Family Radio

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Family Stations, Inc
Family Radio 2017 logo.svg
FoundedFebruary 4, 1959
FounderHarold Camping, Richard H. Palmquist, and Lloyd Lindquist
TypeReligious, Christian
ProductsRadio, television

Family Radio, also known by its licensee name Family Stations Inc., is a Christian radio network based in Alameda, California, United States, founded by Lloyd Lindquist, Richard H. Palmquist and Harold Camping.[1]


Family Radio's music programming consists mainly of early American hymns and avoids other genres generally, including Contemporary Christian Music and southern gospel.

One of Family Radio's oldest broadcasts was a call-in program called Open Forum in which Harold Camping, the station's president, responded to callers' questions and comments as they relate to the Bible and he used the platform to promote his various end-time predictions. According to the International Business Times in an article dated 05/24/2011, "Harold Camping has spent approximately $100 million to promote and advertise his May 21 Doomsday prediction." The program was finally cancelled not long after Camping's third failed "rapture-less" prediction and a stroke which he suffered in June 2011. Other programs include Family Bible Reading Fellowship, Family Bible Study, Rise and Rejoice, Music to Live By, The Quiet Hours, Beyond Intelligent Design, The Christian Home, and Family Radio World Wide.[2]


Family Radio relies solely on listener-supported funding and donations, and is unaffiliated with any religious denomination.[3] Outside programming broadcast over the Family Radio network is limited as Camping considers the organized church apostate, and therefore devoid of God's Spirit and under Satan's control.

The listenership of Family Radio understandably declined after the failed 1994 prediction, but before long the organization was growing at a rate much higher than it had previously experienced.[4] In 1958, Camping sold his construction business and, with the funds, purchased KEAR-FM in San Francisco. He then grew his broadcast empire so that by 1994 Family Radio comprised forty radio stations nationwide.[5] Yet, from 1994 to 2009, it grew at an even faster rate than before; by the time of his second campaign, the organization boasted 216 AM and FM radio stations, along with two television channels.[4]

With a growing national profile, the financial viability of the non-profit also grew. Financial strength hit a peak in 2007 when Family Radio reported $135 million in assets.[6] As net assets declined from that point forward, listener contributions steadily increased. In 2008, total contributions were well over $15 million.[7] 2009 saw an annual budget of $36.7 million with $117 million in assets and $18.4 million in contributions.[8] IRS records also indicate that Family Radio employed 348 persons in 2009.[9] In 2010 assets were down to $110 million while contributions rose to $18.7 million while the station maintained 346 employees.[10] In 2011 contributions fell to $17.2 million and assets dropped to $87.6 million, while the organization also lost 26 employees.[11] By the end of 2011 the organizations assets had dropped to $29.2 million, and the next year was forced to take out a $30 million loan.[12] In 2007, the year before the start of the 2011 campaign, Family Radio had its greatest level of assets. Upon the outset of the second campaign, the organizations assets dropped while contributions simultaneously rose indicating an increased level of spending by the organization, far surpassing the increase in income. Particularly noteworthy is that the average annual salary for a Family Radio employee is only $23,000.[8]


Family Radio does not discuss politics directly, campaign for political candidates, or endorse candidates or issues. Family Radio attempts to distance itself from political and social issues.


Family Radio began obtaining FM broadcasting licenses on commercial frequencies early in FM's history,[when?] and by 2006, was ranked 19th among top broadcast companies in number of radio stations owned.[13]

In 1958, a Family Radio founder, Harold Camping, joined with other individuals of Christian Reformed, Bible Baptist, and Conservative Christian Presbyterian churches to purchase an FM radio station in San Francisco, California, KEAR, then at 97.3 MHz, to broadcast traditional Christian Gospel to the conservative Protestant community and minister to the general public. With the primary purpose of broadcasting doctrines of Christianity reflective of the teachings of the Holy Bible, Family Radio remained independent, never merging with any particular church organization or church denominations.[14] After months of preparations, Family Radio aired its first broadcast on Wednesday, February 4, 1959.

