Latest on KFUO-FM sale

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a committee opposed to the sale of KFUO-FM to Joy FM has filed a supplement to its petition to the FCC.

I really have no idea how seriously the FCC will take any of these complaints but they are interesting none-the-less. LCMS layman Robert Duesenberg asserts that the LCMS Board of Directors made the decision to sell KFUO in one of their eleventy billion executive (closed) sessions. The specific session was held on February 19, 2009. And then while an experienced media broker named Robert Cox tried to inquire about the possible sale, he was told for months that it was not for sale:

Cox, who had clients who were interested in buying the station, kept trying over the next few months, and kept getting “negative responses” to his queries, “which ranged from a denial of any knowledge about the potential sale of KFUO-FM to a reiteration of the March 2009 answer that the station was simply not for sale.”

The petition continues: “Cox first learned that that station had actually been for sale when it was announced in October 2009 that LCMS had executed an agreement to sell KFUO-FM to Gateway.”

That suggests that the LCMS board ( in the person, presumably, of Omaha lawyer Kermit Brashear, who, after voting to sell the station was given full authority and responsibility to handle the sale without further input from the other directors, and who will be paid for his services) did not tell Cox the truth.

It also suggests that Brashear wasn’t telling the whole story in his statements, after the sale was announced, that “Gateway was the only party to present an offer meeting the sale price sought by the Church.” As the supplement to the petition notes, it “rings hollow, as the seller never provided an adequate opportunity for other interested parties to make an offer for the station.”

So the petitioners mention all this because they believe that the LCMS incorrectly stated that it had complied with the “letter and spirit” of the FCC’s rule against discrimination in sales of broadcast stations.

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