhead are obviously going to spin the numbers to make the other look worse. It’s how radio works. For example, one guy may have more listeners overall – while the other may have more listeners in the Men 25-54 target. Make sense? My post yesterday saying that Bubba has more reason to celebrate comes from what the Bone’s target audience ratings say. I’m sure you guys know the deal – legally I can’t discuss specific numbers. I wish I could. Cowhead tweeted he’s #1. I’m not disputing that. I chose my wording carefully – it’s a glass half full way of looking at things. Here’s what you didn’t see on Twitter yesterday – you didn’t see Calta tweeting that ratings are up. And you didn’t hear other Bone shows saying they’re still #1. Gotta leave it at that.

    I said in my opinion, Bubba took round 1. This will be a 12 round fight though. And there was no knockout. Thing that sucks is we’ll have to wait til January for Round 2.

    Hope that clears up my take from yesterday.
    This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by Geno.
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    October 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm #2640 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Hi Geno,

    This is s great read. I applaud you for staying unbiased in your responses. I must disclose for anyone reading this that I am a long time Bubba fan.

    I try to look at this new direction the way I do at my daily job. There are several reasons for this type of change. One is as you mentioned budget cuts. This doesn’t seem to be due to the amount of dollars they are putting into promoting the new time slot for Calta. However we have no idea what Bubba is being paid so it is still a possibility. Two would be a mutiny however if Bubba had good numbers and good advertising dollars it’s not likely. Cox is a very large corporation and despite many peoples beliefs, this decision and implementation did not happen over a few weeks or days. Large companies do not operate that way. This was well planned and timed. I agree with you Geno that whatever there end goal is they wanted Calta to have a head start. Three is something I see a lot on Twitter and that is that Bubba is to much of a liability or has bad morals. These can both be discarded due to recent issues with other on air talent that is public and indisputable.

    Why then would this new direction be taken. I think Geno has the best explanation I have heard so far. It is very possible that Bubba had another deal that Cox found out about and had to try and get in front of.

    The Twitter world is full of people that hate tweet each other over this. I think most people like myself were pulled in due to loyalty. People say Bubba is irrelevant and he will not be back. That is absolutely absurd. Bubba has been the #1 morning guy for many many years. He grabbed the top spot back after only a short time of being back to terrestrial. He will be successful as long as he wants to be. Calta also has a good show it is however a safe show. What I mean is you know today what you will get tomorrow and it works for him. Will it work in am, only time will tell. Calta is #1 in am now. His tweet was telling in a few ways one he wanted people to know he was #1 however that is all the info he gave. It was a jab to his foes no more no less. Calta knows what he inherited as far as #’s go. These Radio guys have huge egos and to think the slide in ratings boost his ego would be absurd. He is likely concerned and irritated by it. As I’m sure Bubba is also concerned that Calta ratings will not drop enough to prove his point. It is human nature. I don’t think there is anyone reasonable can argue that Bubba is the biggest name in Tampa morning radio. Calta has made s name for himself over the last 4 or so years. The question is has he done enough to overthrow one of the best radio host ever?

    Just a little something concerning Drew.

    Unfortunately for Drew he was put into a spot where he was destined to fail. His type of radio does not work 4 hours a day. Drew is noticeably a person of opportunity above all else. He no doubt hurt his potential fan base with the comment dirt foot morons and the rant about them being the type of listeners Bubba brings. This attitude will likely be what puts him back at middays.

    I like many are looking forward to the battle to come. I will put my money on Bubba especially in Tampa. As always these are my opinions.

    TRJ
    .

    October 2, 2014 at 11:37 am #2648 ————————————


    Geno

    Some BIG news today. Rumors have been going around and today the news is official. And this may be what Bubba has been waiting for to make an announcement.

    Bubba’s radio partner in Fort Myers is going to acquire our Tampa radio stations, including WQYK, Q105, WiLD 94.1, 92.5 MAXIMA and 98.7 The Fan.

    This is super exciting news. Bubba’s been retweeting a lot of posts from 98.7 The Fan lately. The station just acquired Jesse Kage from 98 Rock. Kind of reading between the lines – I have ZERO inside information, but this sounds like a kick ass lineup in the works.
    .

    October 4, 2014 at 11:53 pm #2685 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Well Mr. Geno it’s looking as if you might have seen the future. The announcement regarding Beasley and CBS maybe the cause of Bubba being taken off the Bone before year end. As I go back and examine things it looks highly possible that Bubba and Beasley possibly had communication concerning this recent announcement. I’m assuming that in your industry secrets are not well kept. If this is the case maybe Cox got word that Bubba was working on a deal with Beasley and this is the result. The consensus among Bubba detractors is that he is a liability and no one will hire him. I think we both know that is definitely not the case. He has proven he can work clean and absolutely destroy the competition in ratings. MJ should have been a very tough battle in Tampa when Bubba returned. We know how that turned out. Calta is very good in pm. I’m not convinced he will be much of a battle for Bubba in the mornings as he is never done well in am. Calta is somewhat unproven against real competition. It will be interesting none the less as we watch it unfold.
    .

    October 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm #2698 ————————————

    rob

    I’m also VERY interested to see…….and would very much like to see Beasley go MAINSTREAM ROCK with Bubba on 98.7, or even the outside chance WILD could go back to 98.7 and we could get rock/bubba on the superior 94.1 signal.

    Mainstream rock to go after 98 rock and The Eagle both…..a good dose of hard classic, combined with the RIGHT currents…..
    .

    October 7, 2014 at 10:01 am #2705 ————————————

    Geno

    @TALKRADIOJUNKY: Haha it was just a theory man. I didn’t (and still don’t) have any inside info. Just seemed to be a logical possibility. Radio stations still think like it’s the 1980s. Back in those days, when you took a DJ off the air, you took his voice away. Now in this world of social media, your actual show is just one way to keep in touch with your audience. So if that does prove to be the case, taking Bubba off 6 months early is like trying to plug up a hole in The Titanic with a piece of bubble gum.

    @ROB: Definitely the route I’d go.
    .

    October 10, 2014 at 6:39 pm #2792 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Hi Geno,

    Just wondering if you have any news on round 2 of the ratings. Of course explained in your special way since you’re no allowed to give numbers.
    .

    October 11, 2014 at 12:57 am #2817 ————————————


    Geno

    Haha, yeah, gotta be careful. I’d say Bubba has the most ammo this week. I didn’t really get to listen to Bubba or Cowhead. How did they spin the numbers?
    .

    October 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #2846 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Bubba only said “iceberg ahead” Calta not sure on the show. Calta Tweeted he is still #1, however it was half hearted this time. I can only assume it has to affect his confidence. People are saying he is down to 7.9 if that is fact it has to be concerning.
    .

    October 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm #2866 ————————————

    Geno

    Haha Bubba’s being a little overdramatic, but yeah, there’s definitely got to be loads of concern at The Bone. I’d imagine their sales guys are having a rough go of it lately putting a spin on these positive changes they were so excited about a few weeks ago.
    .

    October 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm #3209 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Hey Geno,

    I’m hearing a lot of talk about Calta flirting with 2nd as far as demo 25-54 with 93.3 having close to the same numbers. I don’t know if this is good or bad for Bubba. If Calta can’t mantain the ratings with Bubba out of Tampa executives could see it as not needing Bubbas big numbers. The big executives could also see this as perfect timing for Bubba to come back and capture his huge numbers while also making them big dollars in advertising. I know it is early but, damn I don’t think anyone especially Calta or the Bone anticipated this ratings drop so quickly. How would you score things at this point. It appears to me things are not looking to good for the mighty ratings juggernaut 102.5 the bone. I will be anxiously waiting your comments.

    Regards,
    TRJ
    .

    October 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm #3246 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Hi Geno,

    I just saw a tweet from Drew that said he was #1 in his target demo. I’m curious to know what the target demo is. My understanding is that the target demo for most station is 25-54 due to spending habits of that group. If this is the case then either Drew is being untruthful or the bone has given him another target demo. If the bone has targeted another demo it says a lot about the new direction. We all know the money has been with men 25-54. Has this changed that you know of?

    Thanks,
    TRJ
    .

    October 23, 2014 at 10:30 am #3254 ————————————

    Geno

    I can’t give breakdowns man, sorry. I can get sued. Ratings are protected by copyright just like I can’t just put music up for free download. I saw the numbers this week and I’d just say again that Bubba’s definitely won Round 1. When I made that statement a few weeks ago it was only with a week’s worth of ratings to work with… nothing has changed to make me change my mind. Round 2 won’t happen til January. It’ll be a long wait, but it’ll be worth it.
    .

    October 23, 2014 at 10:53 am #3255 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Geno,

    I by know means wanted any break downs I understand that situation well.
    .

    October 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm #3265 ————————————


    Geno

    Cool, saw your tweet… I’d imagine the Bone’s target is primarily Men 25-54. Adults 25-54 would probably be their secondary.
    .

    November 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm #3574 ————————————

    Geno

    Hmmm it’s getting interesting!

    I was joking w/ JoJo Kincaid, one of our former Q105 DJs a few months ago that I should buy Bubba987.com. It was available for $1.50 on GoDaddy then. I doubt I’d be able to get it for that now!
    .

    November 1, 2014 at 3:39 pm #3575 ————————————


    Geno

    I guess it didn’t include the link… let’s try this again:

    Beasley Making Room For Bubba The Love Sponge In Tampa?


    .

    November 12, 2014 at 11:28 am #3997 ————————————

    Perno

    Firstly, I love your impartial take on all this radio drama, thanks for taking the time to have a good discussion on things. I love all this pro info you have compared to idiotic fans that don’t know what they’re talking about.