Through the 1960s, as a ministry, both non-profit organization and non-commercial, Family Radio acquired six additional FM stations and seven other AM stations under guidelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[15] The flagship station for the network of both full-power and low-power translator stations is KEAR in San Francisco (now at 610 kHz, since 2005 at 106.9 MHz). Due to FCC rules regarding translator stations, the legal primary station for the translators was changed to KEAR-FM in Sacramento, after the former primary FM station in San Francisco was sold to CBS Radio.[16]

With the sale of KEAR-FM to CBS Radio in 2005, broadcasts from San Francisco moved to an AM radio frequency.[17]

Many program productions broadcast throughout the Family Radio station network were produced in the Oakland, California facilities. The production process involved pre-recording two weeks of broadcast programming on reel-to-reel tapes distributed to each local Family Radio station for broadcast on the specified date. Free broadcast time was provided by Family Radio to national fundamentalist and evangelical ministries—outside ministries' programs were sent in cassette and reel-to-reel tape formats to respective Family Radio stations for local broadcast. Popular network announcers and the programs they hosted included Jon Arthur (The Quiet Hours, Big Jon & Sparky, Radio Reading Circle); Omar Andeel (The Morning Clock); Harold Hall (The Christian Home); Ken Boone (Music to Live By); Bob Swenson (Transition); and Jerry Edinger (Nightwatch). Each local Family Radio station had local board operators providing world, national, and local news and weather at various intervals throughout the day; regular public service announcements and daily public affairs programming; and local traffic reports via phone call-in during morning and afternoon weekdays. Outside ministry programs included Focus on the Family, Freedom Under Fire, Unshackled, Back to the Bible, Family News in Focus, Beyond Intelligent Design, and "Walk with the King" with Dr. Robert A. Cook. This last program, known as The King's Hour, still airs today, although now often edited in places deemed incompatible with Camping's odd end-times and "apostate church" doctrinal stands.

By the late 1980s, programming was delivered via satellite, local news was taken off the stations in favor of a various national news from a Christian news source, and all but a few local announcements are produced at their Oakland, California facilities.[18]

Beginning in the late 1990s, Family Radio began gradually dropping outside ministries because of doctrinal changes in the ministry. As board members left the ministry, they were not being replaced. Harold Camping's views as they were changing became the focus of the entire ministry. Up until the late 1980s, Family Radio endorsed local church attendance but once Camping stated the church age was over, they now claim that Christians should NOT be members or attend church services of any type. Today Family Radio produces 95% of their programming and runs very few outside ministries. Most teaching programs were hosted by Harold Camping himself up until June 2011; after Camping suffered a stroke, his programs were gradually phased out.

Music broadcast by Family Radio in the 1960s and 1970s was typical of religious stations, commercial and non-commercial. Some commercial stations played Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) for a few hours a week, but in the 1980s, as commercial and some non-commercial Christian stations evolved to Contemporary formats, Family Radio remained with a mainly traditional music format composed of choir hymns, various Gospel singing groups such as the Bill Gaither Trio, Christian college choirs, instrumental orchestral hymn renditions from conductors such as Paul Mickelson and Ralph Carmichael, vocalists such as George Beverly Shea, Frank Boggs, Doug Oldham, Mahalia Jackson, John McGill, Dave Boyer, and others, and softer urban contemporary gospel songs. From the 1970s onward, Family Radio included a few selected tracks from some lighter contemporary Christian artists such as Maranatha, Pam Mark Hall, Nancy Honeytree, Cynthia Clawson, the New Creation Singers, Ken Medema, Michael Card, Steve Green and others. But since the early 2000s, Family Radio has been trying to avoid the Contemporary format, even though this genre is still occasionally heard on its stations.

In the mid- to late 1970s there began a policy of not announcing the names of artists behind the music aired. Presently there is a daily play list available on the web site for both east coast and west coast broadcasts.

