UPDATED: Clear Channel DJ Bobby Bones May Leave Radio

January 30, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  41 Comments

bobby-bones-show***UPDATE: Bobby Bones has decided to stay with Clear Channel. See his video below.

Influential Clear Channel country music DJ Bobby Bones might be calling it quits according to a letter he posted to his listeners and fans on Twitter Thursday evening (1-30). The morning show DJ for WSIX in Nashville that is the flagship of Clear Channel’s country music syndicated network started on the job after being moved from an Clear Channel pop station in Austin just less than a year ago. Since then his show has taken off, and is currently carried by over 50 Clear Channel stations across the country.

Bobby Bones’s meteoric rise has been making news lately, with Saving Country Music and CBS News running features on the DJ. He also recently made headlines by getting in a heated Twitter argument with recent Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves. Bobby Bones is a big part of Clear Channel’s plans as it partners with CMT in the midst of a country music media arms race. Bobby Bones has done some work on television, and this could be where he is headed, apparently with his crew of friends that he brought along with him from Austin that also make up The Bobby Bones Show.

Originally from Arkansas, Bobby Bones started with Clear Channel as a local DJ in Austin, TX for the Top 40 pop station 96.7 KISS FM, with his Bobby Bones Show eventually being syndicated to a few other regional markets. Though Bobby had big offers to move to the West Coast, he stayed in Austin and became a local favorite, winning “Best Radio Personality” by the Austin Music Awards from 2004-2008. In February of 2013, Clear Channel finally convinced Bobby to move to Nashville, and to make the switch from Top 40 radio to country. He was recently named as a nominee by the Academy of Country Music for National On-Air Personality of the Year for the upcoming ACM Awards.

But Bobby’s leaving is not set in stone yet. He’s said to be pondering the decision, and will make his decision public at noon Central on Monday (2-3). See the full context of his letter to his fans below.

***UPDATE (1-31-14 4:00 PM CST): Bobby Bones has decided to stay with Clear Channel. “Obviously it was television,” says Bobby. “I’ve decided to stay on the radio, and stay with IHeartRadio and Clear Channel instead of take this other offer that was really good, but would have taken me off the air.”

See his video explaining his decision below.

The original Bobby Bones letter:

As you may have heard or read on the internet, Ive been offered a ‘job” outside radio that has me reconsidering my decision to do mornings.

I love radio. I love even more the listeners of the show, and the culture we have created of “Keepin’ It Real.” That’s why Im addressing this now, because Im going to get off of twitter for the next few days because of the rumors.

so, lets just cut to the chase as they say

On Monday before 3p, I must let my agent know whether or not Im accepting the offer. If I do, that will be the end of The Bobby Bones Show.

and to prove that is NOT a ratings stunt, I will not be making my announcement on my show. I will think it over this weekend. and on Monday at noon, I will come on the radio on our local affiliate WSIX, explain the situation, and give you my answer.

I never wanted money to come into play in these decisions. But sometimes it does have actual influence. and I have the cance to do something that Ive wanted to do for a very long time.

I will be letting you guys know everything  at NOON CST on our Nashville affiliate WSIX. I get 0 ratings for noon. and Im not requesting any other stations carry it. IF they want to, they can.

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up because you are the most loyal listeners I have ever seen/heard anywhere. you guys have created us.

I will think long and hard about it. I will talk with my friends. I will have conversations with Jay Shannon and Michael Bryan. as well as Rod Phillips. guys who are important to me professionally and personally.

again, this isn’t a ratings stunt. and i could have dragged this out for a long time. but i have chosen not to. However it was starting to reach message boards, etc so I needed to address it.

Monday. Noon central. on WSIX.

Thanks B

Bobby Bones also subsequently posted, “for those asking ill be taking all of my friends with me! the whole crew will have new jobs. relax. my show mates are my BFF’s. all good.”

41 Comments to “UPDATED: Clear Channel DJ Bobby Bones May Leave Radio”

  • Good riddance.


  • outside radio? is he forming a bro-country band? hahaha


  • Kevin, Michael…you mad, bros? Change the channel


  • I’m not a fan of his show really, because I think they have too many people on his team and sometimes it clutters the segments a little. Bobby seems like a really nice guy though and people I know in Austin who have met him say that he is an extremely nice guy, so I wish him luck on whatever he does.


