Utah’s first openly gay party leader Jim Dabakis is returning to his true love — he’s hosting a radio show. Every Saturday morning from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. he’ll be leading the conversation for the Dabakis factor on K-TALK 630 AM.
Dabakis’ return to radio is his first foray into the airwaves since he went off the air in 1989. Starting as an intern, Dabakis went on to work for local stations from 1976 to 1989. He became known as Mr. Democrat and was a prominent fixture in Utah radio throughout the ‘80s. After pursuing other business ventures in Eastern Europe, Dabakis helped start both the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah. He now leads the Utah Democratic Party but said his true passion lies on the radio.
“The airwaves are filled with right wing mean-spirited talk radio. I believe that is part of the reason why the good folks of Utah vote so republican. They’re not hearing the other side,” Dabakis said. “Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others like them have created this poisonous atmosphere that is really hurting the nation.”
The Dabakis Factor will utilize callers and discussions of current events to focus on a more moderate and progressive viewpoint. Some guests will be featured, but the show will largely focus on listener input.
The show started on June 9 and is broadcast over the airwaves and recordings can be downloaded at k-talk.com.
“The goal is to not just to have a two-hour block, but a network of stations around the state with a mainstream and moderate voice,” Dabakis said. “We need to change the message back where most Utahns are.”
Dabakis stressed that there would be a “firewall” between his jobs as the head of the Democratic Party and his hosting duties.
“Of course I’m a Democrat. It’s quite clear that I’m a Democrat and I won’t back away from that for a second,” he said. “But there will be a separation between my hosting duties and my job with the party.”
For more information or to listen to the Dabakis Factor, go to k-talk.com.