Saturday, October 10, 2009

KFUO-FM Sale: Editorial from Board of Directors

October 9, 2009

Letters to the Editor
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
900 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101

RE: “Missouri Synod agrees to sell KFUO” - Oct. 7, 2009

Dear Editor,

The ongoing news coverage of the sale of KFUO-FM has been disappointing in its lack of completeness. There is significantly more to the story than has been reported.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Board of Directors is elected by convention delegates and is responsible—on behalf of the 2.4 million members of the church—for conscientiously evaluating the assets of the church to determine how best to use those assets to further the proclamation, mission, and ministry associated with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Synod’s board has been open about its intentions regarding the disposition of its FM station. Since as early as February 2008, this item has been on the board meeting agenda. Board minutes are made public by posting on the LCMS Web site and summaries are reported in the board’s insert “Board Briefs” to the church’s newspaper, Reporter. At various stages, information regarding the sale of KFUO-FM has been shared with several groups of church leaders, including the presidents of the Synod’s 35 districts and Concordia Seminary’s Board of Regents. All of this refutes the ongoing allegations of secrecy regarding the decision to sell the station.

There have been numerous allegations that the LCMS would not meet with certain potential buyers. This is demonstrably untrue. The LCMS has been accused of not providing term sheets to certain potential buyers. No one received a term sheet because one was never developed. This has been explained time and again.

The LCMS received dozens of inquiries and expressions of interest in purchasing KFUO-FM from commercial and specialty broadcasters as well as media brokers. The only organization the board approached regarding submitting a purchase offer was the KFUO Radio Arts Board, which was notified the day after the LCMS board determined to move forward with seeking a buyer for the station. No one—including the KFUO Radio Arts Board— offered more than Joy FM.

Beautiful music is indeed a gift from God. The heritage of Lutheran church music owes much to classical composers, such as Johann Sebastian Bach. Music is an integral part of the Lutheran faith. It is our desire to continue providing classical music for our community’s listening pleasure if we can, and we are working to explore alternatives regarding broadcasting over a high-definition channel and perhaps farther up the FM dial through a radio translation system.

The LCMS appreciates being a member of the St. Louis community. St. Louis is the center of the church’s worldwide operations, and we employ nearly 600 local citizens.

We consider it an honor and privilege to have provided our community with classical music these many years. We value the heritage of KFUO-FM and are immensely grateful for the support the station has received. We are especially grateful to the station’s listeners, patrons, and corporate partners for their generous support.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide this information so that your readers may know these additional facts. The LCMS is involved in myriad national and international mission and ministry endeavors. We praise God for providing this means of additional resources for reaching the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Sincerely,

Dr. Donald Muchow
Chair
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Board of Directors

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