Mills Crenshaw, whose condemnations of Utah officials on his radio call-in show helped spark the tax protest movement - and led to his firing last spring - returns to station KTKK next week.
"We've agreed the approach is going to be a little different," said Starley Bush, general manager of KTKK and KLVV. "It will reflect a more positive approach to Utah and our community."That does not mean we won't be discussing controversial issues," Bush said. "But there will be less criticism of personalities and more criticism of issues."
Crenshaw frustrated many state and local politicians during the 1988 tax initiative campaign, which began after callers to the show banded together to protest a record tax increase.
His loyal following can still expect to hear Crenshaw's tirades against government when they tune into his new program, scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Monday.
He is slated to be on the air from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, replacing a New York City-based radio call-in program hosted by Rush Limbaugh.
"Pablum is great for babies. But an adult listening audience wants adult material," Crenshaw said of the direction the station has taken since he was fired last June.
He said his job on the station, better known as K-TALK, will continue to be "discussing issues, having probing discussions with politicians and going after the facts behind the facts."
Bush declined to give the reasons for Crenshaw's firing, except to say that they dealt more with personnel matters than with programming. "There were internal problems and we've resolved them now," Bush said.
Crenshaw has said he was fired because his style did not fit with format changes the station was making. He had been looking for work but turned down offers from out-of-state radio stations to stay in Salt Lake with his new wife.
He attended the Independent Party's election-night gathering to watch the returns on the initiative to take the sales tax off food, even though he and Independent Party Chairman Merrill Cook parted ways.
They couldn't agree on the direction the tax protest movement should take after the defeat of the initiatives on the 1988 ballot. Cook started the Independent Party, which unsuccessfully attempted to take the sales tax off food.
Now, Cook says, Crenshaw is welcome to join Independent Party officials at a meeting scheduled later this month to reassess whether the party should continue to be the voice of the tax-protest movement.
"I think Mills has changed and I think I have changed," Cook said. "We've grown a little older and a little wiser."