Tuesday, March 31, 2009

LCMS Working to Sell KFUO-FM (Updated)

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is working behind the scenes to sell KFUO FM.  A few years ago it was worth about $20m.  Now days about half that.  Is it bad stewardship to sell the station when the price is down?  Here's an article in St. Louis Today.


Given the climate at the Synod one is always suspicious of decisions to sell valuable assets that can never be replaced.  As the article says generally AM FM pairs are sold together.  If the FM goes the AM is likely to follow.  Some are hopeful the FM sale profits will be used to support the AM station.  I think this is not likely.  It seems that the AM has always been used to shelter the FM and protect it from criticism.  As the budget at the Synod is likely not to be well funded, cash is going to be needed.  $10m is an attractive number to help balance the books. 

I have always found it difficult to understand the FM's Classical Music as a ministry of the LCMS.  I listened a bit when we were at Seminary, and was quickly disappointed.  I changed to the AM, primarily for Issues, Law and Gospel and the Bible Study.  These kind of programs are what the AM and FM should be playing.  The AM / FM combination has potential as a platform for Lutheran Web radio.  It's loss would be a great loss to the synod, albeit it is being wasted now.  The value of the FM as a potential for the Gospel combined with the AM and Internet is worth well more that the price tag.

On the other hand the value of the FM will likely continue to plummet.  The cash is likely better now than it will be in the foreseeable future.

However, again, the sale of this valuable asset to pay the bills is probably rather shortsighted.

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