Sunday, April 02, 2006

SSG Exclusive Interview With Brent Hatley

Brent Hatley, Executive Producer of the Bubba The Love Sponge Show, has granted an exclusive interview to Satellite Standard Group (SSG).

Hatley not only takes care of the “behind the scenes workings of the show, but is also an integral part of the show as an on-air personality. Brent and the BTLS guys were all at the Florida State Fairgrounds for an event on April 1st and the buzz around Sirius and the BTLS crew was very big.

SSG would like to thank Brent Hatley first for being a veteran and serving this nation, second for his work on the BTLS show that keeps us all entertained, and third for taking the time to grant SSG this interview.

SSG - Brent, How long have you been involved with the Bubba The Love Sponge show?

BH - I have been involved since 1996. Bubba worked for Jacor Communications in Tampa for 93.3 WFLZ doing nights and his numbers were sick. I mean just gaudy as to how far he was ahead of the #2 show. At that time I worked for 98Rock, and Thunder 103.5 which were owned by Citicasters. Our companies merged and 98Rock wanted Bubba for mornings as our morning show was in the shitter. I think our morning show at the time was in 16th place. So they were fired and Bubba was hired and single handedly saved 98Rock. I was the Promotions Director for Thunder 103.5 at the time and helped with 98Rock. Bubba injected life into our building and everyone in the building became part of the Bubba The Love Sponge Show. He originally called me “Drink’em Down” on the air because I was a partier when I was in my 20’s. I would come on the air and talk about drugs, drinking, whores, and such in a free and open manner he would goof on me as he never has touched street narcotics. Then when Thunder hired Ron Diaz formerly of “Ron & Ron” Bubba pushed for me to get the producer/co host position and taught me in his office after his show how to produce a show that someone like Ron Diaz would appreciate. Then in 2000 Bubba decided to make a change on his show and went into Clear Channel management and at that time had the ratings and the power within the company to get what he wanted and hired me to be Executive Producer.

SSG - There was a point where the show was removed from the air, yet Bubba was kept under contract. We understand that during that period of time that Bubba helped out the staff financially, and with health insurance. What does that kind of dedication from Bubba The Love Sponge mean to you?

BH - It means everything. I was really depressed and not feeling good about things. Bubba paid me and he ran for Sheriff of Pinellas County, Florida. I was the Campaign Manager and we had fun being part of the political process and made the Republican Party spend $225,000 they thought they would keep in their war chest. In the time off I turned down a job with a very prominent radio show and an NFL Team. Bubba kept the team together and had a vision. Everything changed in November of 2004 when I called Don Buchwald’s office and he actually took my call. We were there on Tuesday November 30th met with Don. Howard came down and met with Bubba alone and they worked everything out like men. Here we all are together and it is GREAT!

SSG - The show does a men's health segment each week. What kind of reaction does this segment garner from the audience?

BH -Huge! It has been one of our most popular segments since we started doing it on old fashioned radio. Men generally don’t see the urologist like they should. I am guilty of the same things. So we have helped men realize that their lives can be better from a health standpoint and it is some great content.

SSG - Your political views seem to be Libertarian. As you know, Libertarian candidates have not fared well on the national stage. Do you feel that many people in this country have Libertarian views and simply don't realize it?

BH- Yes. Especially young people who are unfortunately so busy with school, work, and going out partying they don’t take the time to become informed or vote. I am a registered Libertarian who also pays yearly dues to the party. I am also not very happy with the Libertarian Party leadership right now. They need to spend less time speaking about taxes and more time on social issues. The FCC and Congress cracking down on indecency in 2004 should have made the Libertarian Party go ballistic. The only thing the ever put in their newspaper about it was a column I wrote that was published in the Libertarian Party News June 2004. I think Libertarians would do much better in elections if the party would quit being such a “coffee table” party and be a proactive party that strives for success I think at this moment in time the sky is the limit. The American people are looking for answers in the political arena and the Libertarians need to wake up and present themselves as that answer.

SSG - You are a veteran (as am I). Do you think that people in this country show enough appreciation for Veterans and the service they have given? How do you think things can be improved for veterans?

BH - No they don’t. The really irritating thing is they put yellow ribbon magnets on their cars and pretend like they do. Things would improve if the American Voter demanded accountability and honesty from the Department of Defense, The Veterans Administration, Congress, and The White House. This is an area also where the media is asleep. They are so frightened of losing their press credentials to the White House and Department of Defense that it is in effect censoring their reporting on the poor treatment Veterans are getting as they return home.

SSG - You are the Executive Producer of the Bubba The Love Sponge Show. How difficult is it to produce the show from Florida, and coordinate efforts with Stern and Sirius back in New York?

BH - The only tough thing is we lose face time with everyone on the Howard Stern Show. I think there is some fantastic content that we miss by not being in the same building. Gary and I communicate very well. Tim Sabean and I speak a couple of times a day as well. I think the advantage though is to the listener. Howard is the King of New York City and you get that feel listening to his show. Our show I think really communicates the Florida/Southeastern United States type lifestyle. This I think is what really gives Howard’s Channels that feel of really being a National phenomenon.

SSG - The current deal between The Bubba The Love Sponge Show and Howard Stern is a 2 year deal if I am not mistaken. Are talks ongoing to take the show through 2010?

BH - That is something I have no idea about. Bubba’s agent Tom Bean and Scott Greenstein at Sirius work those things out between the two of them.

SSG - Which Sirius tuner(s) do you use?

BH - I actually have four different ones. I have the Kenwood in my bedroom, the XACT in my living room, The Sportster in my home office and the Starmate Replay in the car.

SSG - Will the Bubba The Love Sponge Show be available on line any time soon?

BH - Yes. This is something that is being worked on at Sirius. They are making absolutely sure that we have enough servers and load balancers to accommodate the number of listeners that we would have on Howard’s Channels.

SSG - If someone has ideas for a "bit" or a segment who should they contact?

BH - For guests they think would be good on the show booking@btls.com for show ideas or bit ideas show@btls.com !

SSG - Brent, Thank You for taking the time to speak with us, and your part in the Revolution of Radio.

BH- Thanks for the interest in Sirius things have gone better than any of us have ever expected.

The link for this write up is http://tinyurl.com/o95v7

4/02/2006 11:45:00 AM

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