    I can’t wait until January either, Bubba is going to go hard after Calta and it will be interesting to see if Calta responds. As a radio fan, where can I go to see ratings information? In Chicago (where I grew up), Robert Feder would always publish ratings in the newspaper but down here you can’t find any good info. I see you say it’s illegal for you to talk bout specifics, but even general ranks would be cool to see. Obviously I’m not going to pay for a subscription to get ratings but I’m curious.

    Also I’m a Calta fan but I love radio drama more than I’m loyal to any one show, so buckle up…time to put 98.7 back on my presets!

    Any word on how Shannon Burke is doing? I’d imagine his ratings are down from Drew’s, and based on ALL THE ADVERTISING that Drew is constantly doing live, I’d imagine Drew’s show is in the dumps. I love the addition of Seth for Drew’s show, I think it will make it more unique. Would love to hear any takes you have, you’re a great read. Thanks!
    .

    November 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm #4079 ————————————

    Geno

    @Perno: Thanks man… even though I’m a pro (debatable!), I’m more just a fan in this one. Generalized radio ratings (not show specific) can be found at AllAccess.com. Unfortunately only stations and advertisers who pay subscription rates to the ratings services have access to the specific numbers. And since its protected information, anyone who republishes them in any way is subject to a lawsuit.

    Some jocks do talk about the numbers on the air. I don’t know how rules have changed about that. I haven’t really done full time radio on the air in about 7 or 8 years now.
    .

    November 29, 2014 at 2:35 pm #4820 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Hi Geno,

    Long time no talk. Well we are about a month away from one hell of a radio war. Let me rephrase that, I hope we are about a month away from one hell of a radio war. I’m not sure Calta is up for it as much as he said he was. It will be interesting to see how Calta reacts when his show made a target daily by Bubba. If all this ratings talk on Twitter is true it will not take Bubba very long to regain the top spot in my opinion. I would to know if you have any new comments or thoughts on Calta vs Bubba. I would also like to know if you think he will be back on a powerhouse some in the Twitter world seem to suggest he will not be signed by anyone.

    Thanks,
    TRJ
    .

    December 1, 2014 at 11:47 am #4878 ————————————

    Geno

    @TRJ: No news lately. I’m sure negotiations are ongoing, but doesn’t sound like anything has been agreed upon. It would have definitely been announced. But I think it’s pretty certain Bubba will be on somewhere in Tampa in January. Crazy thing is terrestrial radio really shouldn’t be a factor anymore. In the years to come, FM radio will be eclipsed by online broadcasting when more cars have ‘net access. Pretty much all cars rolling off the line now have bluetooth as it is.
    .

    December 5, 2014 at 9:33 am #5098 ————————————

    Geno

    Big news and no news yesterday. As many anticipated, our sports station 98.7 has been dropped from the lineup. Between Christmas songs they keep mentioning January 5th. That date sounds familiar. Yet Bubba didn’t say much yesterday.
    .

    December 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm #5206 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Hi Geno,

    I’m sure you saw the Twitter drama today. I’m not sure what most think about it. I will say this I love this side of Bubba. It has been some time since we have seen him go after another personality like this. I understand Calta started it with the tweets about the Elder Ford raffle. If this is any hint of what’s to come it will be epic.

    TRJ

    #16179 Reply

    Geno
    Keymaster

    December 9, 2014 at 10:15 am #5257 ————————————


    Geno

    @TRJ lol yeah saw it… just a preview of what’s to come I’m sure.

    Looks like The Bone took my advice to give Drew some support. Rebranding the shwo and adding Seth is a good move.
    .

    December 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm #5360 ————————————


    Rob

    I’m beyond curious about the new format……and wondering if the there will be any frequency swaps to go with……who gets the BIG signal @94.1 ?

    If it even makes any sense. 5 stations with 3 signals, from smallest to largest 92.5 & 98.7 then 104.7 & 99.5 .and the biggest 94.1, coverage most of the way to ft myers

    does it make any sense to put WQYK on 94.1 and bubba and new format on 99.5, (and WILD back to 98.7 ) ?

    OR Q105 to 94.1 and bubba and new format to 104.7…..WILD to 98.7

    OR bubba and new format to 94.1 and wild to 98.7

    why am I thinking there will be SOME frequency swap ?

    hmmmmmm
    .

    December 17, 2014 at 11:10 am #5514 ————————————


    Geno

    For my own sake I hope there are no frequency swaps… I do WQYK and Q105 shows back to back on Saturdays… it’s a miracle I don’t mess up the calls/freq already. haha
    .

    December 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm #5565 ————————————


    joe

    I been a btls listener since 98rock days and bubba is gonna come out on top because thats wear everybody started and got big was with bubba
    .

    December 21, 2014 at 10:11 am #5687 ————————————

    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Well we are almost at 1515. 98.7 has been talking about something big coming on 1515. Is it Bubba? No pun intended lol. Calta has been doing a lot of blocking on tweeter lately is it because of the pressure? I don’t know these guys have the right to block whomever they want. It doesn’t bother me. I get a little pushy trying to get info from them but, I’m harmless. However I do find it telling that Calta made a few insults about Bubba then blocked him. I also think Calta has to be concerned if he convinced Cox he was the better host between the two. If the info is correct and Calta is no longer #1 and he has a 7.7 share he will likey lose quickly to Bubba in the batts that’s coming. Calta has said nothing of being #1 lately. He only stated after 1515 he would continue to do the best show in Tampa. I think that is telling in itself. In most cases I assume 7.7 is a good number. In this case it shows Calta and the bone lost a lot of listeners. If Calta keeps half of am and brings half of pm he would be in double digits. My question how many listeners actually turned the bone on for Bubba and stayed for the other shows? If you use the numbers they had together to make the calculation it appears that Bubba was a big factor in the entire stations numbers. I see people on tweeter speak of the Bubba rub is it possibly true? Geno what’s your thoughts do you think Bubba impacted the ratings for the entire station as it appears? We know Calta am numbers are lower than what he had in pm. Is cox happy with the new direction? Who conviced cox this was a good move? Your thoughts as you have time Geno.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours
    TRJ
    .

    January 2, 2015 at 9:07 am #6155 ————————————

    Rob

    998.7 was simulcasting Q105 overnight. ….now bback to the stunting heard previously as of this morning
    .

    January 2, 2015 at 9:30 am #6156 ————————————


    Geno

    I’ve had to keep hush the past few weeks guys, sorry! Today will be a busy day!
    .

    January 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm #6174 ————————————


    tim kutsin

    Hey Geno,
    Listened to all the shows mentioned. Always favored Bubba. Hit Drew up for a sidekick gig on his show, but picked (what`s his name) His shows out of hand.
    .

    January 2, 2015 at 10:14 pm #6180 ————————————


    Ashley

    Well. Bubba was on in the newspaper saying he’s coming to Beasly radio on the 5th. It’s out there. He’s coming to 98.7 on Monday.
    .

    January 3, 2015 at 12:32 am #6182 ————————————

    Geno

    @Tim: I think Drew’s show really has picked up steam since the rebranding. He definitely needed more of a cast. Glad The Bone saw that. I said it before. I think he’s the wittiest guy in town. But in afternoons, you need to have some storylines and characters. It’s hard to do that when it’s a one man show.

    @Ashley: It’s the worst kept secret … ever. 🙂
    .

    January 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm #6273 ————————————


    Rob

    wow……shocker if true…..
    .

    January 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm #6283 ————————————

    Geno

    Feels like Christmas Eve doesn’t it tonight?
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 10:16 am #6298 ————————————


    Geno

    I can’t believe my ass was up at 6am this morning, but it’s been worth it. Day 1 was everything I hoped it’d be. Now that all is finally happening, I can openly talk so let’s go. Who did you think took “Round 2?” Earlier in this thread I said I honestly thought Bubba took round 1 when The Bone’s ratings came out after Bubba’s departure.

    Both scored some good jabs today. Full disclosure for those new to this thread. I now am officially on the same team as Bubba. We now work for the same company. I didn’t know this would for sure be the case until a few weeks ago. Read my unfiltered opinions before my knowing this. I am a fan of both shows. Both were new to me when I got to Tampa.

    I’ll do a longer post about this morning once I get to hear both shows. I think Bubba’s start was pretty solid. I think Calta scored points on the live-on-live segment. But I can’t declare a Round 2 winner til I hear both shows.

    But MAN is this going to be fun.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 11:55 am #6304 ————————————


    Wilder

    I would give round 2 to Calta. I like Bubbas show better but, Calta controlled the convo. I’m hearing that he dumped NED saying 98.7 and also podded Bubba down. Calta did come off as a hot head. He also wouldn’t have a convo just got loud. I’m not sure Calta didn’t show a little mental weakness by going straight the fighting deal.It will be fun to listen to. Last but not least Calta made the statement Token Black guy that was not a show of self control. He also glossed over the drop in ratings by saying he is still #1. As I said I think Calta won this round but, it was more from out louding Bubba not with any substance. I would like for them to have a real back and forth no dumbing no podding down. Head on.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 12:26 pm #6307 ————————————

    Geno

    @Wilder – great points.

    Now that I’ve had some time to listen to it, I have to agree. And I tweeted that to Bubba. Bubba had good ammo (the Bone’s big ratings drop since Bubba left). But Cow owned the conversation. I get Bubba saying he wanted to keep a civil conversation going, but radio wars are not civil.

    But really Bubba got what he wanted anyway. Cowhead’s listeners, if they didn’t know, now knew Bubba’s back if they scan the dial.

