Listeners of Christian talk radio were surprised and dismayed to learn that the same slate of programs has been playing on Christian radio stations since 1988, and that the entire façade of Christian radio has been run out of a basement complex in Michigan.
The 365-day-long loop, which has been running continuously since January 1, 1988, includes programs by ministers such as James Dobson and Chuck Colson who dispense parenting and marital advice, Bible answers and non-specific calls to political action. The loop followed the calendar’s rhythms, with programs about creating lasting family traditions at Thanksgiving, back-to-school prayer programs in August and cloyingly sweet programs about home, hearth and “the reason for the season” at Christmas. A layer of conservative concern over the direction of the country was included throughout the year. “Repeating the same shows saved us all money and time,” says the program director, who now feels ashamed of his role. He came up with the scheme in the ’80s after noting that some shows were becoming repetitive. “We made it generic enough to last for years, but specific enough to speak to people’s lives over and over. On that score I think we did a pretty good job.”