Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge have a Feb. 2, 2017 date all set and secure.
The exotic locale? The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the Tampa-based Federal judiciary body that is home to U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.
But, Porcelli is no chaperone and it’s not lunch.
As Streamline Publishing’s Radio INK reports, Porcelli has set the first Thursday in February as the date that Nielsen and Mr. Sponge (a.k.a. Todd Clem) will attempt to squeeze out a deal in a $1 million ratings tampering case brought against the Tampa-based syndicated shock jock in October 2015.
While Porcelli notes that the average mediation conference usually takes between three and five hours, “participants shall be prepared to spend as much time as necessary to settle the case, or until an impasse is declared.”
Thus, it could be a very long day for His Sponginess and Nielsen’s lawyers.
The first attempt at mediation, on July 5, 2016, didn’t go so well, as both parties told Judge F. Dennis Alvarez of Tampa they reached an impasse.
This attempt could be more successful, as Bubba was permanently bumped from the very radio station he admitted to tampering the PPM-based ratings for — WBRN-FM in Tampa-St. Petersburg — on Dec. 12.
Mediation is often ordered by the court before a trial and the attorneys pursue parallel paths.