Nielsen vs. Bubba the Love Sponge Clem

Ratings service amplifies October lawsuit.

TBT_12_11In South Florida, the alleged ratings scandal enveloping radio morning show host Bubba the Love Sponge Clem (a.k.a. Todd Clem) remains big news. Clem now stands accused of colluding with multiple individuals equipped with Nielsen monitoring devices to artificially boost the ratings of his WBRN-FM program.

From today’s report by Thad Moore:

The latest allegations suggest that it wasn’t a one-off mistake. Nielsen now says Clem asked five people – four in the Tampa Bay area and one in South Carolina – to help him boost his numbers as early as last year. In the initial case, he’s accused of offering weekly cash payments and performance bonuses.

Clem hasn’t yet filed a response to Nielsen’s allegations, and on his show Tuesday, he said he couldn’t address them publicly.

Clem’s attorney Todd Foster told Moore a motion will be filed later this month to dismiss the Nielsen lawsuit. Meanwhile, on Tuesday’s program, Clem suggested much was still left to be told. But certainly, circumstantial evidence like this does not look good:

Nielsen says it noticed sudden changes in its panelists’ listening habits. It alleges, for example, that one man in the Tampa area listened to WBRN for 189 hours in a month after logging just over an hour in the previous three. He later told Nielsen that he worked at night and usually slept while Clem’s show was on-air.

Moore’s article includes the thoughts of New York radio consultant Valerie Geller and Talkers magazine editor Michael Harrison. Stay tuned.

[Photo of today’s Tampa Bay Times free tabloid TBT via:]