KFUO finances

July 29th, 2008 Post by

Mollie here. So the July 2008 issue of Board Briefs indicates that the 2008/2009 budget for KFUO is $3,761,960.

A reader notes that the 2007/2008 budget for KFUO was $3,690,792.

Remember that David Strand keeps making the claim that Issues, Etc. was canceled to save money. And remember that David Strand keeps saying, with a straight face and everything, that Issues, Etc. was responsible for 40% of the AM station’s deficit.

So if David Strand canned Todd and Jeff with no notice whatsoever and without telling his board or Synod’s treasures (while somehow thinking it prudent to tell President Kieschnick and the BCS chairman) to save money . . . .

WHERE ARE THE SAVINGS? Why is the KFUO budget tens of thousands of dollars bigger this year than last year?

Things that make you go hmmmm..

Well, at least Synod, Inc. is probably asking David Strand these questions, right? I’m sure that the Board of Directors, Council of Presidents, Board for Communication Services, etc., are asking all these questions, right? Hello? Is this mic on?

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  1. July 30th, 2008 at 08:04 | #1

    Perhaps we turnip-truck-exiting laypeople are to assume that it somehow will cost $71,168.00 to “restructure” KFUO and that the “savings” will be reflected in the 2009-2010 budget?

    (Oh, wait. Maybe I shouldn’t joke about this. Maybe that WILL be the explanation…)

  2. July 30th, 2008 at 08:11 | #2

    Nothing as witty as Elephantschild – won’t even try… but, is it even worth our time to write and ask how he saved money? I guess mostly I’d be pestering him b/c I only listened to KFUO to listen to IE (well, occasionally to Law and Gospel, so I’m not a listener anymore – do they care what we think? I’m thinking that the only people who care what we choir members think are other choir members. Everyone else “turned off their miracle ear” (sorry, had to add that – hope someone caught the reference). I’m prepared to write away, just asking is all.

  3. Rev. Allen Bergstrazer
    July 30th, 2008 at 09:42 | #3

    There are no savings because IE wasn’t cancelled for budgetary reasons. If the $3690792.00 number is the AM budget for last year and cancelling Issues, etc. was costing them 40% of their operating budget then the new budget ought to be in the 2.2 million range. Or maybe we’re just not seeing ‘the big picture.’

    As far as I’m concerned, with Issues etc. gone they could just as well close KFUO and apply the 3.7 mil to paying tuition at the Seminaries.

  4. Someone in St. Louis
    July 30th, 2008 at 09:47 | #4

    I would be happy to write to Mr. Executive Director Strand and ask him. However I would feel a bit guilty about it…you see, I chanced to meet a Purple Palace worker who told me in no uncertain terms that I was being quite rude to question Mr. Strand’s decision re: “that program nobody listened to.”

    Why? Because it wasn’t easy for Mr. Strand! Mr. Strand had “felt just awful, oh that poor man, he had such a hard time with that, the problems those people put him through … I bet you were there for the picket…”

    This is my long-hand, rambling way of saying that yes, we should write and politely inquire as to what the numbers mean. We are, afet all, Lutherans who are trained to ask, “What does this mean?”

    However, unlike in catechism study, we should not expect a real explanation. But yes, let’s help Mr. Strand earn the bucks he still earns. After all, “communicating with the membership” is no doubt one of the items on the Synod, Inc., employee evaluation for executive directors every year!

  5. Michael Kumm
    July 30th, 2008 at 10:28 | #5

    I would like to see the numbers on KFUO’s revenue since the firing. What kind of revenue is being generated? What programs currently airing are generating revenue? Has the financial situation been rectified? If so, how was it accomplished when another ordained staff member was hired to work with Diane on the afternoon show?

    And here’s another question I’d like answered….after the firings, many donors who had contributed money for I.E. asked for their money back. Did that happen? Did those who asked for their donations to be returned, get them back? All of it?

  6. Ross
    July 30th, 2008 at 12:21 | #6

    Keep holding the feet of LCMS leadership to the fire. They must be held to account for their decisions and statements. It may not bring them to repentance, but if nothing else maybe it will make them think twice before they betray the truth in the future.

  7. Dennis Peskey
    July 30th, 2008 at 13:48 | #7

    If the LCMS leadership did not bother to think one time about the cancellation of Issues.Etc, what would lead you to the conclusion that a series of letters would give them pause to “think twice?”

  8. July 30th, 2008 at 15:43 | #8

    Well, I wrote a letter to Strand referring to the numbers. got an auto “out-of-office” reply. Guess everyone really is on vacation this month except me! ;)

  9. Rev. Thomas C. Messer
    July 30th, 2008 at 15:59 | #9


    I’m not sure if everyone who requested refunds for money donated towards IE received them, but I know that we did. Our congregation had sent $500.00 to support IE and join the Reformation Club in February of this year. As soon as we heard about the cancellation, we called and requested a refund. It took several phone calls and emails over two months, but we finally did receive a $500.00 refund check from the LCMS in early June, and we sent that $500.00 to support Todd and Jeff via the Wilkin/Schwarz Fund established by Weedon’s congregation.

    As for your other questions, I, too, would love answers, although I’m not holding my breath. :)

    In Christ,

  10. July 30th, 2008 at 17:09 | #10

    On an even bigger scope…if the guys at the International Center are hoping to restructure the Synod, and even possibly change the requirements on the congregations for their financial obligations in order to belong to Synod, shouldn’t we be calling for an opening of the books to make sure that things are financially in order in the first place?

    How do we do that?

  11. Mark Dowell
    July 30th, 2008 at 20:21 | #11

    Below is a budget comparison between the 2005/2006 budget and the new 2008/2009 budget. I was curious to see which budget categories have increased over the past four years and which have decreased. Note: I excluded Ablaze!

    Budget Categories % Change
    Missions 94%
    KFUO 110%
    Ecclesiastical Services & Commissions 128%
    Synodical Officers & Administration 125%
    General & Administrative 145%
    Higher Education (Pastoral & University) 87%
    District & Congregational Services 102%
    Communications 125%
    Human Care 84%

    It appears to me that some restructuring has already occurred. Less funding for missions, human care and education and more funding for Synod Inc.

  12. July 30th, 2008 at 20:45 | #12

    I got a call from President Kieshnick Easter Sunday night. He asked if I was calling him a liar. I had not but I explained that I did not believe him. We discussed that and he admitted that he was in on the decision to cancel Issues and throw two fine Christians out into the street Holy week. I am not judging him and not making an accusation but his actions are like those of a man hiding something.

    This whole sorry mess has been poorly handled. These sorry sisters have taken a schedule change and turned it into a huge divisive gaping wound in the Synod. From the Jaws of Victory President Kieshnick snatches Defeat in a way that thousands of people who barely knew who he was and he convinced them that he is a bumbler at best and maybe far worse.

    If I were advising Jerry Kieshnick I would suggest that he needs some Damage Control. But clearly Damage Control that starts with honest answers then a real apology to the men that he and his henchmen hurt. I wish I could feel confident that our Synod leadership places Jesus of the Bible ahead of the “jesus” of the last convention resolution.
    Best wishes,
    Barry O’Connell

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