  • What a drama queen. Clear Channel has its Lebron-James-The-Decision moment.


    • +1.

      Very drama queen of him to give an announcement at a time not included in his own time slot.

      Look at me! Look at me!


      • In fairness, he’s doing it out of his own time slot so that people don’t accuse him of a ratings stunt. But nonetheless, it seems like something that could be handled behind-the-scenes and then make the announcement when it’s ready to be made. He says he released this info because “it was starting to reach message boards, etc so I needed to address it.” but I can find any info about this beyond his letter, anywhere, and I’m pretty good at sleuthing this stuff out, even when it’s buried on small message boards. Not to say it wasn’t out there somewhere before, but it in no way had reached a level where it was necessary for him to comment, though it’s his right to do whatever he wants. Maybe thought this would soften the blow, I don’t know, but it does play into his critic’s hand that he’s got a big ego.


  • There’s something really odd about this. People usually don’t publicly pre-announce things like this.

    The goofball tweeted this a few hours ago: “for those asking, Ill be taking all my friends with me! the whole crew will have new jobs. relax. my show mates are my BFFs. all good”

    Funny thing is his didn’t say “if I do decide to leave” in that tweet. Exactly what other job could he possibly take that would allow him to take his whole crew with him? I’m having trouble picturing what that could be unless he’s replacing the entire cast of a morning tv show. He is kind of a wussy man that talks about being in therapy. Who knows.


    • Yes, because “MANLY MEN” don’t address their mental health issues.

      Or, wait, yes, they do. They get over their pride and don’t address seeking needed help as something that makes them a “wuss” anymore than seeking a doctor’s help for a sore throat makes a man a wuss. Once again, this is why country music keeps hitting us with ignorant songs about drunks riding their trucks in the dirt. Because their audience associates “therapy” with not being a real man.


  • Hope he does what’s best for him and his future. Don’t hate the hustle, go get yours Bobby!


  • I can’t really think of a job outside of radio that would allow him to take his entire group along, unless they will be given jobs that are behind the scenes, like engineers, producers and things like that. I kjnow Bobby does a sports talk show for Fox also, so I thought originally that maybe they were offering him something on the new fox sports network FS1 or something like that. I also know that X Factor is trying to decide if they are even going to come back next year, due to poor ratings. I wonder if they have reached out to Bobby to maybe be a Seacrest type figure on that show. I don’t think that would be a good move at all for him though, because that show is destined for cancellation I believe.


    • It has got to be something in television, though I don’t have any more intel than anyone else. People in radio don’t leave radio for print. There’s really only one option up. As I said in my profile about him a while back, he had already been slated as sort of the Ryan Seacrest of country, and I could see him in some sort of talk show format or something along those lines, and doing MC duties for reality contests and the sort. Interesting though, Ryan Seacrest does a lot of TV duties, but he’s still a syndicated DJ and that’s what sort of grounds him as a media celebrity. Bobby Bones is seen as a fast-rising star, and could possibly bargain to have whatever television format he signs up for cater to him wanting to keep his friends.

      At this point, the cat’s out of the bag. Even if he turns down the offer, it’s just a matter of time before he moves on from WSIX unless Clear Channel can create a comparable TV deal to the one he’s fielding, and one that will keep him on his radio slot. As I said a week ago, there’s a country music arms race going on out there, and this may be the first big battle.


  • Hmmmm, maybe he’s replacing Matt Lauer on the Today Show…..or he could be going with Seth Meyers on the Late Show. Anything is possible, but it looks like TV is his next step.


  • I’d never heard of the guy until I saw an article about him posted on here but he seems like a d-bag. Plus the fact he said that it’s “not a ratings stunt” twice makes it seem like a ratings stunt to me.


    • I don’t think it is. I mean you could say that when someone says “this is not a stunt” repeatedly, it most likely is (Lance Armstrong syndrome or whatever you want to call it). But, I’m starting to think the whole thing was just a really stupid move based on some kind of grandiose based attention seeking issue? Or maybe he already knows he is going (tweet language) and can’t wait for all the “oh no please don’t go” attention? Or maybe he’s personality is so fragile (therapy sessions) he’s having an anxiety attack about leaving? Whatever the reason is, it’s not a good one.


