MJ Kelli returns to morning show
June 1, 2000 - St. Petersburg Times
MJ Kelli, the ringleader of WFLZ-FM 93.3's popular MJ & BJ Morning Show, solved his differences with the station's owner and returned to the air Wednesday morning.
Kelli packed up his office last week after Bubba the Love Sponge Clem of rival station WXTB-FM 97.9 (98 Rock) revealed on the air that a 500-pound Tampa man who the MJ & BJ Morning Show was helping to get weight reduction surgery had an arrest for a sexual offense in his past.
According to Kelli, Clem violated an unwritten policy at Clear Channel Communications (the owner of WFLZ, WXTB and six other Tampa radio stations) not to bash sister stations.
"I walked away and silenced this show because it was a personal issue," Kelli told his listeners Wednesday. "When you have personal convictions and believe in something so strongly, you have to do whatever it takes to get your point across. I wasn't coming back until there were some serious ramifications, some serious remedies and some serious stipulations for the future."
Kelli said he agreed to return to the show after negotiations with Clear Channel yielded management assurances that this kind of attack won't happen again.
"Bubba wasn't trying to help us by exposing this. Bubba was trying to do one thing: undermine, torpedo, destroy and blow up our good deed and try to give us a black eye. That's all this guy was trying to do and if he says otherwise he's just lying," Kelli told his listeners.
Clem said in an interview that he was merely doing a good deed by exposing the man's past and is frustrated that it has been turned into a personal attack on him.
Why did he expose the man on the air, why couldn't he have gone through station management, off the air? Because, Clem said, he does everything on the air.
"I never once spoke a bad word about MJ and BJ. I said they are No. 1 for a reason, and I don't want to see them get embarrassed by a person who may have a questionable past," Clem said.
"I'm fed up with this situation. I will be a gentleman to the day I walk out of this place without any personal attacks on anybody. It's a joke that MJ can spin this into an anti-Bubba attack."
Kelli has no plans to confront Clem about the "broadcast sabotage." The two radio personalities have been at odds since Kelli started working for WFLZ six years ago.
"We're supposed to fight against competing radio companies," Kelli said. "I'll fight against Cox radio and CBS radio, but this was a calculated attempt to mow down our own troops with friendly fire."