To our fans…thanks for all the support during this transition time. So many of you have asked what’s next for the radio show and the website… well…we are still working on some possibilities for re-launching the radio show and we want to get the deal right so be patient. In the mean time we will be ramping up TampaBaySportsCentral.com with more blog postings and video interviews and features. We will be covering Bucs camp and games, USF, FSU, UF, The Rays, Bolts and other local sports. We promise to keep it local and keep it independent. We will be posting some compelling columns, blogs, twitter and Facebook content so please keep checking in with the website and get some reporting and takes you won’t find anywhere else.
Some of you have asked why I didn’t join the new FM station. I certainly wanted to be part of it. We had the highest rated show on the station for 3 years. But Program Director Mike Pepper and the folks in New York didn’t think I was a good fit. They didn’t think I could work in a 2 host format. I couldn’t disagree more. That’s basically what I did with Big Papi and Bryan Drake for many years. But hey…that’s business…and I wish them well. I like a lot of the folks over there but to be honest I think they have some “tweaking” to do…most new stations go through that. Finances were also an issue as their pay scale was much less than I have been making over the last few years producing my own show.
Our time at 1010 CBS Sports Radio was fun and productive. Ratings went up and my terrific sponsors came to the table big time. They got great value in advertising and “Happy Hour with JP” was a success. Most of all, I’m extremely proud of the issues we brought to the table and frankly I think we have generated fan discussion that changed the way our teams do business.
We were one of the few voices that complained (instead of making excuses) about the Rays payroll and in 2 of the last 3 years they have spent $65 Million or more on payroll. We talked about the great things Stu Sternberg has done as an owner but also highlighted his PR missteps in blaming the fans and poor mouthing about his financial losses. Notice he doesn’t do that anymore. We love the Rays and want to see them prosper and stay. Our criticism has always been with the teams best interests in mind.
We also were one of the loudest voices concerning the Glazers financial pullback with the Bucs after the purchase on Manchester United. We railed about the ill-conceived blackout policy. We hammered the Bucs on their horrific stadium issues with concessions, customer service and ticket prices. To their credit they have addressed all those issues. They are doing their best to minimize blackouts. They are 5th in payroll spending, offering half price concessions for the opener and free parking plus they have lowered 80% of their ticket prices. I love the new direction of this franchise in coaching and in the front office. Well done! I am proud to say that the independent voice of Happy Hour with JP and you, our fans, have helped force changes that have benefitted THE FAN and frankly that’s what we’re all about. Oh, and we had tons of fun along the way.
So keep checking in at TampaBaySportsCentral.com. We are working on bringing back the TV show on CW44 in HD bigger and better and also maybe doing the radio show on the web right here. I would love to get your feedback on the 98.7 and what you would like to see us do in the future. Stay Tuned and thanks for the support.