    I haven’t listened to Calta’s replay yet. I’m going to jump on the Bone app and check that out. I’m guessing Cow only dealt with Bubba during the call and probably avoided the topic otherwise? It makes no sense for Cow to react. I was surprised he took the call. But he was obviously prepared. He had rehearsed those talking points. And it paid off.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 12:54 pm #6308 ————————————

    Kevin

    So, anyone else think this entire “war” is fabricated? Bubba was “fired” right about the same it became public knowledge that Beasley was taking over the local CBS properties. Beasley, who btw Bubba already had a strong relationship with. Beasley also knew they needed to turn around the failing property.

    Now, what if Bubba let it be known to Cox he would not be renewing his contract with them (Because he had talks with Beasley underway). But to create a frenzy in the market, give the perception that he was “fired” and fabricate an instant ” radio war”…to drive listener engagement, and create mass media exposure for all parties. Cox was already going to lose Bubba to Beasley. ..but this now creates a much larger story.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm #6309 ————————————


    TALKRADIOJUNKY

    Geno once you have listened let us know about wether Calta turned Bubba down or not. Also what do you think about the token black guy comment. I think Calta got that round but I think it showed his mentality and that he spent sometime preparing for it.

    TRJ
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 1:52 pm #6310 ————————————


    Geno

    @Kevin: Not sure if I’m getting your point, but when one company acquires a talent to go after a competitor’s, that’s pretty much a war. In my original post back on page 1 of this thread, I think Cox just pulled the plug on the show several months early to give Cowhead a running head start. I don’t know the dollar figures involved, but it seems that Cox didn’t think Bubba was worth the money he thinks he deserves. Both ClearChannel and our company pitched offers (why wouldn’t they Bubba, left at #1 with almost twice the ratings Calta has) and our company won the bidding war.

    By fabricating do you think there’s some collusion between Cox and Beasley? That just doesn’t really make any sense to me?
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm #6311 ————————————


    Geno

    @TRJ: I think both shows have had their racist moments over the years. The token black guy comment Calta made was a 6 on a scale of 1-10 to me. There’s been much worse. Coming from where I do (Boston), the stuff that both shows have aired would never fly. But this part of the country is more aggressive.

    After hearing both versions of the call, clearly Calta shouted over Bubba and turned Bubba’s call audio down on The Bone. Bubba, in my opinion, came off stunned. I’d imagine Bubba never thought Calta would even take the call. There was really no incentive for Cowhead to take the call. He’s in the #1 spot right now. There’s no need to tell his listeners that Bubba’s back on the radio on a new station.

    I think Calta won the war of words in the call. But Bubba won in the sense that he let anyone listening to The Bone know that he’s back.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 2:56 pm #6314 ————————————


    Kevin

    As you know, radio is all about creating “theater of the mind”, much like the “war of the roses” bits on FLZ. It’s all fake content generated to engage listeners. Like a soap opera.

    This whole Bubba thing is being presented to the market as if he was abruptly fired due to “the station taking a new direction, and to keep content fresh”(per Cox V.P).

    (What if?)Bubba wasn’t fired. He informed Cox that he wouldn’t be renewing his contract with them..but to give the biggest impact, present it as if he was abruptly fired(injecting drama into the market). There would already be a battle once he left…by adding an element of drama to the situation it’s got the market in a frenzy VS a case of contract expiring and going to a new group. It’s given Cox a heavy dose of media coverage, as well as Bubba. All parties are mutually benefiting from the illusion of drama over the situation. It’s playing out like a scripted promo shoot for a WWE program, especially the phone interaction between the two this morning.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm #6315 ————————————


    Geno

    Kevin: Ah ok, I get you a little more now. No doubt both companies benefit when they go head to head. But I can pretty much guarantee there’s no collusion between the 2. But radio in general definitely wins when something like this happens. I think it’s great to have 2 high profile personalities go at it. Radio has gotten so boring and safe. Tampa has enough music stations playing the same 200 researched songs. TV is covering this situation because it’s compelling and exciting – something radio is lacking.

    But if you think the bad vibe between Calta and Bubba is fake, we definitely disagree. War of the Roses is fake. This isn’t.
    This reply was modified 7 months ago by Geno.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm #6317 ————————————


    Ray

    Looking at this entire situation from a unbiased view, I would say Bubba completely won today.

    When Cox decided to let the BTLS show go, they paid for him to be quiet for multiple months. Bubba could not say where he was going due to the agreement in his contract. He even stated on Twitter in mid December that he wanted to say where he was going but couldn’t legally. In my eyes Cox and 102.5 needed every advantage they could get in the Tampa market. Also note that due to his contract Bubba had to take his offers to Cox and give them first crack to match it, in which we all know now that Cox decided to let Bubba go. In the time that Bubba was removed from the Bone (yet was still being paid), Cowhead took a show from a 13 rating down to a 7.8 (I believe this is the correct rating).

    When it comes to today’s live-on-live call, here is what I believe: just the fact that Cowhead lowered the pod, just show’s that he is scared. He even admitted that when he was in the afternoons he had a 8 to a 9 share. Now by no means am I a radio guru but doesn’t your morning show typically bring in a higher rating then your afternoon show? He can see the writing on the wall and he tried to “boss hog” the conversation which in my eyes made him sound weak. Now I can admit that Bubba 5 years ago would have done the same thing, but with Bubba actually giving him a chance to actually say something shows that he has evolved as a radio host. Bubba played Cowhead perfectly today and just let him shoot himself in the foot.

    The BTLS show isn’t just Bubba anymore. It is the group of them together which makes the show what it is. Cowhead can make fun of the parodies all he wants, but they are still great to listen to (and let’s face it Manson is a god when it comes to making them) and bring a different dynamic to a show instead of just talking.

    It will be very interesting to see how things play out here in the near future. But I feel the writing is already on the wall.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 5:02 pm #6322 ————————————


    Mike

    As an original fan of both shows, Mike was dead on today when he said Bubba had lost his touch. The repetitive playing of bits and parodies grew tiresome and lazy. Hopefully this ‘war’ brings a breath of fresh air into both shows but for now Calta is the more entertaining show (just keep Spanish off the mic).
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 7:01 pm #6326 ————————————

    Geno

    @Mike I agree to a degree that 2014 Bubba doesn’t have the fire and edge of Bubba in the 90s, but just like Stern, he’s evolving. I think the war will make both guys step their game up. And I’m with you on Spanish. haha

    By the way, thanks to all who’ve posted so far. Everyone’s been on point and respectful. If you read the social media banter between fans of both shows, that’s not the case. But on here, whether you are a fan of Bubba, Calta or both, you guys have been interesting, logical and have stayed away from shouting bullet points the hosts have given their fans to use. I’m pretty happy with the dialogue in this thread.
    This reply was modified 7 months ago by Geno.
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 7:22 pm #6329 ————————————


    rob

    Honestly not that interested in the ”war”….because I dont think it will be much of a war, ratings wise. Bubba will quickly be back on top…..thus his ”cool” head today.

    Much more interested in new format and frequency swaps, ect…..who is upgraded, who is downgraded…..who is repositioned, reformatted or not.

    totally against any more ”talk”…..love to see a mainstream rock reporter…..cut into 98 rock and Eagle both.

    If…..IF bubba is going to 104.7, does he get the branding ?….what becomes of Q ? the only UPGRADE is to go to 94.1. Then what becomes of WILD ?

    Dont tell me Q turns into talk with mason and bubba…..whats the play here ? This is a trip…..yeah, its like christmas
    .

    January 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm #6331 ————————————

    Geno

    Rob: I’m a little (ok probably a lot) biased because I work for Q, but I’d like to see Bubba just own 98.7. In other words, brand the entire station as Bubba 98.7. A news article a few months back that appears earlier in this thread claims our company bought Bubba987.com, so maybe that’s what they’re already thinking. The random music format on 98.7 post-Christmas music and leading to the launch today was fun. Just maybe call it Bubba’s iPod. Mix in short Bubba highlights between songs. Maybe 3 or 4 show clips an hour. Anyway, that’s my hope for the station. I understand Bubba wanting a strong signal, but his audience is passionate about the show. They’ll find the show. They’ll listen. And they’ll put up with a little static here and there. If they were passive, signal strength would be more of an issue. But for those in the Bubba Army who can’t pick up 98.7, they’ll find a way to listen. Bubba is a unique talent.

    As for 98.7 going rock, I’d love that. But there’s a lot of rock in the market already. It’d have to really be done right. Most markets around the country these days are lucky to have one strongly performing rock station. Before coming to Tampa, I got to work with WBCN in Boston. It blew my mind when ‘BCN went away, but rock is so fragmented these days – classic rock, metal, alternative, pop rock, etc – it’s hard to be successful.

    I think Bubba referenced something on the show this morning on how they’re going to see if they can upgrade 98.7’s signal. That sounds like the best option to me.

    I just don’t see Q going away. If you move it to 98.7, Q98.7 doesn’t really carry over the heritage the station has built for over 40 years. It’s an iconic brand that’s performing well in every sense of the word.

    Signal is more of an issue for a music station that shares songs with other stations in the market. Bubba is unique. Q’s playlist is less so. Just as when Play 98.7 (the station before The Fan) was on the air, they shared songs with Mix, FLZ and Hot 101.5 – so they never really stood a chance.

    94.1 is also doing really well, beating FLZ often.

    99.5 is also doing well, beating US 103.5. But one could argue putting Bubba on WQYK might widen the gap between the 2 stations. But Dave & Veronica are pretty popular with WQYK’s audience and Bubba might be too edgy for the station’s image.

    I can’t speak for 92.5 as I don’t really follow their ratings closely.
    .