Family Radio's text publications, continue to be based on the text of the authorized King James Bible.[19][20] Prerecorded Bible readings broadcast over satellite, shortwave, radio frequencies and the internet are generally based on the Modern King James Bible.[21]

Leading up to May 2011, Family Radio spent millions of dollars to advertise the now-discredited 2011 end times prediction.[22]

Two days after this supposed "Rapture" failed to happen, A Bible Answer, a Bible teaching ministry who had been tired of the "Rapture", threatened to buy 66 full-powered radio stations from Family Radio founder Harold Camping in an effort to get him to resign from preaching this doctrine. The threat came with a catch – they were not to take possession of the stations until October 22, the day after Camping's revised set-date for the end of the world. A Bible Answer's website calls for Camping to resign from the Family Radio board, citing "the self-proclaimed expert on the Bible has brought reproach upon Christ, the Bible, and the church," and adds "After taking the money of his supporters, let Harold give up all he has, to show he believes what he is preaching. He does not or else he would sell. It is time to get new leadership at Family Radio."[23][24]

On August 3, 2011, the radio industry website reported that Family Radio was putting two of its full-powered FM stations up for sale. These stations were: WKDN in Camden, New Jersey (covering Philadelphia), and WFSI in Annapolis, Maryland (covering Baltimore and Washington, D.C.). The article indicated that the ministry may have sold the stations to pay off "operating deficits accumulated over the last several years".[25] WFSI would be purchased in November 2011 by CBS Radio, which converted the station to a Spanish language dance music format under the WLZL call sign. Merlin Media, LLC struck a deal in December 2011 to acquire WKDN,[26] which was relaunched with a talk format under the WWIQ call sign.[27]

In January 2012, Family Radio applied to the FCC to change the license of station WFME in Newark, New Jersey, near New York City, from non-commercial to commercial. The application quickly prompted conjecture from radio industry monitors that the station would soon be sold. The application was approved in February.[28][29][30] Those rumors were confirmed on October 16, 2012, when it was announced that Family Stations would sell WFME to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media for an undisclosed price.[31] A November message from Camping posted on the Family Radio website admitted, "Either we sell WFME or go off the air completely!" The 94.7 signal would be relaunched as country-formatted station, WNSH. Shortly after 94.7's sale to Cumulus, Family Radio would low-powered FM station WDVY in Mount Kisco, New York from Cumulus, which would soon after adopt Family Radio's programming and the WFME-FM callsign. In December 2013, Family Radio's shortwave transmitters in Okeechobee, Florida, were transferred to Radio Miami International.

Harold Camping died from a fall on December 15, 2013, in his home in Alameda, California. His death was confirmed by an employee of the ministry.

Previous logo

Despite the decrease of stations owned by Family Radio, the ministry continues to recover from the effects of the failed end-times prediction. Tom Evans succeeded Camping as president and general manager. The popularity of smartphones and tablets caused Family Radio to introduce its app for use on such electronics, besides normal computers and listening to broadcasts traditionally aired on its stations. Family Radio redesigned its Web site and introduced it in its new format in June 2014. In July and August of that year, the ministry introduced a few new programs that became part of its program schedule. They include Issues and Answers, an updates-and-concerns program hosted by Tom Evans; and The Middle East Report, a short news program hosted by journalist Brian Bush.

On November 21, 2014, the Walt Disney Company announced it would sell WQEW in New York City to Family Radio for $12.95 million, part of Disney's decision to end terrestrial distribution of Radio Disney format. The sale was approved on February 10, 2015, and the station returned on the air on February 27 as the new WFME (AM), thus giving Family Radio full coverage of the New York City metropolitan area for the first time in two years. Concurrent with the sale, the FCC converted WFME's broadcasting status from commercial to non-commercial.

During 2016, Family Radio moved its corporate offices and main studios from Oakland, where it had been based since the ministry's inception, to the adjacent East Bay city of Alameda, also near Oakland International Airport and the headquarters of the Oakland Raiders.

