Remember last year when David Strand fired Rev. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz and canceled Issues, Etc.? He claimed he did it to save money and to improve programing. Those of us in the know found such claims silly. Issues, Etc. was the only nationally syndicated program we had on the radio station. Indeed, it was one of the very few things that was going terribly well at the radio station.
Fact is that management review boards had advised Strand of dozens of things that could have been done to improve station operations and content — none of which, to my knowledge, have ever been implemented.
So how is the management of the radio station going now? Let’s look at what Treasurer Tom Kuchta had to say about things during the August board meeting:
Regarding KFUO, he noted a loss of $443,000, although the loss by the AM station is currently being covered by designated bequest income, likely to be depleted in another year. The FM share of the loss will need to be covered by unrestricted assets, this $254,000 loss in large part due to reduced support from the St. Louis arts community. He noted in particular that fundraising efforts costing KFUO $402,000 over the past year generated gifts of only $448,000.
All of it is bad, but that last line in particular is just breathtaking. Fundraising costs should really be in the low double digits. If they’re 90 percent of your take, you are doing something very wrong.