    January 6, 2015 at 9:46 pm #6410 ————————————

    Kevin

    If a new rock station is in the works, I hope it looks/feels/sounds like KDGE out of Dallas. Sort of an Alt/Active Rock format. A fusion of what WSUN used to sound like (before it start going more pop) and what XTB currently sounds like. Put Kage on Mid-days, then give XTB and HPT a run for their money. XTB saw solid growth in their ratings after The Bones format flip…but never could properly monetize the growth.
    .

    January 6, 2015 at 10:23 pm #6412 ————————————


    Rob

    Absolutely Geno, very true that none of the stations are doing anywhere near poor…..nobody ripe for change……if there is something coming, it would be very much a strategic refocus…..retarget of some type, as part of a new long term plan

    Bubba has all but made it clear that there is more of his deal, in fact…..the critical part of his deal and the reason he chose Beasley over I Heart…….and that is the part he says he ”cant talk about” yet……the only thing he made clear is that he will be taking another frequency.

    there is something much more significant coming and the tip of the iceberg is the frequency swap

    There are several pieces of circumstantial evidence that its 104.7…..but thats where everything goes grey…..(see 1st paragraph)
    .

    January 8, 2015 at 12:26 am #6463 ————————————

    Geno

    @Rob: He wasn’t vague on the show this morning. He named 104.7 as the signal he wants. I just don’t think it’s the best move for all involved. But then again, I’m biased.
    .

    January 8, 2015 at 8:02 am #6476 ————————————

    Diamond Joe

    Hey Geno, Bubba just gave a shoutout to “the Geno guy from Q105″ about the Internet forums talking about Cowhead vs. Bubba. 🙂
    .

    January 8, 2015 at 9:04 am #6480 ————————————


    Geno

    @DiamondJoe: I woke up a few minutes ago so I missed it. But Paula Street (our midday host on Q105) texted me. So I woke up freaked out. I hear it was positive though. haha My first thought was I’m going to have to go into hiding. Paula said the t-shirts stunt was huge this morning. Can’t wait to see the pics and listen to the replay. Listening now.

    Just heard it… thanks for readin’ Bubba.

    Audio: http://genoswebsite.com/?attachment_id=6488
    This reply was modified 7 months ago by Geno.
    .

    January 8, 2015 at 9:25 am #6481 ————————————


    Geno

    Wow. Just saw the pictures. I figured 100 or 200 would show up but that’s incredible. I’ve been with this group of stations for about 4 years now. 98.7 has never been able to make an impact. Before sports, 98.7 was a Top 40 station. It sounded decent, but never made any waves. If Bubba can beat 102.5 on that signal, the fight is over. I don’t think it’ll happen in the first set of ratings, but if Bubba can get a 3 share out of the gate, that’s a huge win. You’ve heard Bubba say how Cowhead took The Bone from a 13.8 to the 7s. 98.7 has never seen a 7 as long as I’ve been here. Not even close.

    Has Calta addressed this morning’s turnout on his show? I can’t imagine he has.
    .

    January 8, 2015 at 10:33 am #6482 ————————————

    D

    Bubba’s Twitter feed contains pictures of several vehicles spray-painted with “THE HOG”, and thenew987.com no longer has the “Pick our Format” poll. “The Hog” (active rock format) was one of the choices on that poll.
    So I guess this will be the new format?
    (Then again, the vehicles can be re-sprayed and/or wrapped.)
    Beasley should keep Bubba on 98.7 and boost the signal.
    Keep Q105 (#3, and Beasley’s top-rated, station in town) as is.
    .

    January 8, 2015 at 11:02 am #6485 ————————————

    Geno

    @D Again, I’m biased since I work for Q105, but I totally agree.

    This morning proves Bubba just needs a signal. His fans will take it from there. “98.7 The Hog” sounds cool. Just listening to the replay now – I woke up late this morning. But a mile of cars in line? That’s incredible. I’ve done promotions with a bunch of radio stations I’ve worked for that were offering a free tank of gas and lines weren’t that long. This was a freezing morning in Florida where you were promised a t-shirt. Impressive. Cannot wait til the ratings come out in a couple weeks.
    .

    January 10, 2015 at 11:03 am #6594 ————————————


    Rob

    Personally, no….I do not think Q105 should be touched…..its VERY successful, but the again….so is WILD. Bubba should go to 94.1 and WILD back to 98.7…..i just think you gotta have your biggest guy , on the biggest signal. 94-1 The Hog, everything that rocks
    .

    January 12, 2015 at 3:44 am #6677 ————————————

    Carlos Cardona

    When will the ratings with Bubba back in the market be out? Enjoyed reading all the post.
    .

    January 12, 2015 at 6:39 am #6682 ————————————

    Diamond Joe

    So at the end of last week, Bubba and his crew went driving around town in a car with “98.7 The Hog” painted on it.

    And this morning, Mike Calta started today’s show by telling a story about how he and some friends went hunting and killed… a hog. Coincidence?
    .

    January 12, 2015 at 11:09 am #6696 ————————————

    Geno

    @Rob Interesting idea with WiLD. I’d be cool with that, but again, I’m biased haha.

    @Carlos: I think in about 2 weeks the first set should be out.

    @Diamond Joe: Very much doubt it was a coincidence.
    .

    January 16, 2015 at 6:22 pm #6960 ————————————


    Bran

    I used to love Btls, but the show’s been on the downslope for years. Any long time fans of the show who can’t see that are in denial. Bubba has even said himself several times that he doesn’t care about radio anymore, and it’s easy to spot how much that’s been affecting the quality of the show.

    Hopefully this will be a wake up call and he’ll do better over on the other station he’s on now, but constantly going on about how he was railroaded and how he’s going to take down Cowhead and the Bone stopped being entertaining after the first day. He needs to just let it go and move on, and concentrate on having a good show. If he doesn’t, my prediction is that the Bone will be just fine without him, he’ll never present any real competition for the Mike Calta show, and he’ll end up retiring from radio within 5 years.
    This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Geno.
    .

    January 19, 2015 at 6:15 pm #7151 ————————————


    LJ

    I agree some with Bran. Bubba’s show was much better back in the day. Today’s cast doesn’t carry like spice and brent did. I lost faith in bubba when he started with so much replay. I think he got lazy after his show goes #1. After the battle with MJ it was awful. Calta’s show is better day in and day out. That being said, when Bubba gets fired up the show is so much better. Can see him beating Calta but then the show sucking after that and then here come the replays of 10 years ago. I will say it does have me switching back and for between stations. Thanks for creating the blog Geno.
    .

    January 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm #7209 ————————————

    Geno

    Thanks LJ. As someone who did mornings, I can tell you it’s a grueling life. I only did it for 5 years and would never do it again. Waking up that early and having to be creative, sharp and funny is not easy. It’s easy to get in a rut and coast. But nothing makes you step up your game like competition.

    If Bubba can beat Calta with the disadvantages he has, that will be an enormous accomplishment. We’re about 2 weeks away from the first ratings being published. I still switch too. Probably listening to Bubba more than Cow lately mostly because I love the radio war shots being fired. Cow has no reason to engage… yet… because he’s still the big dog. But if/when that changes, this will get even better when they go toe to toe.
    .

    January 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm #7587 ————————————

    Sam Morgan

    I loved listening to Bubba in the morning and Mike Calta in the afternoon. I was very upset when Bubba was not on but listened to the new lineup as Music is ok only on SIRIUS as no commercials. I was so excited when BUBBA came back on. It was only then that I found out how Cox had been screwing around and Calta seemed to be at the front of it. Calta said he would take Bubba’s calls and proceeded to act tough. Well, I do not like the fighting but Bubba is going to kick Calta pretty good. We will see. I think the stupid people here are the higher ups at Cox. I think they really screwed up. I have been listening to Bubba since he started at the Pig. I think he is still great to listen too and is very good at his job. Everyone you talk to is for Bubba. I am going to the Beach event this coming Wednesday. I am 59 a biz. owner/President and my wife is a Rn and is 55. We both like Bubba. Hope everything works out for the best.
    .

    January 26, 2015 at 4:59 pm #7618 ————————————

    Geno

    Anyone have a theory for Bubba’s format he’s announcing Friday? I’m thinking 90s/2000s rock – which would be excellent.
    .

    January 26, 2015 at 9:12 pm #7624 ————————————

    Stanley

    Bubba needs a music format to take up most of his shows. That way he only needs 2-1/2 hours of content. He should be able them to stop using Mikes show to fill his dead air space.
    .

    January 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm #7655 ————————————

    Joe

    Actually, once he puts Cowhead out of business he can do whatever he wants and still get way better ratings
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 10:47 am #7687 ————————————

    Geno

    The next few days are going to be big. The initial ratings from Bubba’s first few days will trickle in. Most radio shows take a few months, sometimes years, to build a solid presence but with this being Bubba, these initial weeks will be looked at closely.

    My scorecard so far since this thread started this summer:

    Round 1: Initial ratings come out after Bubba leaves, Bone drops significantly without Calta having any competition. Winner: Bubba.

    Round 2: Bubba is back/the phone call. I understand Bubba’s take that he wanted to let Mike bury himself. But if you’re impartial, you realize Cowhead owned the conversation. Bubba snuck in the ratings drop, but otherwise Cow had his talking points well planned out and scored. Winner: Cowhead.

    Round 3: The T-Shirt Stunt. Pivotal moment when the Bone’s facility was jammed with listeners braving freezing weather at 6 in the morning. The “look out your window bitch” crane said it all. This was the moment that the Cox guys really seemed to get it that they may have been overconfident. Cow stopped responding on air and online to Bubba most likely per corporate. Winner: Bubba.

