Focus on the Family

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lawPro
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:02 pm

Focus on the Family

Post by lawPro » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:07 pm

James Dobson wrapped things up at Focus on the Family last week. I see Jim Daly starts as host today. Does that change anything for anybody? Anybody stopping the program or picking the program up or waiting to see? Would you also add James new show that's supposedly starting up this month?

radiojeff
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Re: Focus on the Family

Post by radiojeff » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:04 am

I'm attending the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville. Dr. Dobson formally announced his new show "Family Talk" this afternoon. It will be co-hosted by Dobson, his son Ryan, and the former producer of Dobson's Focus on the Family Broadcast. According to Dobson, he still has something to say, but wants to be able to focus (no pun intended) on just the radio show, without all of the extra work that goes into managing a 1000+ employee ministry.

Ryan Dobson spoke briefly with his father, to squelch the rumors that the senior Dobson is just launching the show to create a job for his son. Ryan already hosts his own show, publishes some magazines, and runs a couple of other businesses. He doesn't need anything else to do, he said, he just wants to help his father. Dr. Dobson added that he doesn't need influence, noteriety, or any more money. He says he's really just doing this because he believes God is not finished with him, yet.

Jim Daly will co-host the Focus on the Family broadcast with psychologist Dr. Julie Slattery. At a Focus event on Sunday, Daly said Focus is planning on getting back to its core mission of building thriving families. He said that no one at Focus intends any disrespect toward Dobson (in fact, Focus is providing him seed money to start his new show), but that the ministry seems to have suffered from "mission creep" for the last couple of years. Daly also said that the board of directors is "100 percent behind" the re-direction of the ministry.

I talked with both Dr. Dobson and Jim Daly after the announcement this evening and Dobson seems truly excited about this new chapter in his life. He also said that - if stations choose not to carry the new program - he will accept that as defacto evidence that the show is not God's will for him and the show will, "quietly go away." Daly has got to be one of the most gracious people I have ever met, appearing on stage with Dobson for the announcement of Dobson's new show. Dobson even took a shot at Daly, noting that Dobson had 33 years invested in Focus on the Family and Daly "had better not screw it up." Everyone sitting around me winced when Dobson said it, then laughed nervoussly, but Daly handled it with an abundance of grace.

Our station is not carrying Focus on the Family anymore, not because of Dobson leaving the host's chair, but because we decided to try to do one thing - contemporary Christian music - well, rather than do a pretty good job being "all things to all people." It will be interesting to see the response to Dobson's new show. I talked with one Christian talk programmer from a top ten market after the announcement who said, "Oh, yeah, we're gonna make room for it (Dobson's show)." Some others I talked with seemed to be more reserved, taking a "wait and see" approach.

From what has been said here at NRB, it seems as though the new Focus on the Family and Dobson's Family Talk will be different enough that they could both be carried by stations without too much confusion... unless Dobson continues to refer to his new show as "Focus on the... I mean, Family Talk," which he did once from the platform while announcing his new show. He got a good laugh when he said something to the effect of "You try changing that after 33 years!"

One of the most touching moments at the announcement was during the Q&A when a mother of five, who had gotten married at age 17, stepped forward to thank Dobson for helping her learn to be a good mother and wife. She admitted that, at 17, she knew nothing about either role, but that the interviews Dobson had conducted with various women over the years had inspired her and given her practical tips. I think even those who dislike Dobson's politics would have to agree with that mom. He's helped a lot of parents raise better children and a lot of couples have happier marriages. I don't think the woman was a "plant" - if she was, she needs to pursue a career in acting because she seemed overwhelmed with emotion describing specific instances where the Focus broadcast had helped her marriage and her parenting.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with both shows. And I'm just as glad that I'm not in a position to have to make any decisions about carrying either one of them!

P.S. Just by way of disclosure, I'm a former Focus on the Family employee. I didn't talk to them about this, they did not ask me to post this and, as far as I know, they don't even know I'm posting it. My former employment there shouldn't really matter, but I just wanted to disclose it so no one would accuse me of anything untoward. Thanks!

Jeff Johnson
Mid-day host on a Christian station in East Texas

adambombs
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:00 pm

Re: Focus on the Family

Post by adambombs » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:33 am

Sometimes I love to read the stuff you Christians write simply for entertainment's sake.

This line from Dobson is classic about if the show not working that it's Gods "will".


"I talked with both Dr. Dobson and Jim Daly after the announcement this evening and Dobson seems truly excited about this new chapter in his life. He also said that - if stations choose not to carry the new program - he will accept that as defacto evidence that the show is not God's will for him and the show will, "quietly go away."

Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile'...5 million dead from war in the Congo.....well no wonder all that turbulance is happening in the world...of course...God's been working with Dr. Dobson about his new show.

Please excuse me while I go barf.

lawPro
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:02 pm

Re: Focus on the Family

Post by lawPro » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:59 pm

Jeff, thanks for your thoughts.

I ended up going to the Family Talk website and listening to the introductory episode today. It'll be interesting to see how different the shows end up being - especially since Dobson has admitted to having problems remembering the name of the new show. :)

Another interesting thing is that people thought Dad Dobson was starting Family Talk for an outlet for his son Ryan - and Ryan already has a radio show online. Are people reading too much into this?

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jaqchapman
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Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Focus on the Family

Post by jaqchapman » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:32 am

Hey, adambombs, sounds like you're not a fan of Dr. Dobson. Is it his politics? Because I hear he does give decent advice about parenting.

I kind of agree with you about the "hearing from God" thing, though. I think that is a phrase often used in Christian circles, and it could be a ruse for what's really going on. Still, I'm not the one to judge his motives. Someone bigger than me will do that.

nardMuffin
Posts: 55
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Re: Focus on the Family

Post by nardMuffin » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:17 pm

I might not be a fan of James Dobson and who knows but he's a nice enough man but I do think that God cares about the journey of our lives and somehow views our choices as we are the vessels he's chosen to do work here on the earth. If he believed it's God's will for him to do this, then so be it. If it doesn't work, that doesn't mean he heard wrong - means there must be some other lesson to learn. We'll see...

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