Inside Bubba's New Net Radio Empire
Today, Streaming Terrestrial ... Tomorrow Uncensored
January 5, 2011 at 4:25 AM (PT)
IO WORLD MEDIA is launching Internet radio website RADIOIO LIVE by programming The BUBBA THE LOVE SPONGE Show® live from 6-10a MONDAY through FRIDAY with current re-broadcasts of the show at NOON and 7 ET. Throughout the rest of the day and night, the "Best of the BUBBA Radio Network" (BRN) programming will be available and streamed live.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. BUBBA tells ALL ACCESS that starting JANUARY 10th, a live, uncensored version of his show will follow the terrestrial morning simulcast in middays; six other channels will also debut -- music channels overseen by his cast members. On MARCH 1st, he plans on launching an all-access pay channel, BUBBA 2. The free channel will contain what BUBBA describes as a "small amount" of commercials.
Iâ€™ve always been own boss ... with my own support staff and my own sales team ... which made us the red-headed stepchild in the family. I'm not whining about Howard or the opportunity Sirius gave me. it's just that now I control my own destiny
Obviously, all this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment plan concocted by BUBBA just one day after his relationship with SIRIUS ended. "I’ve been working on this for about two years, so I was ready to pull the trigger with RADIOIO a while ago, but the SIRIUS deal prohibited me from doing Internet programming," he said. "So I was able to build an infrastructure to be ready for this day."
In fact, BUBBA claims he first met with RADIOIO executives "two or three days after CLEAR CHANNEL fired me. I met with its founder, MIKE ROE, in NAPLES, FL, so it was an option for me, but Net radio back then was more of a pipe dream than a reality, so I struck a deal with SIRIUS and HOWARD in 2004."
He also notes that he talked to a variety of Net radio representatives, including one who repped parties, including PANDORA, but as fate would have it, his agent, TOM BEAN, became CEO of IO WORLD MEDIA, parent company if RADIOIO.COM.
Wrestlin’ With New Content
The content of the shows will be pretty much what BUBBA has been doing for SIRIUS. "We'll get to some wrestling stuff from time to time, such as when HULK HOGAN calls in. If it makes sense for the show, we’ll go there."
While at SIRIUS, BUBBA was part of the TNA pro wrestling brand; he got into a real-life tiff with female wrestler AWESOME KONG, which led to his dismissal from the company. Yet he wouldn't mind diving back into that pool, either. "I'd absolutely consider any of those options," he said. "I had good time at TNA; there was a misunderstanding in what I did and how abrasive I can be. Unlike a lot of people, I got real live heat. Fans hated me for real; I don't know if that necessarily happens that often in wrestling. But I talked to the forefathers [TNA execs] after 10 months of being away, and we talked about some situations. In fact I talked to both [wrestling] situations. AWESOME KONG has signed with VINCE [MCMAHON and the WWE]. It would make for a great program to do something with her; I'm not ruling any of that out."
BUBBA notes that while his show will obviously be marketed online, he also plans on putting billboards up in some of the markets where his old terrestrial show once ruled. "We're looking into putting billboards up in markets such a HARTFORD, then grow from there."
Although he fueled his notoriety in the early days by staging outrageous stunts and promotions -- some of which earned FCC fines and his eventual dismissal from CLEAR CHANNEL -- BUBBA believes such stunts, even on his uncensored show, may not be necessary "Within the radio world, fans recognize us as an upper-echelon show with a built-in audience. I don’t necessarily plan on doing anything outlandish, although we may fall into something like that. When you have two different shows, you can re-purpose things to generate more listenership. But I don't think we'll ever do something outlandish with a mindset of just getting a ton of media interest. We've been doing a lot of good things lately, such as donating $157,000 to widows of slain police officers through our new foundation. That's getting us positive press as well."
Finally, BUBBA offered some final thoughts about his tenure at SIRIUS. "I have no hard feelings with regard to HOWARD and his immediate family at SIRIUS," he said. "They were great and I’m sad I won't be there; I am upset with some of the upper management, who I felt somewhat penalized us, over our five-year tenure, for working in FLORIDA and not MANHATTAN. But I’ve always been my own boss; I have my own facility here with my own support staff and my own sales team, which to some people over there, made us the red-headed stepchild in the SIRIUS family. I want to emphasize, though, that I'm not whining about HOWARD or the opportunity SIRIUS gave me. it's just that now I control my own destiny, where I get the majority of profits. I've joined a very exciting team with a lot of potential."