You probably already know that Tony Dungy was the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl championship. What you may not know is that he’s been a big fan of the Focus on the Family broadcast. While coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1981 to 1989, Tony listened to our broadcast every day during his drive time to work. Recently, Tony was in the studio sharing with Dr. Dobson the impact that those days listening in the car had on him and his wife as they raised their children. He’s not alone. Two weeks ago I was speaking to a group in Nashville, Tennessee.
After the event, I hung around to visit with folks who had carved out the time to join us. One man (I’ll call him Steven) stood in line for almost an hour just to express his love for Dr. Dobson. Steven had given his heart to God during the mid-Eighties and, back then, had to travel from Cleveland, TN to Nashville every day for his job. I’m told that’s a several hour trip. Evidently, he, like Tony, passed part of the drive time listening to the Focus on the Family broadcast. Not having the benefit of Christian parents, Steven was grateful for the role Dr. Dobson played disciplining him after getting saved. As he listened, Steven discovered what it meant to be a godly husband and father. He learned about his responsibility to be involved in local and national issues that impact the home, too. As he described the impact of the broadcast on his life, I couldn’t help but be mindful of the host of parents shuttling kids to school, truck drivers and traveling salesmen on the road, among others, who’ve shared with us a similar story.
Listening to the Focus broadcast via radio while traveling has kept them company and supplied them with invaluable insight to strengthen their personal and home life. In light of these stories, one desire we’ve had has been to make listening to Dr. Dobson and his guests more readily accessible. Whether on the road, at home, at work during lunch, even flying, we’ve been working on new technologies to connect with our listeners. For example, did you know you now have the option of enjoying the broadcast on both XM and Sirius satellite radio networks? That’s especially good news for those on the open road who travel outside of the reach of traditional radio signals. For those with an Internet connection, listening online has never been easier. And, for the business man or woman who spends long hours in airports and planes, the Focus Podcasts are the perfect way to receive and listen to the program wherever they go on an iPod. We’re also exploring how we might deliver content from the broadcast – perhaps a brief excerpt – directly to cell phones. More on that later. Meanwhile, if there’s another way we can stay connected to your world, I’d love to hear your ideas!