After 32 years of spewing anti-gay bile and bigotry, Dr. James Dobson has announced that early next year he will step down from his leadership role at Focus On The Family.
Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson will end his 32-year stint as the voice of the conservative Christian ministry at the end of February, the Colorado Springs-based nonprofit announced Friday. Focus on the Family’s board and the 73-year-old Dobson, the folksy family therapist who evolved into a key frontman for the religious right, have agreed to a parting of the ways, ministry spokesman Gary Schneeberger said. Dobson’s February exit from the airwaves probably doesn’t spell his demise as an icon with political clout, experts say. And it isn’t known whether his departure will help or hurt the ministry’s efforts to attract new and younger families as listeners, readers and donors. Focus on the Family could not say Friday who would replace Dobson as host of its flagship radio show, which has an estimated 1.5 million listeners. And Dobson, who is reportedly in good health, did not release a statement. “One word I don’t suspect we’ll hear him use is ‘retirement,’ ” said Jim Daly, who replaced Dobson as Focus on the Family’s president in 2003. Last February, Dobson began distancing himself from the ministry’s day-to-day operations when he stepped down as chairman of the board.
Dobson is expected to occasionally appear as a guest on the show he created. Several weeks ago Focus On The Family cut over 100 staffers due to dwindling donations.