|Todd Andrew Schnitt|
January 24, 1966 |
New York City, New York, United States
|Alma mater||Ithaca College|
Todd Andrew Schnitt (born January 24, 1966) is an American conservative talk radio host based in Tampa, Florida. He currently hosts The Schnitt Show, the afternoon drive time show of Tampa radio station Newsradio 970 WFLA that is nationally syndicated by Compass Media Networks.
Schnitt was born in New York City and raised in Nanuet, New York and Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has worked in radio since he was a teenager and used the stage name MJ Kelli in hosting shows at the Hampton Roads, New York City, and Tampa markets from 1986 to 2012. From 1994 to 2012, Schnitt was morning drive time host of The MJ Morning Show (known before 2001 as The MJ and BJ Morning Show) at Tampa top 40 station WFLZ and select other Clear Channel Communications stations. In 2001, Schnitt launched an afternoon talk program The Schnitt Show on Miami radio station WIOD. The Schnitt Show later expanded to other markets, including Tampa station WFLA in 2002.
Early life and broadcast career beginnings
Schnitt was born in New York City and grew up in Nanuet, New York. Schnitt has credited New York City station MusicRadio 77 WABC with his interest in radio broadcasting. As a young boy growing up in Nanuet, New York in the early 1970s, Schnitt became fascinated by WABC and listened as much as possible. In late 1976, Schnitt’s family moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
In 1982, at the age of 16, Schnitt landed his first part-time job at the now defunct WCPK-AM 1600 in Chesapeake, Virginia. During his high school years he worked at numerous Hampton Roads, Virginia area stations including WVAB, WNIS and WNVZ (Z-104). Schnitt attended Ithaca College in New York and worked at the Cornell student-run station, WVBR.
In 1986, he returned to the Hampton Roads area and scored his first full-time radio job at WRSR-FM (97Star), which soon reverted to the call letters WGH-FM. The name MJ Kelli was first used at WGH-FM. The name MJ was created because the 97Star program director was adamant that Todd Schnitt was not a good radio name. In 1988, while working at Virginia Beach's Z104, he sued Roy Jaynes of WGH for calling him a "homosexual jew boy" on his show. He filed a $3 million lawsuit against Jaynes, even though he claimed that he never said that on his show. Jaynes, now a radio station owner in Georgia, told St. Petersburg CBS station WTSP that Schnitt came from a rich family, and every time somebody says something about him, Daddy's there to pull him out of his jams. The jury did rule in favor of Schnitt, although he only won $310,000.
In 1989, Schnitt was hired by Scott Shannon at Pirate Radio, KQLZ in Los Angeles as creative director and assistant program director. Schnitt later rejoined Shannon at the revamping of WPLJ, New York which had originally signed on as Mojo Radio in April, 1991.
Schnitt left New York City in late 1992 to start The MJ Kelli Morning Show, his first morning-drive program (6-10 am) on WOVV (Star 95.5), West Palm Beach, Florida. He was brought to Tampa, Florida to anchor the new morning show on WFLZ (The Power Pig). Schnitt was teamed up with BJ Harris, the Power Pig’s program director to form the MJ and BJ Morning Show. Harris left the show on February 7, 2001. The show was renamed The MJ Morning Show.
The MJ Morning Show
Schnitt hosted The MJ Morning Show under his “MJ” personality. The show was broadcast Monday through Friday 6-10 am on flagship WFLZ/Tampa, FL and syndicated to KSLZ/St. Louis (Z107.7), WKSL/Jacksonville, FL and WFKS/Melbourne, FL (95.1 KISS-FM). The show focuses on current events, lifestyle news, pop-culture and personal experiences. The program had been mostly a talk format but played about two songs per hour.
Schnitt's Tampa-area rival was Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, morning host at rock stations WXTB and later WHPT. In March 2008, Schnitt sued Clem for defamation of him and his wife. A Jury found Clem "not guilty" on all counts.
It was announced on January 19, 2012 that Todd Schnitt would be doing the last "MJ morning show" on February 17, 2012. He continued hosting his political talk show The Schnitt Show, which broadcasts afternoons.
The Schnitt Show
The Schnitt Show is a conservative radio talk show that airs Monday through Friday 3-6 pm ET, based from Tampa's Newsradio 970 WFLA. Schnitt describes himself as a “fiercely independent conservative with libertarian influence.” The show consists of news, political commentary, lifestyle and pop-culture with sound bites and parody material. The Schnitt Show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and is heard on nearly 50 stations across America and on XM Extreme Talk 165. The program first launched in October 2001 on WIOD in Miami. After Glenn Beck left WFLA, Schnitt took over the 3-6 p.m. slot on WFLA in Tampa starting January 3, 2002.
The Christian Post highlighted Schnitt's criticism of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore in August 2011: "Schnitt said shows like Jersey Shore and other reality-type programming disasters are bad for kids because of a laundry list of behaviors sensationalized on air including sex, aggression, and actions that show zero moral values."
On November 29, 2012, Schnitt announced via Twitter that WFLA would stop broadcasting The Schnitt Show effective December 18. However, Schnitt announced on December 13 that he had signed a new multi-year contract with WFLA.
Todd Schnitt is married to Michelle Schnitt, an attorney and former Hillsborough County prosecutor. They have two children and also own two Jack Russell Terriers. Todd Schnitt is also an avid Corvette aficionado.
- "Compass Media Networks: The Todd Schnitt Show". Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- "Todd Schnitt". RadioYears.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Graham, Kevin (March 19, 2008). "Radio hosts' feud leads to lawsuit". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Deggans, Eric (January 20, 2012). "Radio jock Todd 'MJ' Schnitt to quit WFLZ-FM 93.3 morning show". Tampa Bay Times.
- Davis, Pamela (December 13, 2001). "Beck gives up afternoon show; MJ gets it". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Coleman, R. Leigh (August 23, 2011). "Schnitt Radio, Advertisers: Reality TV Jersey Shore is 'Killing Our Kids'". Christian Post. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- Deggans, Eric (December 1, 2012). "Radio host Todd Schnitt to leave flagship station WFLA-AM Dec. 18". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- "Todd Schnitt signs multi-year deal with Clear Channel". TBO.com. December 13, 2012.
- "The Schnitt Show". KVI. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- Woodyard, Chris (August 30, 2010). "Radio host Todd Schnitt is GM's first Corvette engine builder". USA Today. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "The Schnitt Show". Retrieved August 20, 2013.