    Round 4: Ratings. I can’t see Bubba beating or matching Cow in the first set of ratings that’ll be out. The 98.7 signal just isn’t powerful enough to overwhelm the listening area. You really had to know Bubba’s back and seek him out. Casual listeners will find Bubba eventually. Only the hardcore fans (which for Bubba is pretty big %… his fans aren’t passive) knew to tune in at 6am on 98.7 that first day. And with no major promotional campaign behind him, Bubba’s definitely the underdog. If Bubba has half of Cow’s rating out of the gate, that’s a win for Bubba. If he beats Cow out of the gate, consider this a 4th round knockout. If the number is the same as the Sports/Christmas format, the round goes to Calta.
    This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by Geno.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 1:28 pm #7693 ————————————

    Perno

    So Bubba says he got a 3.1 and Calta got 7.2. That’s pretty close. Also I saw Drew celebrating on Twitter, since you know the ratings would you say his celebration was warranted? Full disclosure: I enjoy both sides but lean towards The Bone.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm #7695 ————————————

    Geno

    According to Bubba’s twitter, Cow has a 7.2 (after inheriting Bubba’s 14). Bubba has a 3.1 (he inherited a .4).

    So who wins Round 4? Man this one’s too close to call. I’ve worked with 98.7 for about 4 years and I don’t ever recall them ever getting at 3.1. Couple things… this is only 3 days of ratings. The ratings in the coming weeks will be more telling because they will be full weeks of Bubba’s show.

    Bubba can say he wins by bringing the 98.7 ratings up 700%. Cowhead can say he wins by doubling Bubba’s ratings. So I’m not going to call a winner in Round 4. It’s too close to call. And it’s way too soon. Momentum is certainly going Bubba’s way though.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 1:37 pm #7696 ————————————

    Geno

    Perno: I haven’t seen the numbers yet. The guy who sent me ratings no longer works with the company. But I think Drew’s show has gotten stronger since the “Drew Garabo Live” rebrand with Seth.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 2:08 pm #7697 ————————————

    steve-9

    Why does anyone even care? Listen to what you like and get over it. The Bone won’t fire Calta no matter what, they get ad revenue and that’s the bottom line….all those saying ‘you’re gonna get fired’ are idiots.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 2:41 pm #7699 ————————————


    Mike donnelly

    I was a listener of Bubba in the morning but he seems to talk about things many of us were no intrested in ie. Nascar, his dirt track, his chicken dip. I do agree he has done much for fallen first responders for that I will applaude him. But for the last 2 weeks all he talks about is Mike Calta and now Drew, if you want to win the “war” start doing better radio, he can blame everyone in the world the fact is he and his show is 90’s shock jock crap. He also maybe one of the worst interviewer I have ever heard, he tells his guest all about himself who he knows and what he has.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm #7701 ————————————


    Geno

    Mike: I would agree that while Bubba was on the Bone, there was way too much auto racing talk. I don’t think there’s been much of that so far. Bubba’s segment with Tucker Carlson I think is a good example of how Bubba’s show has evolved. I really think having direct competition for the first time in a long time will make Bubba step up.

    Steve-9: People care because you’ve got 2 big egos going toe to toe. That rarely happens in the safe corporate radio world anymore. Both hosts have passionate fans. It’s pretty easy to see why people care.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm #7703 ————————————

    technopop

    I listen to one, can’t stand the other. I don’t care to hear anything about the one I don’t like. Neither is going anywhere, no market has one show. Someone’s going to be in 2nd place, but its not like a station is going to say OK, you’re not winning the rating war so we have to let you go.

    This whole war is stupid, uninteresting, and ridiculous. They should both just do their thing and not worry about the other guy.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm #7707 ————————————


    SanDog77

    I loved listening to Bubba tear Garabo apart this morning. What does Bubba ever say that’s not true. Without Bubba bringing Garabo to I.O. he would’ve never been brought onto the Bone. I don’t get it. He’s such a d#ck. I listen to Bubba in the mornings and listen to Drew after til I leave work (I live in San Diego). I’ll stop listening to Drew when Bubba starts whoever he’s putting on this Monday. I never listen to Calta’s show. When Bubba was on the Bone I tried to listen to Calta, but that show is so boring. I was hoping Bubba would have already passed Calta in the ratings, but I know Bubba was only on for 3 days for that period so I guess I’ll have to be patient. It’s going to be awesome when the Bone makes changes on their format/ lineup. It’s only a matter of time.
    .

    January 28, 2015 at 7:34 pm #7714 ————————————

    Stan

    Bubba only on for 3 days during these ratings, guess what so was Mike only live for 3 days during that time. Almost the whole bone line up was off for 2 weeks. And no one can say they did not know Blubba was back, he burned Twitter and other social media alive from Sept to Jan preparing his “Army” for the tune in. And he is probably already peaked. Everyone in Tampa who is going to listen is already doing it. He has nothing to do but loose listeners because of his consists replay of 102.5 shows. People are already getting tired of it and it will Al be over soon. Neither show is leaving, and the fact that Blubba ran MJ out is funny since he is now in the number 1 market. Even if he is in 10th ace there that is a win, and 10tj place ratings in NY would still be more listeners that all of Blubba current listeners in his 10 Markets, and then double that. So yeah MJ actually did win.
    .

    January 29, 2015 at 12:31 am #7730 ————————————


    Rob

    well….today he said him and his new format will destroy 2 Cox stations “bone down 80% and eagle down 50%”….that was his quote

    so where does that leave the format ???

    He’s said its not gonna be talk (no room for two) and trashed classic rock as ”jurassic rock”

    so based on that…..what format do you put on that takes eagle down 50 %

    what they SHOULD be doing is addressing the HUGE HOLE between 98 rock and Eagle…..you could drive a bus through it, what would a station like that look like ?

    something like ?

    http://www.94rock.com

    but to me…..bubba’s statements dont add up….cant figure it…..”not gonna be talk, or the old bone format” …BUT WILL”cut eagle by 50 %, bone by 80%”

    take the old bone format and re-work it, NOT the same tunes over and over…..(much expanded playlist needed) and def NOT the awful lame presentation of the old bone and I think it could be good
    .

    February 2, 2015 at 10:44 am #8068 ————————————

    Geno

    So an anything-goes “Bubba 98.7″ it is. I’m surprised nobody from my company didn’t make me take my post down. I’ll say now I had ZERO inside info. Had I known, I would never have posted that stuff I did on page 5. My theory about Bubba 98.7 being the name of the station was just that. And the “anything goes” format just seemed to fit Bubba’s renegade image. In recent weeks, I thought it was just going to be a straight up rock station.

    This format has been done before, but not in Tampa. It started when iPods and iPhones became the big thing. People liked the idea of weird mixes of songs. Generally these stations have an an initial appeal but when the “this is new and random” novelty wears off, ratings slide. I like it though. We’ll have to see if Bubba can keep it fresh.

    Been listening to the first hour and so far it hasn’t been as random as I hoped it’d be. Sounds like a weird 98 Rock. But it’s only the first hour.
    .

    February 2, 2015 at 9:30 pm #8093 ————————————


    rob

    98 rock clone 75 to 85 % of the time…..with the occasional ”eagle” tune…..or ”bubba ”off format” tune

    somebody on another board said this was a ”to good to be true” format ……..lol, REALLY ? I’m NOT impressed…..doesnt at all add up to what Bubba suggested

    how does this take down eagle 50 %….is sure doesnt,,,,,Cox is laughing on that front

    Bubba show staff tracking dayparts wont last…..this is a huge 60 day experiment. Real talent comes in April 1st
    .

    February 3, 2015 at 1:01 am #8102 ————————————

    Geno

    Agreed on the empty threat to The Eagle. This station definitely has 98 Rock in its crosshairs.

    That said, I listened almost all day today. I’d like more randomness. The station isn’t “safe” by radio standards. No station goes from “Longview” to “Night Moves.” Both songs are on my phone. The songs selected by and large appeal to the random tastes of guys in their 30s and 40s.

    I’m 41 and have had 98 Rock as a preset at times, but never consistently. Bubba 98.7 I would listen to 50/50 with The Bone, depending on what’s happening on The Bone.

    As for this being a temporary format, could be… but they’ve already blown through 3 temporary formats. Granted it was CBS and not Beasley, but they gave that sports station 2-1/2 years to perform. Play 98.7 got the same. I think they’ll tweak the format here and there, but I think this is the no-brainer route to go. I’d prefer live jocks, but talk is costly unless you hire C-list’ers.

    If I had my way, there would be a Bubba replay 4p-8p. Use the Manson/Ned material Noon-4.

    #16180 Reply

    Geno
    Keymaster

    February 7, 2015 at 3:29 pm #8413 ————————————


    TRJ

    Hi Geno,

    Why is it that Cowhead is bragging about 18-34. I realize that he said Bubba had an 0.0 in that demo, however the other time slots in that demo on 98.7 had 0.5,0.8,1.8. This leads me to believe the 0.0 is somehow not accurate. The target demo is men 25/54 correct? It seems to me like the bone and Calta are trying to spin the 18/34 in preparation for loosing M25/54. It seems pretty impressive that with half the signal that Bubba has close the 25/54 gap this quickly. Your unbiased opinion would be appreciated.

    TRJ
    .

    February 8, 2015 at 5:16 pm #8452 ————————————


    Geno

    TRJ: Just like politics, it’s probably spin control. If he’s focusing on 18-34, that sounds desperate to me. 18-34 is the audience the FLZ Justin Bieber stations target. If Calta wants to target teens and 20 somethings, I’m sure Bubba will have no issue with that. The $$$ is in adults 25-54.