In September 2018, Family Radio announced would no longer air programs featuring the voice of Harold Camping, and would no longer distribute literature of Camping's teachings. The decision was made as part of an effort to both move away from Camping's theology, and to reintroduce programs from outside ministries into the network's schedule. The changes are scheduled to go into effect on October 8, 2018.[32]

Teachings and beliefs[edit]

Central to Family Radio's and Camping's teaching is the belief that the Bible is the Word of God and completely true. However, he emphasizes, this does not mean that each sentence in the Bible is to be understood only literally. Rather, the meaning of individual Biblical passages needs to be interpreted in the light of two factors. The first is the context of the Bible as a whole. The second is its spiritual meaning: in Camping's words, "the Bible is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning." In Camping's latest publication, "We are Almost There!",[33] he stated that certain Biblical passages pointed unquestionably to May 21, 2011, as the date of "Rapture", and pointed to October 21, 2011, as the end of the world. This event did not occur on 21 May or 21 October. No acknowledgement of false teaching has yet been offered concerning the 21 October event.[34] The organization's website became inaccessible early that day, and wasn't reachable until the early morning of May 22.

As a result of spending millions of dollars to promote his "end of the world" theory, many people sold everything they owned and donated it to Family Radio, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars.[citation needed] The California Attorney General's office has been asked by the Freedom from Religion Foundation to investigate Camping and Family Stations, Inc. for "Fraud and Deceit".[35]

From the time he left the Reformed Church in 1988 to his death, Camping taught doctrines that largely conflict with doctrines of the Reformed Church and traditional Christian teaching. The principles of Biblical hermeneutics upon which Camping framed his present teachings are:

  1. The Bible alone is the Word of God.
  2. Every Biblical passage must be interpreted in the light of the Bible as a whole.
  3. The Bible normally conveys multiple levels of meaning or significance.[36]
  4. Numerology cannot be applied to numbers in the Bible when following the Biblical rules—some individuals have attempted to apply the concept to Camping's research.
  5. That salvation is unmerited and cannot be achieved by good works, prayer, belief or acceptance. It is a pure act of God's grace and that those to be saved were chosen "before the foundation of the world". He added conditions to salvation and teaching relative free will of humanity. However, he admitted that some, though very few, could be saved, while still in the worldly churches, just as there would be those saved inside the nation of Israel, and that leaving the churches is something a believer should do, just as a believer should not lie or cheat. He also gave credit to God for what has been called "common grace", where the unsaved, the yet to be saved and the saved are blessed to do good works, but this is not considered the gift of salvation itself.


Map of stations and repeaters


Eutelsat Hotbird 6 - 13 degrees east, Transponder # 89, Vertical LNB polarization; Satellite frequency: 12.597 GHz

  • Family Radio Europe (English): channel 8222
  • Family Radio International 1: channel 8233
  • Family Radio International 2: channel 8234

Astra 2B - 28.2° east, Transponder # 36, Vertical LNB polarization, Satellite frequency: 12.4024 GHz

  • Family Radio Europe (English) : SID 9558

Full-powered stations[edit]

