Monday, October 12, 2009

More coverage of KFUO sale

The proposed sale of radio station KFUO (99.1 FM) is continuing to generate controversy and press coverage. Over the weekend, reporter Charles Jaco of local Fox affiliate KTVI (Channel 2) did a story on the sale that included an interview with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra president Fred Bronstein. You can see that report online here.

(For more background on the sale of KFUO, and why it matters to local fans of jazz as well as classical music, see here, here, here, here and here. )

Also, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Sarah Bryan Miller has another sale-related post today on the paper's Culture Club blog - specifically, it seems that the station's current owners, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, now have told KFUO personnel to refrain from talking to the press about the sale.

Over the weekend, the Post also ran a piece from religion reporter Tim Townsend headlined "Evangelism at the heart of KFUO-FM sale," which prompted a sharp response from pro-classical music commenters as well as an answering post from Miller.

Last but not least, an earlier StLJN post on the subject prompted an interesting comment by reader "fromwis," which apparently also is being posted on comment threads related to the story on various media outlets around town. The comment indicates that not all the LCMS board members are happy with the terms of the proposed sale, and because the post in question has slipped off the front page, the comment is reproduced in full below:
"Used with the express permission of Dr. Paul L. Maier

Paul L. Maier, Ph.D., Litt.D, LL.D.
Department of History
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

(269) 387-4816 Fax: (269) 387-4651


October 8, 2009

Selling KFUO-FM was a clear violation of Christian ethics. Primed with wrong information, the LCMS Board of Directors that authorized the sale ignored an appeal by 41 principal church leaders not to sell KFUO-FM, disregarded crucial ethical issues involved in betraying the trust of KFUO’s founders and supporters, and has now sold a vital mission of our church, gaining proceeds to which it was legally but not morally entitled. This was not Synod’s investment, but that of listeners across 85 years who prayed, worked, and gave sacrificially to support KFUO. Did the matter of basic ethics ever occur to board members, the obligation to do right rather than wrong? And in a church board, no less?

And all this while destroying one of our country’s great, pioneer radio stations and alienating the cultural community of St. Louis -- and the world.

Moreover, radio experts wonder why the Board relegated so important a decision to a small committee (one which avoided other options for Lutheran ownership), and are mystified that it would sell such an asset at the worst possible time economically. They deem the sales agreement “dead on arrival,” since the millions claimed in the sale have little chance of reali- zation. Joy-FM, the purchaser, is non-commercial and already owes $600,000 on its two “rim-shot” stations. One cannot escape the conclusion that this was one of the worst decisions ever made by any board in the history of our church body.

Paul L. Maier
Second Vice-President
The Lutheran Church—Mo. Synod"
(Edited after posting to add a link and fix a typo.)

1 comment:

fromwis said...

And now a gag order imposed across the board to those employed by the LCMS as to any comment related to KFUO.

Thank God that some of us can pick up the cross and carry it for those who have been silenced.