Remember the movie "What About Bob?" Locally, that question, or its counterpart, has been bobbing around for 13 months - "Where's Bob?"
Meaning Bob Lee, of course.The answer is that the former KSL talk-show host is coming back, thanks to a new all-news/talk radio station. Beginning Monday, Jan. 12, Lee will host a 4-7 p.m. weekday call-in show on KNRS, AM-570.
Lee says he had been "happily unemployed" since KSL fired him during a financial cutback in December 1996, and he's excited to be returning as a radio host.
"Talk radio is still the thing that gets my blood pumping," he said.
He also emphasized that he loves Utah and wanted to stay here, even if it meant he had to bag groceries for a job With children in high school, Lee said now was not the time to leave his Bountiful home.
Will his fans hear the same Bob Lee of old starting Monday?
"How could I change?" Lee said, indicating his show will still be opinion-driven and feature plenty of call-in opportunities.
The only real difference is that his new show will be during the afternoon drive time. As a result, his new show will include more news, traffic and weather than he had on the KSL midday show.
Will Lee be more controversial on AM-570 than he was on AM-1160?
"Tune in and find out," he said, adding that he never felt any direct pressure while at KSL. "I think we'll be sensitive, but we won't shy away from controversy. I sincerely like to hear what people think."
Has Lee ever done an afternoon-drive show?
Not for a long time - some 25 years. When Lee started at KSL in 1973, he briefly did the afternoon drive.
He said his show will mix it up but won't all be serious. There will be some fun, too.
Lee turns 51 on Jan. 22 and has more than a quarter-century experience in broadcasting.
Born in Tooele, Lee lived in Grantsville, Murray and American Fork before moving to Sunnyvale, Calif., at age 6. He spent 20 years there in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
By the time he graduated from San Jose State, majoring in advertising, Lee had worked at both easy-listening and country-music stations and decided that radio was his passion.
To return to his Utah roots, Lee moved to Salt Lake City and landed his KSL job.
Off the air, Lee is a Boy Scout leader, a merit badge counselor and a model-railroad buff.
He's lived in Bountiful with his wife Linda and their two children since 1988.
Lee believes talk radio is the town hall of the next century.
"It's the only unedited and unrestrained medium," he said.