 United States
City of license State Call sign Frequency
Birmingham  Alabama WBFR 89.5 FM
Phoenix  Arizona KPHF 88.3 FM
Bakersfield  California KFRB 91.3 FM
Chico  California KHAP 89.1 FM
Coalinga  California KFRP 90.7 FM
El Cajon  California KECR 910 AM
Fresno  California KFNO 90.3 FM
Le Grand  California KEFR 89.9 FM
Long Beach  California KFRN 1280 AM
Sacramento  California KEBR 88.1 FM
San Francisco  California KEAR 610 AM
Soledad  California KFRS 89.9 FM
Ukiah  California KPRA 89.5 FM
Pueblo  Colorado KFRY 89.9 FM
Vernon  Connecticut WCTF 1170 AM
Florida City  Florida WMFL 88.5 FM
Jacksonville  Florida WJFR 88.7 FM
Stuart  Florida WWFR 91.7 FM
Americus  Georgia WFRP 88.7 FM
Columbus  Georgia WFRC 90.5 FM
Joliet  Illinois WJCH 91.9 FM
Des Moines  Iowa KDFR 91.3 FM
Shenandoah  Iowa KYFR 920 AM
Baltimore  Maryland WFSI 860 AM
Schoolcraft  Michigan WOFR 89.5 FM
Butte  Montana KFRD 88.3 FM
Great Falls  Montana KFRW 91.9 FM
Socorro  New Mexico KXFR 91.9 FM
Buffalo  New York WFBF 89.9 FM
Kingston  New York WFRH 91.7 FM
Mt. Kisco  New York WFME-FM 106.3 FM
New York City  New York WFME 1560 AM
Smithtown  New York WFRS 88.9 FM
Cuyahoga Falls  Ohio WCUE 1150 AM
Toledo  Ohio WOTL 90.3 FM
Youngstown  Ohio WYTN 91.7 FM
Newport  Oregon KYOR 88.9 FM
Pine Grove  Oregon KPFR 89.5 FM
Springfield  Oregon KQFE 88.9 FM
Bedford  Pennsylvania WUFR 91.1 FM
Erie  Pennsylvania WEFR 88.1 FM
Johnstown  Pennsylvania WFRJ 88.9 FM
Philadelphia  Pennsylvania WKDN 950 AM
State College  Pennsylvania WKDN-FM 88.3 FM
Charleston  South Carolina WFCH 88.5 FM
Beaumont  Texas KTXB 89.7 FM
Salt Lake City  Utah KUFR 91.7 FM
Longview  Washington KJVH 89.5 FM
Milwaukee  Wisconsin WMWK 88.1 FM

not owned by Family Stations, Inc.

Family Radio can be heard in English from the following local international stations:

Country City Station Frequency Day/time
 Lesotho Maseru 1197 kHz 6pm - 9pm and 10pm - 1am
 Philippines Metro Manila DWSS (Tagalog) 1494 kHz Weekdays 8pm - 10pm
 Russia Moscow Center 1503 kHz Weekdays 11pm - 12:30am and 8pm - 9:00pm

Until July 1, 2013, Family Radio also offered international coverage via short wave radio station WYFR in several languages; its short wave service ceased operations on July 1, 2013.[37]


In addition to its full-powered stations, Family Radio is relayed by an additional 35 low-powered translators:

East Coast translators

Call sign Frequency
City of license FCC info
W271BC 102.1 Lumpkin, Georgia FCC
W233AD 94.5 Rockford, Illinois FCC
W295AF 106.9 La Porte, Indiana FCC
W252AQ 98.3 Lake Charles, Louisiana FCC
W282BI 104.3 Catskill, etc., New York FCC
W282AD 104.3 East Windham, New York FCC
W213AC 90.5 Hyde Park, etc., New York FCC
W214AB 90.7 Bedford, etc., Pennsylvania FCC
W282BT 104.3 Bellefonte, Pennsylvania FCC
W208AF 89.5 Nanticoke, Pennsylvania FCC
W207AE 89.3 Reading, Pennsylvania FCC
W280CV 103.9 Scranton, Pennsylvania FCC
W249BD 97.7 West View, Pennsylvania FCC
W207AX 89.3 Burlington, Vermont FCC
W220BD 91.9 Roanoke, Virginia FCC

West Coast Translators

Call sign Frequency
City of license FCC info
K205CI 88.9 Phoenix, Arizona FCC
K219AO 91.7 Fairmont, California FCC
K241AH 96.1 Laytonville, California FCC
K220EY 91.9 Porterville, California FCC
K268AJ 101.5 Redding, California FCC
K227AH 93.3 River Pines, California FCC
K213BZ 90.5 Richvale, California FCC
K238AC 95.5 Salida, California FCC
K214CA 90.7 Grand Junction, Colorado FCC
K206DU 89.1 Lafayette, Louisiana FCC
K203EP 88.5 Shepherd, Montana FCC
K220GM 91.9 Placitas, New Mexico FCC
K211GA 90.1 Carson City, Nevada FCC
K202BY 88.3 Enid, Oklahoma FCC
K214BO 90.7 Ashland, Oregon FCC
K223AO 92.5 Florence, Oregon FCC
K203BE 88.5 Roseburg, Oregon FCC
K219BX 91.7 El Paso, Texas FCC
K220EI 91.9 Ogden, Utah FCC
K219CA 91.7 Casper, Wyoming FCC



