FCC approves sale of KFUO-FM

I know some people were hopeful that the FCC would forbid the sale of KFUO-FM. Looks like the sale has been approved.

From the St. Louis Business Journal:

The Federal Communications Commission has approved the sale of St. Louis classical music station KFUO-FM to Joy FM for $26 million.

Exactly when the license will be transferred is not yet known but will happen on a mutually agreed upon date, said Vicki Biggs, a spokeswoman for Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which struck a deal last fall to sell the 62-year-old KFUO-FM to Joy FM, a Christian radio station.


Comments

FCC approves sale of KFUO-FM — 82 Comments

  1. Mark Laverty :
    … I think that more people are/would be blessed by the current format of Classic 99, than will be with the joyFM format…Is it fair to say that Classic 99 promotes more temporal peace (through its music) and sound doctrine and witnessing (through its religious, choral and worship programming) than would otherwise occur with the new station owners? Moreover, there is no doubt that more could, and should, have been done with respect to the religious programming.

    Absolutely (using “more” as a quantitative word in the first instance, a qualitative word in the second, and both qualitative and quantitative in the third).

    EJG

  2. @Patrick #48

    > I really think you should check your info on who the new owners are. Reports can sometimes be misleading and inaccurate. I hate to see someone defamed the way Albert is being here without accurate information. It seems a little unchristian to me.

    Hey, I love Albert. Not sure who is defaming him here. And he is world-class at what he does.

    Which might not be music or theology …

    He and Andy Benes helped “Joy FM” catch up when it was found out the “Joy” didn’t have the up-front money they swore to FCC that they had to consummate the KFUO-FM deal.

    That’s all.

    http://interact.stltoday.com/blogzone/culture-club/culture-club/2010/03/kfuolcms-gateway-creative-broadcasting-says-it-met-its-pledge-goal/

  3. On Classic99 tonight, the last Saint Louis Symphony live broadcast.

    Various people speaking openly now of the loss, and their appreciation for KFUO-FM.

    Part of this will be blacked out on classic99.com, but later the feed will come back on.

    Just FYI for those who care.

  4. @mbw #53

    KFUO-FM host Ron Klemm closed the live broadcast with a Psalm.

    Hearing God’s Word proclaimed in a more or less secular context always gets the attention.

  5. @mbw #52

    mbw, the truth of them being supporters of JOYfm is not what I’m talking about. I would challenge you to support the claim that they are new “owners” of KFUO and the amount that was supported. The article you referenced. states that a majority of the money was raised by or donated by those two. That article has inflamed much of the classical music community against them, including you it seems. I would caution you to check up on the claim before believing everything you read. My information says that it is a much smaller percentage of the overall fundraising than the Post Dispatch would have us believe.

  6. @Patrick #55

    > I would caution you to check up on the claim before believing everything you read. My information says that it is a much smaller percentage of the overall fundraising than the Post Dispatch would have us believe.

    Hi Patrick,
    Put the information out, here, ok?
    That might be something you can do, to promote what you are saying.

  7. @Patrick #55

    > I would caution you to check up on the claim before believing everything you read. My information says that it is a much smaller percentage of the overall fundraising than the Post Dispatch would have us believe.

    Hi Patrick,
    Put the information out, here, ok?
    That might be something you can do, to promote what you are saying.

    mbw,

    I don’t believe it is Patrick’s responsibility to prove his response to you or anyone else. I believe it is the writer of the news artical that you are quoting to prove her point with actual facts. The phrase “Much of the fundraising muscle – and much of the actual money – came from former Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes and current Cardinals MVP Albert Pujols and their wives” is speculation on her point. What does much of the actual fundraising muscle and much of the actual money mean? Where is Ms. Miller’s facts?

  8. @mbw #56
    I’m sorry “mbw” I cannot go into more information in this forum. I have to keep a certain amount of anonymity, I’m sure you can understand that. I’m just going to suggest that you don’t have full and proper information. Much like when I called Senator Bonds office about his supposed call for a “Congressional inquiry” I was told by his aide that there was some “misrepresentation” of what the Senator had done and said. If you would like to discuss this though in a more private setting I am more than open to it. I’m not sure how to do that on this board though.

  9. @Patrick #55

    Hi Patrick,

    I didn’t say that Albert and Andy were the new owners. I did respond, and not uncharitably. Why would we expect them be more theologically astute than most other supporters of Joy FM? And why would we expect them to be aficionados of classical music and liturgical worship? Nonetheless if they enabled this sad transaction in any way, I’m unsupportive to that extent. Problem with that? I don’t have any more to say!

