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Lawsuit: 'Bubba the Love Sponge' alleges anti-competitive actions from radio group led to his firing

Posted at 8:36 AM, Mar 14, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A long-simmering feud between a pair of Tampa Bay radio personalities is headed to court.

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of Bubba Clem — better known as "Bubba the Love Sponge" — in Pinellas County. Clem is seeking unspecified damages from his former employer, Cox Media Group, and two of his former employees, Mike "Cowhead" Calta and Matthew "Spice Boy" Lloyd.

Calta is the current morning show host on Cox station WHPT and a former coworker of Clem's. Lloyd, is a former Cox employee and a former member of Clem’s crew.

The complaint alleges Cox engineered a scheme to that led to Clem’s termination from Beasley Media Group, a competing radio group.

“As our complaint alleges, Cox Media has engaged in improper, anti-competitive acts that no major media company should ever employ,” said Clem’s attorney Jeffrey E. Nusinov in a statement. “Cox Media set out to destroy Bubba Clem — not through honest competition, but through dishonest and illegal means.”

Clem’s show is currently broadcast on WHBO 1040 AM in Pinellas Park, Florida. Last year the former top-rated shock jock in Tampa Bay reached a settlement with consumer research company Nielsen over a ‘ratings tampering,’ lawsuit.

The terms of the settlement between Clem and Nielsen were not disclosed.

In Wednesday’s filing, Clem’s lawyers claim Calta and Lloyd played a major role in leaking footage of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan having sex with Clem’s wife to Gawker.

Gawker and Hogan settled their lawsuit in November 2016.

Hulk Hogan is also suing Calta, Lloyd and Cox Media group over the leak in Pinellas County.

Calta had no comment when asked about the lawsuit.