James Dobson is back.
Beginning Monday, the Focus on the Family founder returns to the microphone as co-host of “Family Talk with James Dobson.” He’ll be heard on 326 U.S. radio stations, including locally on 100.7 KGFT-FM.
Monday’s broadcast will end Dobson’s longest hiatus from hosting a Christian radio show in more than 30 years.
On February 26, Dobson gave his final broadcast on “Focus on the Family”, which he hosted or co-hosted since 1978. Dobson’s “Focus” program was heard on about 1,000 stations by 1.5 million listeners in the U.S. and an estimated 200 million people worldwide.
His co-hosts on “Family Talk” will be his 39-year-old son, Ryan, and LuAnne Crane, formerly the executive producer of the “Focus” broadcast.
Ryan, a youth lecturer who gives a podcast a few times each week at his KOR Ministries website, will speak to the younger generation, Dobson said on his Feb. 26 “Focus” broadcast. Crane will be the voice of women, he said, while Dobson will speak “to the geezers.”
“We’ll try to cover the bases in a little different way,” Dobson said.
Family Talk is organized as a nonprofit with a six-member board of directors, including Dobson and his wife, Shirley.
Over the past 15 months, Focus has been softening the tone of its political and religious rhetoric. But Dobson vows to do no such thing at Family Talk.
“Please don’t expect me to take a ‘softer, gentler’ approach to the issues that burn within my soul,” Dobson wrote on his Family Talk website. “I have never spoken or written without passion for values in which I believe, and I don’t intend to start now.”
Dobson, 73, founded Focus in 1977 and developed it into a multimillion-dollar organization with 1,400 employees by 2002. He had been easing himself out of the ministry since 2003.
Dobson’s announcement in December 2009 that he’d be launching Family Talk, which shares Focus’ goal of upholding traditional family values, came as a surprise to most observers.
Dobson and Jim Daly, Focus president and CEO, said the family groups will not be in competition during Dobson’s final “Focus” broadcast.
“How silly to think one organization will meet the (family needs) of the whole country,” Dobson said. “There is plenty of work for all of us.”
Many who’ve listened to Dobson for decades plan to tune in to “Family Talk” Monday.
“I’ve enjoyed his insight for raising our children,” said Mary Scriber, a Colorado Springs mother of four who’s listened to “Focus” since 1992. “We appreciate his insight.”
Read more about Dobson's venture on Barna’s blog, The Pulpit, at www.thepulpit.freedomblogging.com.