    Now, about discussing privately. Not going to fly. SBM said what she said out there in public. Correct her there, or here.

    If you post any actual information here, somebody will surely try to respond.

  10. @mbw #59

    Thanks for your kind and Christian response. It was so refreshing to see that kind heart and love for one another that Christ asks us to have.

  11. Patrick :
    @mbw #59
    Thanks for your kind and Christian response. It was so refreshing to see that kind heart and love for one another that Christ asks us to have.

    Hi Patrick,

    You are welcome!

    You are also welcome to rebuke me, if you can be more accurate and specific.

    I’m expressing my feelings of irritation at a guy that I like (Albert) for having anything to do with helping my church body make this mistake. I also express realism and human understanding and tolerance for him personally because he is not billed as a great theologian nor a great classical music expert. People should not be too mad at him. Peeved a little, no doubt.

    Are you above being corrected, yourself?

    Do you sin? What would be the solution for that, if you did?

    Would praising God and His glory take care of it? Would holding up your hands help a little?

  12. @mbw #61

    Hi mbw. I am not above being rebuked, although being a fallen human I do have a tendency like most to bristle at it at first.

    There is only one solution for my sin– Jesus Death on the Cross– as a substitionary sacrafice for my sins. That is the only thing that brings me close to God. My life now is a very poor attempt to become worthy of the Grace God has offered me.

    I came to that realizaton one night about 4 oclock in the morning. I was angry and literally yelling at God as I sped down hwy 44 towards Springfield Missouri. I had the radio on scan and for some reason it landed on a “Contemporary Christian” Station (not joyfm) I heard a song about the cross- don’t even remember what it was- but the announcer came on after the song ended and said (this I do remember) “With everything that Jesus has already done for us, it’s amazing that we think we have the right to ask for anything else.” I really did have to pull over because I started crying.

    Since that day I have immersed myself in Bible Study- become a Children’s Pastor and try to Love and Praise God with all my heart, Soul and strength. I fail often but I try.

    I am not part of the Lutheran denomination. I hope you can forgive me for that. I do see value in CCM, because it is what God used to bring me to him.

    Thanks though for your concern for me.

  13. Oh and I do not hate classical music, I also am sad that so many people will lose something important to them. I hope you have never seen me speak mean about the Arts community or Classical music. I am not lover of it or a fan but I appreciate it. I just get bent out of shape when I feel like people are acting on emotion without the true facts.
    So I guess you could say that I am expressing my feelings of irritation too. I hope you will accept my apologies for that.

  14. @Patrick #62

    Patrick,

    > There is only one solution for my sin– Jesus Death on the Cross– as a substitionary sacrifice for my sins. That is the only thing that brings me close to God.

    If you will allow me to address you as Brother Patrick, agreement on this, by His Holy Spirit, through His Word, is more than worth the effort of this discussion. I thank and uphold you for this confession.

    > My life now is a very poor attempt to become worthy of the Grace God has offered me.

    Since there are those who would put you back under the curse (the law) with your own words here, I want to interpret you to mean you are inexpressibly thankful for His Holy work for you, that we could never do, and want to show it with your thoughts, words and deeds.

    > I am not part of the Lutheran denomination. I hope you can forgive me for that.

    Brother Patrick, you know there is nothing for me to forgive you. We Lutherans started out only as witnesses to the truth of Scripture, initially in the face of a corrupt pope and curia. Our belief is that some, many, went much beyond that and threw out part of the truth along with the damnable falsehoods. It is easy to understand going too far like that; everybody does it, and the inflammatory papal heresies are in part to blame. We remain what we started out as: witnesses to the truth of Scripture (alone), Faith (alone) and Christ (alone). Here as late as 2010 AD, when the wood is looking dry indeed, we claim to have a doctrinal statement that is without error – only because it is from Scripture alone, as read by Scripture, and knowing that Christ did not leave His children without a church on earth until Luther came along – we do not casually discard any facet of church history.

    > I do see value in CCM, because it is what God used to bring me to him.

    I do too. It’s almost impossible to explain the battle in the Lutheran church to other brothers and sisters in Christ. Please trust that non-Lutherans can be very good non-Lutherans even while the Lutherans stick to their own beliefs and historically rooted church practices.

  15. I never said anything about Albert. That was someone else who said that. And I don’t appreciate anyone saying anything about my not being Christian unless they know me. @Patrick #48

  16. @mbw #64
    I am honored that you would call me brother. You are correct in your interpretation of me trying to be worthy. I am trying to live out Paul’s words to the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:1. Knowing I can never do it there is a desire in my heart not to the Law but to Love Christ by living worthy of him. (does that make sense?)