    I finally saw the specific numbers this weekend. As I always say (new readers join this thread often), I can’t quote specific numbers legally. But Bubba is killing it. In week 1 (only on the air 3 of those 7 days), he had better numbers on 98.7 than the 2 previous formats ever had over the past 4 years. And this week was even more impressive.

    Not all bad news for The Bone though. Drew Garabo has plenty of reason to celebrate this week. As I’ve said before, since the reboot by adding Seth and rebranding the show “Drew Garabo Live,” the show really has broadened its appeal. There’s more depth to show topics. I love the music on Bubba 98.7, but I usually listen when Drew goes to break on my drive in to work weeknights.
    .

    February 9, 2015 at 4:18 pm #8504 ————————————


    TRJ

    Geno,
    Bubba made mention of Drew’s numbers blowing up the last few weeks. Even went as far as to say Drew had the highest numbers in the history of afternoons on the bone. If Bubba is pulling the numbers he suggest it is more impressive than I would have expected. He has half the power to broadcast and from what I can tell hell almost half of that goes into the ocean. I am now leaning toward the Cox trying to save money theory. I know all talk is very expensive to operate. Thanks for making this site for us to extend our thoughts.

    TRJ
    .

    February 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm #8560 ————————————


    Geno

    The fight may end in the early rounds. The 2nd week of Bubba’s ratings came out today. I’m in absolute awe. I’ve never seen anything like the growth of one station like this so quickly.

    .

    February 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm #8562 ————————————


    Geno

    Haha, this is what I get for congratulating Bubba. Can’t win. lol

    From Bubba:

    From Cowhead:

    You are blocked from following @MrMikeCalta and viewing @MrMikeCalta’s Tweets.

    .

    February 10, 2015 at 8:02 pm #8579 ————————————


    ed steward

    Thanks Geno for calling it down the middle.I don’t normally listen to music on the radio but 98.7 is the best thing going. I hope they add some more live talent, in the future. I can’t wait for a month of ratings to come back . I think Cox radio underestimated BTLS and his following. Bubba is way more than just Tampa, people from all over the US and even Canada, listen to his show.I am surprised Calta blocked you. He blocked me for questioning his taste in music. Bon Jovi and Winger over Iron Maiden. Thanks again for keeping us informed.
    .

    February 11, 2015 at 11:44 am #8617 ————————————

    Geno

    Sure thing Ed. Don’t worry. I’m always honest. There’s no reason for me not to be. Although Bubba and I work for the same company, I can have an opinion. If that’s not how you “man up” I don’t know what is. I listened to both shows when I got to Tampa. How that’s riding a fence, I don’t know. They both had appeal… which is why both were #1 in their respective time slots.

    Since the two have gone head to head, I really haven’t listened much to Cow. But I didn’t listen much to Cow when he went to mornings in the first place. I’m not a morning guy. I am up late and wake up around the time the shows are wrapping up. I enjoyed Cow’s afternoon show. I’m starting to really dig Drew’s revamped afternoon show.

    When I do want to hear music, 98.7 is no doubt my top choice. I love what they’re doing.

    Cox no doubt underestimated Bubba’s impact. Hell even I did. If you would have told me that he’d be #2 within a month I’d have laughed. I worked for this cluster during two formats and neither moved the needle. That frequency seemed doomed. So to see Bubba take it so far so fast is nothing short of incredible. I thought Bubba would get to this point, but not until at least summer or fall at best. In my 20+ years in radio, I’ve never seen an ascent like this. It’s stunning. If he takes #1 next week, the war is over.
    .

    February 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm #8620 ————————————


    Matt

    I agree if he is #1 there is no reason to continue the war, although Bubba is motivated. I certainly liked both shows when they were on the bone, When Mike Calta moved to mornings it didn’t appeal to me as it feels like an afternoon type of show. He has not changed the format in the morning, and nor should he but some minor tweaks he should have made.

    Also Cox did under estimate as Bubba really does appeal to the blue collar workers, and I know Mike Calta doesn’t talk 100% of the time about cars and money he does name drop a lot and talk about living the good life and that doesn’t always resonate with the average listener.

    I prefer Bubba’s show even though sometimes he does beat a dead horse on some topics but it is still entertaining and adding Tuddle back certainly will add more to the show as well as when he was with Bubba it was really a good show.

    I don’t think Mike Calta will be fired or moved back to drive time but they certainly are going to have to start thinking differently and not with gimmicks to maintain that #1 spot in the mornings.
    .

    February 11, 2015 at 12:38 pm #8623 ————————————

    Geno

    In agreement on all points Matt. Radio suits are always looking to cut corners and pinch pennies. It’s not different than any other corporate environment. But The Bone really had a dream team lineup top to bottom. Invest in that. If they weren’t making money, change your sales team not your talent. Talent was doing their job. But to blow up the lineup they had to save a few dollars was a poor decision.

    I think Cox anticipated losing some of their audience. But had they known then that half of their listenership would go away (and maybe more in the coming weeks/months), you’ve gotta wonder if they would have done things differently. As I said way back when, maybe Bubba wanted too much money. I don’t know the figures. But props to my company for stepping up and beating out Clear Channel to acquire Bubba. CC is the Microsoft of our industry. Beasley is a small mom and pop in comparison.
    .

    February 13, 2015 at 7:05 pm #8714 ————————————

    Rob

    Kinda knew the ”war” wouldnt be much of one….because Bubba would blow out Cow so fast……

    Kinda interested in what they Can do with the signal. bubba mentioned a tower change and ”12 more miles” nothing on that front so far…. ?? hear anything on that Geno ?

    Musically the diversity is cool….a bit heavy on some of the 98 rock stuff sometimes……Im hit and miss on some of that (44 YO M)

    hard to get upset with the diversity
    .

    February 15, 2015 at 12:43 pm #8782 ————————————

    Geno

    War’s not over yet Rob. Even if Bubba takes #1 this week, being #2 or #3 can still make a company $$$. The war will end when one host gets moved or dropped. Cox doesn’t really have another talent who can produce the #s Cow does. So I can’t see them giving up even if the two are neck and neck in the ratings. But if Bubba does take #1, that’s an amazing accomplishment given all his obstacles. As for who’s winning the war… it’s definitely Bubba right now. Calta may have the #1 spot, but I doubt he or anyone at Cox thought Bubba would get this much traction this quickly.

    As for the signal, I really don’t have any info other that what you’ve heard Bubba say on the air. I think it’ll help, but already you can tell his fans are finding the show. Signal strength over the next few years is going to become less of a factor as the digital transition happens. Almost every car off the line these days has bluetooth capability. Eventually all will have some form of internet access too that will make old fashioned transmitter radio obsolete. That levels the playing field not only for talent on smaller signals, but anyone with a home studio. Instead of being stuck with 10 choices, you’ll have thousands in your car.
    .

    February 15, 2015 at 2:39 pm #8784 ————————————


    TRJ

    Geno,

    Speaking of digital. I’ve been watching the trends on tunein the last couple of weeks. Bubba987 ranks consistently in the top 10 6am to 10pm. Is this significant to a Beasley or Cox?

    TRJ
    .

    February 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm #8786 ————————————

    Geno

    TRJ: Absolutely. Online advertising is, in my opinion, far more effective and it’s the future. Businesses who advertise online know exactly how many heard the ad, where it was heard and can measure click throughs to their web site.

    No matter which host you listen to, supporting their online advertisers with a click helps a lot. Ratings are one thing, but advertising radio’s backbone.
    .

    February 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm #8790 ————————————


    Ben

    Ive listened to both shows but bubba started to get repetitive and Calta keeps his stuff mostly fresh. I think it was a good move on both parts and while I would love to see Calta (and the bone) stay for a long time. hopefully the ratings don’t tank too hard.
    .

    February 16, 2015 at 12:17 am #8799 ————————————


    TRJ

    I think it’s safe to say Calta will retain the bulk of his afternoon drive audience. Calta should remain 2nd or 3rd with ease. Cox will be happy with that. Cox was willing to take the risk and odds are they are saving a significant amount of money. I listened to Calta in pm as he was all we had in talk. I have always been irritated by the ahh deal that he does. His delivery really got on my nerves some days more than others. Calta has a for lack of a better word cookie cutter show. It’s about the same as most am shows. I like Bubba’s show better just because you never know what may happen. Of course we all have opinions and that’s mine. Thanks again Geno for this forum to give our thoughts and opinions in long form. Also thanks too everyone that has contributed and kept it classy.
    TRJ
    .

    February 18, 2015 at 1:29 am #8863 ————————————

    Geno

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. They had the dream team TRJ. $ is the only possible explanation. (But politics certainly played a part too.) Today will be a big day. If Bubba takes #1 today, I’ll be blown away. I don’t even think Bubba slipping a bit this week would be a loss, like say he goes to #3 or 4. I am still in shock he got to #2 in 2-1/2 weeks. It just doesn’t happen that quickly.
    .

    February 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm #8885 ————————————


    TRJ

    I was hoping for Bubba’s sake he would hit #1 this week. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. Will it happen? I would say so? The main problem if I understand correctly is signal strength. I assume that has something to do with the high rankings on tunein. I hear some say they get him on the wolf or krock since leaving the bone and loosing 102.5 signal strength.

    I’m not sure Bubba can pull any numbers from Calta. I believe Calta has lost all he is going to lose for the most part. Although it does seem that Bubba has gained quicker on Calta than he did MJ. It’s going to be very interesting the next month or so.

    TRJ
    .

    February 18, 2015 at 8:56 pm #8886 ————————————


    TRJ

    If Bubba can get to #2 and stay there with the signal he has it will be a big win for Beasley and Bubba. Calta has to be irritated that Bubba has climbed so quickly. Especially after claiming Bubba was washed up and a hack.