    • Even if he doesn’t make the announcement on his own show, no doubt his ratings have spiked today, and will even more Monday with folks wondering if he’ll drop any hints. He’s got millions of listeners and there’s tons of interest in this story.


  • Where do you sign up for the position? I’d love to play some real / good music for the masses!

    I know he wasn’t the person to do it (coming from a pop radio background etc) but I think that if there were some sort of programming aimed at “our” audience on mainstream stations (it would also need a good personality / frontman) that it could be a big deal and begin to get some of these artists’ foot in the door….and I think that once (& if) that happens we’ll start to see some of the more major changes we’ve all been so badly wanting to see….

    The “Cooter” letter made me think the same thing when he was talking about the South getting a bad rep….

    Probably just wishful thinking….I’d damn sure give it a shot though!


    • If you want to see DJ’s play what they want, take a trip to a college radio station or watch the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. That ship sailed a few decades ago sadly.


      • I live within range of several major college stations, and rarely tune in to any of the major FM stations…I know a lot of people just like me (who do the same) I think that the demand is slowly building and it seems like SOME COMMERCIAL STATIONS SHOULD TAKE NOTE!!!

        I totally get what you’re saying (regarding that ship having sailed), and agree to a certain extent, however I think that the mono-genre / corporate takeover of something that is so inherently local (i.e. music / culture) is a bad overall game-plan, and I that this model is bound to eventually fail…

        There’s also an “independent commercial” (locally owned) at the coast that is THE STATION down there, and because everyone listens to it, local (& global) businesses know that and therefore want the ad-space….I think that there is still a workable model for FM radio that someone will figure out and make bank from……WHILE playing good music! (Crazy concept that clear channel etc seem to have forgotten about…)


    • Phil is right about DJ’s who get to play what they want. There is no way in hell Bobby Bones gets to play what he wants and nobody on Clear Channel will ever get to and if they do it will be their last day at Clear Channel. I don’t get mad at Bobby about the music, because I know he doesn’t really make those calls. He would have to get huge and maybe then he could start sprinkling in a little more independent artists now and then. I truly believe any real change in music is going to have to come from an artist and it will need to be somebody like an Eric Church, who can bring in the mainstream, but do it with great music and ahve people start thinking differently. I’m not saying it is EC, but somebody who has an all around package and can pull in the public. Kind of like how Garth just absolutely took over music, it will take that kind of person, who is smart, media savvy and has great music.


      • I understand this and am sure that is in fact “the way it is” if he is as much of a corporate tool / puppet as he seems (to me at least)….seems to me like someone with such a large following / fanbase would if anything have MORE say in what they play, and I would think that CC would want to use his knowledge / opinions to their advantage….

        But with the likes of Dan Halen in charge of everything (that’s my general understanding of the situation / corporate structure) I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised!


    • I’ll say this: If Bobby Bones leaves, he’ll leave a massive void on many radio stations and in Clear Channel’s overall plans. As bad as it looks for local DJ’s these days, for DJ’s looking to become national personalities, it’s never been better because Clear Channel and Cumulus are looking for big names to fill their syndicated slots.

      All these cross-media deals and big radio personalities moving around is going to be the big story of 2014 I have a feeling, just like Billboard’s chart rules changed the rules of the game in 2012/2013.


      • I’m thinking the changes in radio aren’t where it’s at and really just a side show to the main action that’s going on.

        Beats Streaming Service was suppose to have just launched. They’re doing some interesting stuff such as partnering with at&t to offer a $15 family plan (5 devices) where the Beats stream doesn’t impact your data plan cap. You can also pay to get quality 320kbps streaming now on a couple of services and there’s a shift in a radio like nature to being able to select and play the songs you want to hear. There’s also a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes for LTE in car devices (as well as the 2nd step of LTE that’s coming where mobile voice is going to go from analog to digital). If someone can use an in-car data connection on a cheap plan (far less than a normal cell contract), we could start to see a complete shift from air radio to internet based radio such as streaming services. When the majority of vehicles turn over in the next few years and everyone has easy in-car Internet services based radio, air radio could just fade from even vehicles in a short time.

        Air Radio could die a lot faster than anyone thinks it will. Looking back it seems like TV’s and computer monitors went from Tube to LCD almost overnight (for example).