    I am surprised by the kindness of your response. Sorry for that. In following this blog since SBM referenced it months ago, I have seen so much of what seemed to hatred for anything not Lutheran that I was worried about admitting my connection with a non-Lutheran Church and CCM.

    I too believe that many churches have gone too far. But I also think that there is a place for different styles of worship is the doctrine is sound. We should not fight over the insignificant, instead focusing on the truth of Jesus Christ.

    Honestly I have gone crazy reading the critiques of CCM here based on the couple of songs and lyrics posted. I like CCM and I’m not even especially fond of those two. But there are also great remakes of wonderful Hymns and new music that lifts the name of Christ and proclaims him as Savior. Like most things every once in a while a stinker squeeks through.

    I’m sorry I can’t post more about our original discussion. It is information that only the people in question have the right to comment further on. I shouldn’t have even brought it up. I knew I couldn’t go any further than to ask people to look for the facts, and the misrepresentation of them (yes I’ll still say it’s not true) is obviously bugging me more than them.

    Again thank you for welcoming me as a brother. You have changed my views of this Blog; The Lutheran Church and the Conservative Wing of the LCMS.

  17. @Lutheran Lady #65

    I apologize please reference my conversation with MBW in posts 61 through 66.

    I did not mean to accuse you of not being a Christian. Only that what I believed I was seeing was not acting very Christian-like.

  18. @Patrick #66

    Thank you Patrick.

    > I am surprised by the kindness of your response. Sorry for that.

    I don’t blame you. I have said some heated things. In heaven, there will not be any sin or strife.

    I accept that I do not know how much Albert and Andy put in. I am sure you could have a point there.

    Many comments here are challenging to say the least. I would only want to contrast this site with any site that has no open discussions. Thank God for the printing press starting in the 1400, for radio (not to stir it up) for these last hundred years, and for blogs, these last fifteen years or so. The pattern is the same (at least for tracts and pamphlets in Luther’s day and blogs now): the institutions and groups that work by controlling information don’t like it; the publications are all over the place; the truth gets away from the institution and gets out to the people; the institution rages and persecutes those it can get away with hurting, and shocks the faithful.

    I would write more but hope I have expressed the same humility and friendship you that you have.

    Thank you again!

  19. It is so very sad that we are losing such a treasure as our Classical radio station. I will have to get Classical CDs to listen to as I drive to and from work now. Bad contemporary Christian music will never hold a candle to the great music that was KFUO Classic Radio!

  20. Kimberlee Pat :
    It is so very sad that we are losing such a treasure as our Classical radio station. I will have to get Classical CDs to listen to as I drive to and from work now. Bad contemporary Christian music will never hold a candle to the great music that was KFUO Classic Radio!

    I would agree it is a treasure and it’s very sad. One problem with CDs and all other self-programming is that we lose the benefit of somebody else doing the prorgramming, and the size of the collection that KFUO-FM has. It is just not the same to play the recordings I own over and over. Many people are perfectly happy doing this, but for me it would be an inward turning that I would not benefit from right now. I love not knowing what is coming next on the station.

    It is a terrible shame that we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into an either-or regarding classical and ‘contemporary’ music. There is no such either-or. Other stations have gone up for sale in STL, and still others will in the future. There’s no reaason not to have both classical+Lutheran programming and CCM.

  21. @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #51

    > Absolutely (using “more” as a quantitative word in the first instance, a qualitative word in the second, and both qualitative and quantitative in the third).

    Hi EJG,

    Can you characterize your comment? Is it sarcasm or clarification; tearing down or building up?

    Also – what does EJG mean. Do you still go by “Fr” ?

  22. I see that the Post Dispatch has posted a correction regarding the participation of Albert Pujols and Andy Benes and their wives regarding the funding of the purchase. It will interested now to see if some of the truth will start being told about this transaction and the false or misleading reporting that has been done in the Post Dispatch.

    ” — A front page story May 7 on the sale of radio station KFUO to Gateway Creative Broadcasting overstated the role of Cardinals player Albert Pujols and former player Andy Benes and their wives, Deidre Pujols and Jennifer Benes, in contributing and raising funds for the purchase. The amount of their contributions and fundraising has not been made public.”

  23. @Michael #72
    Thanks for letting us know Michael,

    I liked what you said in your post #57. This was speculation on SBM’s part being printed as fact. Has to make you wonder now, doesn’t it? How much more speculation rather than fact has there been in the reporting of this?