    I also see people saying Beasley put him on there weakest station because they had no faith he would do good. The fact is that the other stations Beasley traded for do very well. I believe they put Bubba at 98.7 because they knew he would be able to turn it around. Just my 20 cents.

    TRJ
    .

    February 22, 2015 at 11:52 am #8987 ————————————

    Geno

    Although I work for Beasley, I certainly don’t speak for them on this… but Beasley wouldn’t drop a boatload of cash like they did and try to set up Bubba to fail. That theory keeps going around but makes zero sense. The other stations we have are performing well. 98.7 was the easy choice. Bubba wanted an entire station. 98.7 was bleeding. The company is investing to improve the signal. And as I’ve said before, Bubba’s audience is far more passionate than a typical radio listener. They’ll put up with static or just listen online. The ratings these past few weeks prove that. Nobody goes from 20th to 2nd. It’s unheard of. So while Bubba didn’t take #1 this week, for either side to claim victory is premature. And I agree too with TRJ that Cow has already lost 1/2 the audience… the other 1/2 hasn’t gone away since Bubba came back. Instead, it seems Bubba’s taken audience from those who left The Bone when Bubba left.
    .

    March 4, 2015 at 7:12 am #9372 ————————————


    TRJ

    Hey Geno,

    What your take Bubba and Cowhead as of now. Do you think Bubba will catch Cowhead. I see Bubba tweeting that Cowhead has dropped again in A26/54. As always not asking for any numbers. I’m just curious if the trend is favoring Bubba or Cowhead?

    P.S congrats on your recent ratings boost

    Thanks,
    Lynn
    .

    March 4, 2015 at 10:51 am #9385 ————————————


    Geno

    Hey Lynn: not much change over the past few weeks so I’ve not posted as much. I think both have leveled off. With ratings now week to week, fluctuations will happen. Back when radio ratings came out 4 times a year, stations usually didn’t even focus on one quarter… they’d take a 2 or 3 book average… meaning the average of all the ratings over the past 6 to 9 months.

    Doesn’t look like Bubba’s going to overtake #1 with his current obstacles. Cow’s lead isn’t huge, but he’s still #1. Neither side really can claim victory but both are spinning it that way … with valid points. For Cowhead, he can still say he’s #1. He can say he’s been #1 in both timeslots uninterrupted. For Bubba, taking a station like 98.7 to #2 in 2-1/2 weeks is nothing short of incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 20+ years. The trend % wise is obviously in Bubba’s favor. Cow lost half his audience. Bubba brought his station up what 600%? But you have to take into account Cow’s lead in was Bubba. Bubba’s lead in was a failed sports station with ratings lower than some non-commercial stations out of New Port Richey. lol

    But anyway, yeah nothing much has changed over the past few weeks to make me think either has won the war or gained any significant ground. The changes to 98.7’s signal could have an impact so I think that’ll be the next chance we’ll see for any movement.

    And thanks for the congrats. Just gettin’ started. Only a month in, but tripling the # you inherited is a good start. No #23 to #2 scenario for sure, but when you only get to talk :12 seconds at a time, takes a little while to make things happen. So I’m happy with it. Never really planned to do radio full time again. For the past 5 years it’s just been a hobby. But we’ll see how it goes.
    .

    March 4, 2015 at 8:17 pm #9416 ————————————


    TRJ

    Hey Geno,

    Thinks for the response. So moving the tower should help reach the Tampa area better? Will that allow more PPM to pick up 98.7 and help ratings?

    Thanks,

    William
    .

    March 6, 2015 at 6:30 pm #9528 ————————————

    Keith

    I listened to Bubba back in the 90’s in Jacksonville when I was in the Navy. I left the area and finally found him again when I moved to Tampa in 2010. The show was good and entertaining for a bit. Then Sice and Brent left. I quickly became tired of the Ned bit and his character in general. The show became stale and lacked content. It seemed, to me atleast it was always Bubba trying to throw mud at some new city he was coming into. That’s not entertaining to me. It seemed as though he was grabbing at straws to stay relevant.

    I listened to Mike Calts in the afternoons and I can honestly say that I didn’t listen to Bubba the last 2 months that he was on The Bone. I love Calta in the mornings and love how well rounded the show is. They have great guests and don’t rely on characters and parodies to fill time. Just my opinion.
    .

    March 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm #9698 ————————————

    Geno

    TRJ: It just means more people can pick your signal up so naturally there’s going to be a ratings benefit. 98.7 has had this obstacle for years. It’s like Burger King vs McDonalds. You’re in luck if you want a Big Mac. But if you want a Whopper, you’ve got to seek it out.
    .

    March 16, 2015 at 11:24 am #10158 ————————————


    TRJ

    Hey Gino,

    I’m sure you saw Bubba’s tweet Sunday. He was saying that he beat Calta 2 weeks straight starting next Tuesday. Is there something they receive from Arbitron or whomever that would back that up. Is Bubba just poking at Calta? I know Bubba isn’t far off in M25/54 jus wondering if you can shed light on this. If you can’t say anything else can we get at least get a yes or no wether there is some report that’s they receive that would show two weeks ahead?

    Thanks,
    Malcolm
    .

    March 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm #10243 ————————————


    Geno

    I’m guessing he’s referring to “meter counts.” I’m not even sure myself how it works exactly but from what I gather, stations get an estimate and a sign of things to come right away. Ratings are a few weeks behind.
    .

    March 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm #10717 ————————————


    Geno

    You guys know the deal by now. I can’t quote ratings, but wow. Just wow.

    This is a dead heat. And given all of Bubba’s obstacles, from billboards & cash giveaways to the poor signal… for it to be a tie this fast? The fight is almost over. All indications seem like the knockout punch may come in one week.

    Hats off to The Sponge. I’m blown away.
    .

    March 26, 2015 at 9:53 pm #10834 ————————————

    TRJ

    As a fan of Bubba I had hoped it would happen quickly. Truthfully I felt it would take at the very least 6 months. It really is an unbelievable feat with the obstacles as you mentioned. I can only assume Beasley is equally impressed with the station being what it had been in the past.

    Chris
    .

    March 31, 2015 at 12:31 pm #11040 ————————————

    Geno

    I’ve been using the boxing rounds analogy for most of this thread since I started it after Bubba was let go from The Bone, so I’ll keep it going.

    After 8 rounds, the referee has stopped the fight.

    Congratulations BTLS, Manson, 25… I’ve been in radio for over 20 years and have never seen something like this.
    .

    April 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm #11093 ————————————


    Perno

    Wow, speaking as a Cowhead fan I can’t believe Bubba caught up and overtook Calta already. I hear Drew may be moving back to afternoons, which I’d like just for personal reasons, but who knows if that’s true.

    We’ll see how this pans out in the coming weeks once Cox cash starts going dry, but congrats to Bubba. I know both of those guys are reading this page of yours Geno.
    .

    April 2, 2015 at 1:57 pm #11118 ————————————

    Geno

    Perno: I would hate to see Drew leave afternoons now. His show has really come into its own since the rebrand. Drew Garabo Live is a really well-rounded show. The cast is in sync. They’re funny. They exploit the mannerisms of each other well. Drew is still confrontational when he needs to be, but it’s not his whole show anymore. That evolution was what the show needed. When they moved him to afternoons with no support, it was a drastic change for those who were used to the huge Cowhead cast. I’m glad The Bone stepped up and gave Drew some players to bounce material off of. My drive to the studio is usually between 5:30 and 6:30 and I probably spend 80% of my time listening to DGL and the other 20% to Bubba 98.7.

    That said, when I listened to Cowhead regularly, it was when he was doing afternoons. I am on the air until midnight so I catch the Bubba replay on my way home. Since his move to mornings, I really haven’t heard Mike Calta’s show. If it was Cowhead vs Bubba 98.7 music, I’d probably listen to Cow. If it was a Bubba replay vs. Cowhead live, I’d be a flipper.

    I don’t know if either of them have read this thread. I think Bubba has. He referenced it early on, but I’m pretty sure Calta hasn’t. Only reason I say that is you can scour this thread from page 1 and you won’t see me bashing Cow. I liked his show when I could listen. Yet the guy blocked me on Twitter … I’m assuming because I congratulated Bubba. Whatever. It didn’t ruin my day. I met Cow briefly once at a WWE show when we were in the same section. We have mutual friends. But I don’t know the guy.

    Cow went on to downplay my take saying I’m a Beasley part-timer. I’m part-time (not really, I’m on 5 days a week) by choice. And I think I’ve been pretty blunt and honest since the thread started… sure Bubba and I have the same employer. But that doesn’t sway my opinion either way. I do radio for fun now. Doing mornings killed my love for radio 10 years ago. I transitioned to working in digital media management, but when WQYK asked me to do some part-time work, I started to enjoy it again. When I was put on the night show this year, I only did it because my real job only takes a couple hours of my day. Local music radio stations have a finite future with the internet’s presence in cars increasing. And it’s not a long one. So I’m doing this for fun as long as they’ll have me. But I’ve been in the business since 1990. I think my opinions and takes are pretty well educated ones.

    I think it’s our nature to root for the underdog. And even given Bubba’s long history in Tampa, you can’t downplay the obstacles he’s had in this fight. I thought he might catch up to Cowhead, but not this quickly. I watched 2 formats on 98.7 fail miserably with some really talented people just executing a bad playbook. But neither of them in 4 years came remotely close to what Bubba did in 2 months.
    .