        The other side of this is that within a year or two we might stop hearing things like “… with over 30 million total record sales” and start only hearing things like “with over 1 billion lifetime streams”. Record sales are downloads are so incredible low right now they’re going to have to switch to that language soon to keep sounding impressive when promoting artists.


        • That is why IHeartRadio is so important to Clear Channel’s plans, why they’re spending so much effort on it, and why they have made Bobby Bones the face of it. This is Clear Channel’s answer to the streaming boom. If Bobby had left, Clear Channel would be in one hell of a lurch.


          • If Bobby Bones is seriously considering other options this early in his country music career, Clear Channel should probably be keeping other options on the backburner. When he gets his ideal offer, he’s jumping the fence… he does not intend to stay with country music or Clear Channel.


  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFcdPWXzUG0

    He made his decision and is staying…. I am not sure if I like him or hate him. He is an odd one


    • Just look at this guy what an idiot. Talk about a narcissist jeez what’s this crap about every magazine talking about this? Hardly. Why even bring this up? Is it necessary to announce every ‘possible’ job opportunity.

      I’ve never even heard this guy (Clear Channel doesn’t have a country outlet in my area and I have zero desire to seek him out) but he just comes across as complete douche.


    • Somebody should really advise him to change the landing image for this video ;).

      Yeah, this story really wasn’t heavily reported. I reported it, Nashville Gab, All Access, maybe a few others, and the only reason I reported it is because I’ve been talking about this guy so often lately.


      • I know when I see this guy I think country music! One thing that greatly annoys me is men that don’t dress age appropriately. How old is this guy? Mid to late 30s I would guess so why is he dressing like Justin Bieber?


        • It really is bad. At least in the promo picture above he looks pretty innocuous. Here he looks dudded up ready to hit a cocaine bar on Hollywood & Vine (and yes, I know he’s a sober dude). Hate to make fun of how someone dresses. If that’s his thing, fine. But it sure doesn’t fit with country music.


  • The word I’m thinking of is narcissist. Jesus.


  • How very LeBron James of him. This just once again proves that he is all about his own press and hype and couldn’t give a damn about music or anything else that doesn’t put dollars in his pocket. I hated him on Austin radio, he is worse now, and the best thing for radio would be for him to take leave.


  • RE Bobby’s video update: So the deal killer was not being able to keep the radio show. If you look at someone like Ryan Seacrest, he does lots of stuff on TV, but is still a full-time DJ. It looks like that is what Bobby was looking for, but it didn’t work out. My guess is this is going to force Clear Channel to step up to the plate and deliver him more money and more television opportunities or they’re likely to lose him. The cat is out of the bag now. Eventually TV is where Bobby Bones wants to be.


  • I hate all morning talk radio. It means less music. I’ve only heard pieces of his show and it’s never left much of an impression. I also had a hard time telling which one was Bobby, as it didn’t seem like he was any more interesting than the rest of the cast.


  • Nice hat.


  • I wasn’t familiar with Bobby Bones before coming across this piece – and I wish I could go back to that blissful state of unfamiliarity. Sorry your negotiations with MTV or VH1 (insert other shitty network here) broke down, Bobby. We were hanging by a thread awaiting your announcement. I’m thrilled you will be able to continue in your role of taking “country” music to the masses.


  • Well it was obvious that Bobby was gonna take this deal and that’s why he was gonna announce it on Monday. I think he was probably a little disappointed that things didn’t go how he was hoping so he went ahead and announced early. Bobby may dress a little different sometimes, but I see a thousand people in Austin like that every day and he was here for quite a while, so I get it.


  • I thought, for sure, that he was going to be the guy on MTV who does that entertainment news update and talks about, like, Pearl Jam vs. AIDs. Is that still a thing?


    • Yes, the Kurt Loder of the next generation, berating you as immoral for not voting right before they show champagne being poured over the breasts of 15-year-olds in the name of high volume pimping.


  • Duly noted.

    Filed under ‘W’, for ‘Who Gives A Shit’.

    (I do appreciate the expression on his face in Frame 1 of the video, though! Nice spot to pause it!!)


  • Oh, thank you Billie for staying!! Oops, Bobby, sorry. Not familiar with you at all. Must be my loss…


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