  24. Hi, all. I thought it might be time to look in here again, and it seems I was correct.

    I’d like to do some clarification of the funding issue. Here’s the background: From the time I started researching this story, more than a year ago, I constantly heard from people in radio and in sports that “a bunch of baseball players fund that station.”

    A number of names of current and former Cardinals players came up as I dug further. The two that I could easily verify – by talking to Albert Pujols’s agent and to colleagues – were Mr. Pujols and Mr. Benes, and their wives. There is absolutely no question that they were and are involved in significant ways in the fundraising for the station.

    My only error in that story was to use the word “much,” when it couldn’t be quantified. And the Post-Dispatch did not print a correction: We printed a clarification. Our information was not wrong. I have not “speculated” in print, and there has been no “false” or “erroneous” reporting.

    I sign my real full name to everything I write. It seems to me that those who accuse me owe us the same kind of information.

    It’s very easy to slime others while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity, but people who have integrity aren’t afraid to say who they are and what their personal interest is in the story. If they insist on hiding, they should at least stop bearing false witness against me. That – at least where I go to church – is considered a sin.

  25. Tonight at ten pm, KFUO-FM shut off their transmitter after playing the ninth symphony of Beethoven one more time, of no doubt many since Jan. 1, 1948. This was chosen by the listeners. A number of people, including pastors, symphony musicians, some very fine Lutheran church music directors whom I personally know, students and professors, gathered outside and inside. I may be a fanatic, as I have been essentially accused by TW, but those others I mention are not.

    KFUO staff placed some very large speakers powered by fine old tube amplifiers outside for all to listen.

    Tomorrow morning at seven, JOY FM will break forth on 99.1 in STL. JOY rejects baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence; promotes decision theology; promotes life over doctrine; and promotes heretical teachers such as Benny Hinn. This should not be surprising, as JOY is a heterodox ‘nondenominational’ group. Presumably their songs do proclaim Christ’s death and resurrection, and it is genuinely hoped that many will be saved and to some extent preserved by JOY’s ministry. Nonetheless, our Lutheran synod has willingly and proactively handed this communication asset, which reaches more than 2.8 million souls, and which paid for itself with advertisements, and which brought acclaim to LCMS, over to a heterodox ministry, for money.

    I would like to post one of the tribute ads that has been running on KFUO-FM for a couple of weeks. This was played in rotation equally with other tribute ads. It was done by a lady, a lay person, not a trained theologian and of course not a pastor, who tried to interact here at JTS but was run off by “Fr” Stefanski and others. She was accused of being a “plant”; she was accused of rejecting the confessions; she was accused of trying to teach apparently thin-skinned pastors from a position of authority. She is owed an apology.

    Take your shots at me. I will not go away as easily as she did.

    “Hi. My name is Diana Haskell. As the Associate Principal Clarinetist
    with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra who also belongs to a church in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, it is with a heavy heart that I bid KFUO-FM
    goodbye. For 62 years my church acted as a faithful steward of God’s
    gifts given through their members with their ownership of KFUO FM,
    serving our Lord, the people of Saint Louis and the arts community. Now
    the church of Bach, Luther and Mendelssohn is selling their classical and sacred
    music station.

    “I will miss the people, voices and programming we all know from years
    of listening to Classic 99. But I will miss more than that. KFUO-FM
    has blessed St. Louis with the common bond of truth and beauty, both
    preserved and sustained by God in His created order and in the Gospel of
    Jesus Christ.

    “I will miss the sacred and classical choral and
    vocal music that proclaims Christ, the Word and the Sacraments. I
    will miss the instrumental music which exhibits of God’s truth and
    beauty. For more than 6 decades KFUO FM has given to us the best of
    what is good, and worthy, and beautiful, and true. Thank you, KFUO, for
    your ministry to us all. You will be deeply missed.”

  26. @mbw #76
    Bravo! Well, spoken! Amen, and amen!

    The denomination has helped promote false theology by selling its license to JOY. It’s a wonder they didn’t sell it to Benny Hinn or Joyce Meyer. This is a shameful act.
    As I’ve said before, KFUO FM did more to promote the pure Gospel by broadcasting – citing only one example – the worship services of Chapel of the Cross on Sunday mornings than will be heard on the new christian rock station.

    Christ have mercy.

  27. Greetings to you Mark, if this is allowed on JTS. I’ve been banned for a while.

    My understanding is that if Joy FM’s main transmitter goes out they may use the backup transmitter for KFUO which is located pretty close to Concordia Seminary.

