No-show Buc angers nightclub owner
By JOHN BALZ, Times Staff Writer
CARROLLWOOD -- Another Tampa Bay Buccaneer star has worn out his welcome in Carrollwood after a possible misunderstanding over why he missed a radio show appearance.
Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson debuted the second season of his show at Harpo's nightclub in Mission Bell Plaza. But he did not appear for the Oct. 23 show, and the club's owner says the Pro Bowl wide receiver never explained his absence.
Officials at the radio station responsible for organizing the show say they had plans to broadcast a hockey game that night and that Johnson was in California on a business trip.
The partnership dissolved and The Keyshawn Johnson Show quickly found a new home at Barnacle's, a Brandon sports bar.
Harpo's owner T. Hatjioannou, 76, says Johnson was supposed to present a football to a young Tampa boy with cancer.
Hatjioannou admits that he is not a Keyshawn Johnson fan. Although Johnson's radio show was good for business, he says his patience ran out after Johnson missed the October date.
"I don't like his attitude," said Hatjioannou. "Who does he think he is?"
Brad James, program director at WDAE-AM 620, the Sports Animal, said the station was scheduled to broadcast a Tampa Bay Lighting game that night. He called the mix-up an "unfortunate situation."
Hatjioannou said he realized that WDAE broadcast Lightning games, but disputes that he knew about the Oct. 23 broadcast.
James said Johnson had a business commitment. Outside of football, Johnson is a burgeoning entrepreneur with ventures that include the Southern California restaurant Reign.
Hatjioannou and Johnson have not spoken and all communication went through officials at WDAE. James said Johnson did not know about the boy with cancer. The radio station was responsible for setting up the meeting, James said.
"He's been very good with anything we ask him to do with charities," said James. "He's always willing."
Johnson could not be reached for comment.
This is not the first time a Tampa Bay Buccaneer has angered Harpo's owners. In 2000, Jeff Hatjioannou, T.'s son, chose not to renew a deal for fullback Mike Alstott's show. Hatjioannou said Alstott refused to sign autographs for children.
Johnson's show continues to air at the same time, 6-8 p.m. every Wednesday. During the show, Johnson discusses the Buccaneer's upcoming games and takes phone calls from listeners.
Hatjioannou paid Johnson $1,500-$1,750 for each show. Johnson received additional payments from other endorsers. Johnson broadcast the show last season from WestShore Plaza.
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