Bubba the Love Sponge

This week marks the start of a new era for local rock stations The Bridge at 105.5 and 98X, both of which are part of LM Communications. Several weeks ago, veteran radio personality the Critic (a.k.a. Jim Voigt) replaced former music director Joel Frank (who is pursuing promotional opportunities at the station) in the afternoon slot.

The Bridge kicked off a new daily schedule with operations manager Mike Allen and co-host Laura Lee on the air in the mornings from 6-10 a.m., Kate MacNeil on from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and the Critic on the mic and board from 3-7 p.m. The late-evening slot is still up in the air. The Critic is hosting his Sunday morning specialty shows, Critic’s Choice from 9 a.m. to noon.

Allen announced even bigger station news on Monday as well. 98X changed its name and added a new morning show. The station is now called 98 Rock. “We were constantly saying ‘Charleston’s rock station,’ so why not be what we are — 98 Rock,” Allen says.

98 Rock added the nationally syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge show to the morning slot from 6-10 a.m. Hosted by the Tampa-based radio veteran Bubba the Love Sponge (an avid motorsports and wrestling enthusiast, pictured at the right), the program has been described as the Florida’s shock jock answer to Howard Stern. He legally changed his name and federally trademarked it as Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. (this is the name that appears on his driver’s license and U.S. passport).

According to his official bio, Bubba maintains a longtime team of loyal co-hosts and producers. Executive producer/co-host Brent Hatley, audio production and impersonation wizard Manson, savvy hipster/resident stud Spice, and radio’s “oldest and crankiest pervert,” Ned. Listeners are equally familiar with and entertained by Bubba staffers such as 25 Cent, Miller, Hammil, Tom the Treeman, and others.

“With the launch of the Bubba the Love Sponge in Charleston, it was the perfect time to make the change,” says Allen. “The music on the station will remain the same, but with a new morning show and a new name.”

98 Rock’s mix of contemporary and semi-classic heavy rock and alternative will stay the course. The station’s weekday DJ lineup includes Laura Lee from 10a.m.-3 p.m., Potter from 3-7 p.m., and the nationally syndicated show hardDrive XL, hosted by Lou Brutus, from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Keep an eye out for news and info at 98xonline.com (the site hasn’t yet been updated, though).