    Furthermore, since LCMS is holding the note and since Joy FM advertises for Benny Hinn and other faith healers women and men alike, in my opinion LCMS is condoning their theology. Ironic.

    Pray for the 14 employees who are out of work and hurting. Pray for the arts community who is angry and disillusioned with Lutherans, and pray for those of us including myself who are struggling to comprehend. I will pray for you too.
    Blessings,
    Diana (Haskell) Zimmerman

  28. It is most distressing to see yet another major American city lose an outlet for classical music and the fine arts. Although KFUO-FM has now become history, there are some things that concerned members of the community can do:

    1. Do a frequency search in the noncommercial part of the FM band (88-92 MHz) to see if a new station can fit in the St. Louis area. When the FCC opens a filing window, a group could file for a construction permit to build a noncommercial, listener-supported station which could offer classical music and fine arts programming.

    2. Those LCMS members who have been disenfranchised by the sale of KFUO-FM could show their displeasure by simply withholding their contributions to the church. Show your displeasure at the collection plate every Sunday, dropping a note into the plate complaining about the loss of this radio station! Let the Synod live off the thirty pieces of silver that it collected in this sale.

    Some forty years ago, the Roman church jettisoned its rich traditions to be “with it” and “hip”. The Latin Mass gave way to a pathetic liturgy in stilted English and that denomination’s beautiful sacred compositions gave way to trite tunes accompanied by guitar strumming. The awe-inspiring Tridentine High Mass gave way to something that is simply awful. What followed? Vocations to the priesthood evaporated, church attendance plummeted, and each diocese is closing churches at a pace rivaling the pace at which Fidel Castro closed churches in the early days of his regime. KFUO-FM offered the Lutheran community and St. Louis in general a beautiful blend of sacred and secular music. That has given way to the vile and vulgar on KLJY, the station that replaced KFUO-FM at 99.1 FM. Ear-piercing rock “music” combined with trite lyrics that throw in a little religion every now and then is truly syrup of ipecac for the ears.

    Is the LCMS repeating Rome’s mistake?

  29. @Phil Galasso #79

    > 2. Those LCMS members who have been disenfranchised by the sale of KFUO-FM could show their displeasure by simply withholding their contributions to the church.

    Sir,
    This has already indirectly happened due to the attitudes, policies, and actions of the current administration, which has already run the synod financially into the ground, and is unwittingly driving it theologically to the same place.
    Being out of money, and favoring the kind of music JOY plays anyway, the president and the out-of-town, unaccountable board rammed this through in a city where there’s ONE ELCA church within city limits, and many LCMS churches, while ELCA nationally outnumbers LCMS about four members to one. (My point being that STL is an LCMS city)
    Those same players are now preparing to ram a lot more through. Their changes will end the MO synod as it exists now, dishonoring the doctrine of the local congregation that was foundational to the synod.
    Usually when a cherished institution (KFUO-FM in this case) dies, there’s been a long period of well known financial distress and many public appeals for help. NO SUCH SITUATION existed here. There was NO ATTEMPT to cut costs or raise support dollars. The bosses of the synod WANTED this to occur.
    The lead player in this was an out-of-town attorney and member of the board. He brokered a deal without the station even going on the market. Not knowing what he was doing, he set up terms and conditions in the deal that were contrary to FCC rules and had to be straightened out by DC lawyers. He hides behind ‘attorney client privilege’ when asked what his FEES are for this work. Nobody is erring by assuming he is charging fees, because the one thing that his office has made known is that he is waiving the ‘first’ $100,000 in fees. Whether he makes a million dollars in the end (if we ever find out) or gives all the money back, this secrecy has been an unnecessary stumbling block to many Christians and caused offense and hurt.
    The current bosses of the LCMS are repeating Rome’s error in at least these ways:
    – punishing those who question the rulers’ actions based on Scripture and our historic confessions
    – aggregating power to an inner circle of the president
    – and now, in a few days, trying to ram through changes that would further aggregate the power to ONE MAN, the president
    – aligning themselves to to POLITICAL issues while letting theology take a back seat
    – asserting their power OVER THE STATE by plainly flouting Missouri nonprofit corporate law under an abuse of the so-called ‘separation of church and state’ – unfairly taking advantage (and thus contributing to the future demise) of the reluctance of our government to take on any church body

  30. I just stumbled across this board and I think it is very funny that so many “Lutheran/Christians” are so opposed to the word of Christ being spread through Christian music!

    Please know that there are many Christians that love to worship and be energized by praising our Lord Jesus through music about him! Last time I checked classical music didn’t do very much to promote or praise Jesus Christ!

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