I have previously announced my agnosticism on the matter of whether KFUO-FM should have been sold or not. And I should mention that I asked a number of radio industry experts what they thought about the terms of the sale and they gave very favorable responses. So I’m merely sharing this note as a matter of information and to show readers how people feel about the handling of this sale. It actually does not represent my own views on the matter — which I’m writing up for a separate post.
This note comes from the Second Vice-President of the LCMS, Dr. Paul L. Maier:
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 realization. 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.