Until I served on the Board for Communication Services, I wasn’t actually aware of the profound difference between the AM and FM stations. Not only is the FM station more or less secular, but it also has the vast majority of staff and resources allocated for it.
I know people I respect who have supported the sale of the FM station and I know people who I respect who have opposed the sale of the FM station. Unlike almost any other issue on the planet, I can see merit in both arguments. It’s an issue where confessional Lutherans aren’t united. Neither are the big church growthers. One of those advocating for the sale of FM is Synodical Treasurer Tom Kuchta.
For years, BCS Executive Director David Strand characterized Kuchta’s position to the board as a desire to sell both the AM and FM stations. We invited him to come speak to us at a meeting and found that he was a huge advocate of the AM station, where Issues, Etc. and other programs aired. And he did believe that the FM station should be sold since he felt that the asset could be better utilized by the Synod. He even told us that if the FM station became more Lutheran, he would feel differently.
Many of us were surprised because this was so different than the image we’d been given.
Anyway, I thought of all this when I read this quote in a recent story about the possible sale of the FM station.
“It is a commercial station,” he said. “We have a dedicated advertising sales staff, and they work really hard. Some years we break even, and some years we make a little profit, which is typically used to subsidize our AM sister station, which is a gospel talk station.”
At this time, Strand said, a possible sale of KFUO-AM “doesn’t seem to be part of the equation. It’s an overt gospel ministry, which is more what the church is about.”
It appears Strand understands the distinction between the two stations after all.
Also, for those interested in this debate, you will want to read Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto’s blog post on the matter. He is a strong advocate for holding KFUO-FM.