James Dobson said his final goodbye today as host of the “Focus on the Family” radio show he started more than 30 years ago.

“I have carried that baton for many years,” Dobson told Focus president and CEO Jim Daly during the program, “and now I am handing it off to you.”

Also appearing on the broadcast were co-host John Fuller and Focus board chairman Pat Caruana.

Dobson founded Focus in 1977 and developed it into a multimillion-dollar organization. He has been transitioning himself out of the ministry since 2003. Today’s radio broadcast marks the end of his having a formal position at the family group.

Emotions were held in check throughout the broadcast, though Dobson’s voice seemed to halt when he said he felt the presence of his late parents in the Focus radio studio.

“I feel like they are saying, ‘You are not perfect, but you did OK,’” Dobson told listeners. “‘And now it’s time to lay this burden down, and the Lord has another one for you.’”

Dobson’s next burden, a nonprofit Springs ministry called Family Talk, was the topic for most of the 28-minute broadcast. Dobson made some interesting comments about Family Talk and its radio show, “Family Talk with James Dobson,” scheduled to launch May 3.

* Focus donated $1 million to Family Talk as startup money. Dobson initially estimated he would need $2 million in donations, and though he didn’t say it, it sounds like he’s reached that goal and then some.

* Dobson will co-host “Family Talk” not only with son Ryan, but also with LuAnne Crane, senior producer of “Focus on the Family” radio.

Ryan, 39, a youth lecturer who hosts a podcast a few times each week at his KOR Ministries Web site, will speak to the younger generation, Dobson said. Crane will be the voice of women, and James Dobson will speak “to the geezers,” he said.

“We’ll try to cover the bases in a little different way,” Dobson said.

The conversation then turned to why Family Talk would not be in competition with Focus on the Family, and the group criticized media outlets, including The Gazette, for sensationalizing the matter.

Dobson said, “How silly to think one organization will meet the (family needs) of the whole country. There is plenty of work for all of us.”

Daly thanked Dobson for creating Focus. Caruana thanked Dobson. Dobson thanked everybody, and Fuller closed the broadcast with little fanfare.

Fuller plugged Dobson’s new book, “Bringing Up Girls,” to be in bookstores April 13, and said this afternoon’s chapel service at Focus honoring Dobson would be broadcast Monday on “Focus on the Family” radio.

Dobson will be back as a guest on “Focus” radio in April to talk about “Bringing Up Girls.”


Listen to the final show at the Focus on the Family Web site. Push the tab that says "Listen to Today's Radio Broadcast."


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