    April 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm #11613 ————————————

    DD

    Geno-
    I’ve really enjoyed following this story and getting your take on things, so thanks! I’m curious how you see this playing out from here. No doubt Bubba has traction at the Bone’s expense but do you think we’re seeing it flatten out or will the momentum continue? And if it continues, how does the Bone react? It seems like they’ve thrown their entire arsenal at this early on so I’m curious what kind of dry powder they might have. Thoughts?
    -DD
    .

    April 23, 2015 at 1:23 am #11894 ————————————


    Geno

    The momentum is clearly in Bubba’s favor. It’s impossible to predict, but given the upward direction Bubba’s been in and the downward/flat decline Cowhead’s been in, the war is over.

    I heard a little of the exchange with Bubba and Cow today. For Cow to spin this whole thing by saying he’s won “13 of 15 weeks” is hilarious.
    .

    April 25, 2015 at 8:54 pm #12036 ————————————

    TRJ

    Geno,

    The call was fairly uneventful until Cowhead started with the accusations. This is normally and indication of losing your emotions and not thinking. It would have been nice to hear the debate concerning the two shows. Geno you know radio and you know how expensive all talk is. Would you or would you not agree that the bone is in has to be concerned. This station was #1 across the board for a very long time. Now they have no #1 show in any slot. Shannon is dropping like a brick in mid days. Drew is struggling some also. I don’t believe this is sustainable long term. Please give me your feelings on this subject.
    Thanks
    Blevins
    .

    April 25, 2015 at 11:15 pm #12040 ————————————


    Geno

    TRJ: I heard Bubba say that, but I don’t things are that drastic. Ratings are important, but revenue is king. And I’d imagine they are still doing well. I did a rant on this earlier in this thread, but this format (guy talk) has longevity. Music formats do not. They aren’t unique. (Well you could argue Bubba’s station is unique given how random the playlist is, but regardless, you can replicate it with an iPod if you’re ambitious.) Talk stations with unique compelling personalities will survive the transition to digital the business will be doing through over the next 10 years. Right now it’s The Bone vs Bubba 98.7. With the digital transition, those 2 will be competing against thousands of other stations when the internet is in cars. Cox blundered already by disrupting their dream team lineup. Now they just need to stick to their guns and move forward. Drew’s show is a good example. They rebooted the show and it sounds great. I’m never up early enough to hear Calta. But it’s not like his numbers are so low that the show can’t be profitable. Just like Bubba’s fans, Calta’s are hardcore. They’ll support his advertisers.
    .

    April 30, 2015 at 12:21 am #12210 ————————————


    SSGGreen

    I just have to add my thanks. I am from Az and have no knowledge of any thing in radio or Florida. I stumbled on to this blog a few months ago and have been addicted to it. My wife thinks I am crazy for checking back every few days to see if there are any new updates. I am sad to see that the “war” is almost over. I love the great information and the bipartisanship that you have shown. I wish more news outlets had your talents.

    Thank you for the entertainment.
    .

    May 6, 2015 at 11:38 am #12475 ————————————


    Geno

    SSGGreen: Thanks! Your wife is right by the way. 🙂

    I haven’t posted much lately because it’s kind of a lull right now with the 2 of them trading places, but as I’ve said a bunch of times for BTLS to be even competing, let alone overtaking the ratings lead, is crazy when you look at the history of that station. Play 98.7 and 98.7 The Fan barely made a dent. Neither ever were a threat to stations they competed against. FLZ was unphased by Play 98.7 and Hot 101.5 destroyed them out of the gate. The Fan had some slight momentum in their last year on the air but they never beat WDAE. And even WDAE’s ratings are nothing spectacular. So for 98.7 to be in contention when you’re taking on a ratings giant like The Bone had been for the past few years… that’s incredible.

    That said, it seems like things might have leveled off. Neither is destroying the other. I think the next thing to look out for is when the transmitter changes are made to 98.7 to see if that moves the needle much. Otherwise it looks like they’ll be neck and neck for a while, which only benefits listeners because they’ll constantly have to be on top of their game.
    .

    June 25, 2015 at 12:57 am #14445 ————————————

    Geno

    Partially true. Other reasons I haven’t written… nobody’s really posted to the thread in a while and I pretty much thought I exhausted all my opinions on the war.

    But as I drove home tonight listening to the Bubba replay, Bubba’s choice for the pre-Safety Dance song made a lot of sense… “We Are The Champions” was cued up to the first verse:

    I’ve paid my dues
    Time after time.
    I’ve done my sentence
    But committed no crime.
    And bad mistakes ‒
    I’ve made a few.
    I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
    But I’ve come through.

    It made me realize why I subconsciously have been pulling for Bubba to win this radio war. It has nothing to do with the fact we work for the same company. I don’t hate Cowhead. It comes down to this… Bubba represents a lot of us in radio who’ve put up with so much BS in the industry over the past couple decades since the business turned into a safe, boring, corporate puddle of mediocrity.

    Tonight I did a five hour “show.” I talked for :12 about 5 times each hour. So out of the 300 minutes I was on the air, you heard me for about 5 of them. I’ve taken to Periscope to keep myself engaged with my audience. In between those :12 plugs and song introductions, I can do a real show.

    Real personality radio has disappeared. Bubba’s show represents radio’s last hope. Radio earned its place in our lives because it connected on a personal level. When radio stopped doing that, much of the audience left. The reason Bubba’s insane underdog ratings success has excited a lot of us is because it shows what radio can still be. It proves that content is king. People have plenty of technology options to hear music. But unique content like Bubba’s shows the only way radio can stay relevant.
    .

    June 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm #14628 ————————————

    Geno

    I don’t get to see the ratings firsthand anymore (our old boss used to email them to us) but if the numbers I just read about online are true, this war is over. Unreal. I’ve never seen a drastic turnaround like this in my career.
    .

    July 7, 2015 at 11:41 am #14888 ————————————


    Geoff

    Bubba said a while back that Cox’s plan B was to move Calta back to afternoons. Do you think they would still do that? Bubba said that Drew has the highest ratings on the station.
    .

    July 14, 2015 at 8:21 pm #15176 ————————————

    TRJ

    Hey Geno,

    Bubbas ratings took a beating this week.

    Men
    B 5.8
    C 8.0
    Adults
    B 3.6
    C 6.0

    How does this happe? How can you be ahead by so much then fall so much in one ratings period?
    If possible please give some insight.

    Thanks,
    TRJ
    .

    July 16, 2015 at 1:31 pm #15218 ————————————

    Geno

    Geoff: I doubt they’ll make any changes. They’ve invested too much into Calta as a morning guy. But I do think Drew’s show has evolved really well. I miss listening to DGL on the way in to work now that they cut his show off at 6.

    TRJ: The short answer is the ratings system in radio is mathematically a joke. Let’s say a city has 100,000 people in it. They can’t ask each and every 100,000 to be a part of the survey. The sample size is so incredibly small you’d laugh. I don’t know what the ratio is these days but back when I was doing my morning show in California, the number was something like 1 person could determine the ratings for thousands of people. So you can get crazy swings like this. In radio, most advertisers measure a station’s success over its past year of performance. The ratings system is flawed (both when Bubba wins and loses). Eventually the system that’s in place now will become outdated. Once most are listening online instead of over the air, stations will know instantly how many are listening at any moment. With a radio signal, we can only guess how many are listening. When you’re sending your signal to someone via the internet, you know how many are listening, where they’re listening, exactly how long they listened, when they tuned out, etc. It’ll put the traditional ratings services out of business.
    .

    July 22, 2015 at 6:52 pm #15447 ————————————


    Marie

    Geno, bubba was talking about an Arbitron audit, and then they adjusted the ratings. That’s when he fell from 1st to 26th? I only catch him the 20 minutes I drive to work, and never heard the whole story. He was quite frustrated saying he may retire. Can you explain what happened to his ratings??
    .

    July 30, 2015 at 1:08 pm #15744 ————————————

    Geno

    Marie: I don’t have any inside info on this but I heard Bubba mention that too. The drastic change seems suspect to me. Goes back to my point earlier about how small the sample size is.

    #16208 Reply

    Barry D

    Anyone else surprised that Bubba was willing to bring Shannon back to the show?

    #16441 Reply

    Geno

    Barry: Definitely. Even more surprised Shannon was as unwilling to try to get back on Bubba’s good side.

    Haven’t had a chance to catch either show much lately but the Bubba shows I’ve heard have been strong. Still blows me away WBRN is pulling the numbers off given all its obstacles. The industry really needs to learn from this. People are tired of stale radio. Take a chance. Get a little wild. Don’t be so quick to cave in to 2 or 3 listener complaints. Ever since the Janet Jackson incident 10 years ago, nobody in radio wants to shake things up. 98.7 had three ‘safe’ formats. Every one of them failed. Jazz failed. Pop failed. Sports failed. Then Bubba comes in and in 6 months comes from the bottom of the barrel and hits #1.

    #25082 Reply

    Geno
    Keymaster

    Haven’t looked at this thread in a good long time. I notice it still gets lots of web traffic. With all that’s gone on over the past year, both shows are doing well. They’ve traded the lead a few times, there have been lawsuits, and the Twitter wars continue.

    I haven’t chimed in because I really haven’t heard either show much this year. Since signing on with WQYK to do the night show full-time, I’m never really up in the morning anymore. And I live in Clearwater now so the drive home is short so I don’t catch Bubba’s replay at midnight like I did when I lived in Brandon.

    When this thread started 2 years ago, I knew a radio war would be juicy and fun to watch – but man, never could have predicted all that has gone on. Crazy.

    #28461 Reply

    Bran

    It is now June 2017. The war is over with a very clear winner, Mike Calta. After the Neilson scandal and being humiliatingly reduced to an AM station (which he has to pay to be on) Blubber the Retard is the massive pathetic loser.

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