  1. ^
  2. ^ Family Radio broadcast programs, Family Stations, Inc.
  3. ^ Family Radio General Information, Family Stations, Inc.
  4. ^ a b James, Scott. "Warnings of the End of the World, Broadcast from Oakland." The Bay Citizen. Published electronically May 19, 2011.
  5. ^ Press, Associated. "Prohecy on Radio: September It's All over Via His Radio Show, Harold Camping Predicts Judgement Day Is Almost Here." Orlando Sentinel, July 16, 1994.
  6. ^ Banks, Adelle M. "End May Be Coming for Harold Camping's Family Radio Ministry." Huffington Post: Religion. Published electronically May 14, 2013.
  7. ^ Gary Cook, "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax," ed. IRS (Washington DC2009).
  8. ^ a b James, "Warnings of the End of the World, Broadcast from Oakland".
  9. ^ Cook, "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax."
  10. ^ "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax," ed. IRS (Washington DC2010).
  11. ^ "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax," ed. IRS (Washington DC2011).
  12. ^ Katherine Weber, "Harold Camping's Family Radio Suffering Economic Woes," The Christian Post,
  13. ^ State of the News Media 2006.,
  14. ^ Who or What is Family Radio?, Family Stations, Inc., archived from the original on 2008-05-26
  15. ^ Multiple Ownership;Radio Broadcast Stations, Small Business Administration, retrieved 2008-05-22
  16. ^ Infinity Broadcasting, CBS RADIO pressroom, retrieved 2008-05-22
  17. ^ Family Stations, KEAR 610 AM, Radiotime your guide to radio, retrieved 2008-05-22
  18. ^ Family Stations fact sheet, Hoovers, a D&B Co., retrieved 2008-05-22
  19. ^ "Family Stations text Bible". FamilyStations, Inc.
  20. ^ Harold Camping. "Open forum/text, authorized King James". FamilyStations, Inc. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  21. ^ "Family Stations audio Bible". Family Stations, Inc.
  22. ^ "Apocalypse Not Yet: 'Rapture Hour' passes quietly". CBC News. May 22, 2011.
  23. ^ Family Radio gets a $1 million offer to sell their 66 stations Archived 2011-05-31 at the Wayback Machine. - Archived 2012-01-03 at the Wayback Machine. (released May 30, 2011)
  24. ^ Goodbye Harold - A Bible Answer (released May 23, 2011)
  25. ^ "Round 3 of the bidding for Family Radio FMs in two markets", News article from, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-24. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 3 August 2011; retrieved 8 August 2011.
  26. ^ "WKDN Philadelphia Sold," from Radio Insight, 12/6/2011
  27. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 16, 2012). Merlin hopes for high IQ in Philadelphia (free preview). NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  28. ^ Taylor, Tom (9 January 2012). "New York scramble?: Is New York-market WFME (94.7) for sale? Family Radio applies to change its crown jewel to commercial operation". TRI: Taylor on Radio-Info. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  29. ^ Taylor, Tom (10 January 2012). "Gotham guessing game: Yes, Family Radio's New York-market WFME (94.7) will be for sale. But not just yet". TRI: Taylor on Radio-Info. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  30. ^ Venta, Lance (7 January 2012). "WFME Applies to Go Commercial, Prepares for Sale". Radio Insight. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  31. ^ "Cumulus buys WFME/New York". ALL Access Music Group. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  32. ^
  33. ^ ...Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast Stations in Local Markets, Small Business Administration, retrieved 2008-05-22
  34. ^ Pilkington, Ed (May 24, 2011). "Apocalypse still imminent: Rapture now coming in October". The Guardian. London.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Harold Camping. "First Principles of Bible Study". Family Stations, Inc. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  37. ^

External links[edit]