The Stream Welcomes New Editor-in-Chief, Karla Dial!

By Al Perrotta Published on March 1, 2024

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Nearly two years ago, The Stream was left with a massive gap — and a hole in our hearts — with the sudden and unexpected departure of Editor-in-Chief John Melton, who had spent more than a decade at our parent organization, LIFE Outreach International. None of us imagined it would take 20 months to find his replacement — and as the person tasked with helping to fill his duties, many a weary day left me gasping in prayer, “Lord, what are You waiting for?!”

Turns out we should have asked, “Who are You waiting for?”

Like an NFL team making do with a scrub at quarterback for a season while the head coach had his eye on the #1 pick in the next draft, it seems the Lord was waiting for His choice to become available.

That person is Karla Dial, and she officially starts with us today!

God Shows He’s God: Karla’s Surprise Connection to The Stream

Karla’s journey toward us has been eclectic, but looking back, it’s clear that God’s hand has been on it for a long time. Between stints working as a sportswriter at a newspaper and a regular contributor to women’s fitness and men’s bodybuilding magazines, she ran two monthly newspapers for a libertarian think tank before being tapped to run the now-defunct Citizen magazine at Focus on the Family for seven years. In late 2018, she became the editorial director for Salem Books — the Christian imprint of Regnery Publishing in Washington, D.C., a leading publisher of conservative books — where she edited half a dozen works that have landed on bestseller lists over the last five years.

In fact, Karla edited the brand-new book from Stream cofounders James Robison and Jay Richards, Fight the Good Fight, which was released in February. That seems fitting; after all, that’s how she got on our radar, right?

Wrong. God wanted to make sure we knew HE was the One orchestrating this arrangement.

Karla won over LOI Executive Vice President Bruce Jacobson before he learned she had edited the book. (Somehow our headhunters missed making a note of that during Karla’s initial conversations with them.)

After picking his jaw off his office carpet, Bruce called Jay Richards, who burst out laughing.

“If you had put a gun to my head and given me 10 seconds to name my perfect choice for The Stream,” he said, “it would have been Karla Dial.”

Bruce asked him the same thing the rest of us wanted to know. “Then why didn’t you mention her to us?!”

His simple answer: “She was not available.”

And she wasn’t. Until suddenly, she was.

In the final quarter of 2023, Salem Media Group sold Regnery to Skyhorse Publishing, unexpectedly leaving Karla a free agent at year’s end. But it wasn’t a total surprise to Karla. “God had been telling me all year to get ready to move from the place I was living,” she says. “But when I asked Him where, He wouldn’t tell me. When I asked Him when, He wouldn’t tell me that, either. And when I asked Him why, He only left me to wonder if maybe I was going to be called back into daily journalism in some way.

“The only detail I could ever get out of Him about it was, ‘When the door opens, you’ll know.’”

The door began to take shape in October, when word of the sale to Skyhorse first began to circulate. In December, it materialized fully — and then shut firmly.

However, Karla had not bothered to begin the job-hunting process in earnest.

“In September, I received a prophetic word about the hallway season I was in — and that the projects that would make my heart sing and the community I was looking for were waiting at the other end,” she says. “There was also some detail about my administrative skills and entrepreneurship. So my plan was just to make my side gig as an editor and consultant my sole gig, and keep dropping bombs on the enemy in the form of Christian books.”

But it turned out God had other plans.

The Suddenlies

The clock was ticking on finding editor-in-chief candidates; the search firm we hired was set to present a short list of screened candidates to Jacobson on January 10. At the end of his own interview, another potential candidate told them, “I think I have someone better for you.” The search firm reached out to Karla and the following Sunday — and interviewed her on January 9 — the very last day we were accepting candidates.

Within minutes of her initial interview with Bruce two weeks later, the choice was clear. God was clear: Our wait was over.

Oh, how the truth of Ephesians 2:10 applies, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God created in advance for us to do.“

Publisher James Robison on What Karla Means to The Stream

Count Stream Publisher James Robison among those most excited by Karla’s arrival. He penned this letter:

Karla,

We welcome you with open arms and all our hearts. For many months, we prayed for God to send us the perfect overseer and editor-in-chief of The Stream.

We believe God wants The Stream to be a website where wisdom lives. That’s God’s will and His Word shared with the hope of providing understanding of the times, challenges, and marvelous possibilities of God’s transforming truth and unshakable principles, upon which Faith, Family and Freedom must stand.

Jesus left us here to make a Kingdom impact on Planet Earth. He made it clear the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all nations, and then He will come. It’s to be preached not just in word, but in demonstration of the power of His Kingdom in us as believers.

The Stream counts it a privilege to take on this God-given assignment. And we count ourselves blessed that you have come to help lead The Stream in that effort.

The New Stream Era Begins

So today, Karla starts her new chapter as Stream editor-in-chief and newly minted Texan. A strong woman of faith, a strong conservative, with strong ideas about how we Christians in the news and commentary business should go about that business. Plus, she has just the right mix of humor and moxie to put up with this colorful, opinionated cast of writers and contributors.

You’ll soon hear from Karla herself, but in the meantime, we ask you to join The Stream in not only welcoming her to the family, but in praying for her as she takes on the mantle of leading this publication into a new era as we navigate the fierce headwinds of an increasingly hostile culture and troubled world through the power of faith and reason.

Please join us also in, once again, thanking the Lord for keeping us in His hand these past 20 months, and bringing Karla to us in such an awe-inspiring way.

 

Al Perrotta is the managing editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and was, until the chimes of midnight last night, acting editor-in-chief.

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