Church Puts KFUO On Block
April 3, 2009 at 5:04 AM (PT)
The LUTHERAN CHURCH- MISSOURI SYNOD has put Classical KFUO (CLASSIC 99)/ST. LOUIS up for sale. The ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reports that the Synod's board of directors appointed a special committee FEBRUARY 19th with authority to sell the station. The move endangers the Classical format on local radio in the market.
Synod VP/Finance/Treasurer THOMAS KUCHTA told the P-D, "I don't care about 85 years (of broadcasting). I care about right now and carrying on our mission and ministry ... Essentially, the FM station is a break-even operation. If the FM station is operating at break-even, could we, as a church body, generate more income, by having the value of that radio station in investable assets that would yield more than break-even? The answer is yes."
EMMIS' JOHN BECK told the P-D that his company is "not interested, and there aren't a whole lot of companies that are. The market in radio is a whole lot like real estate now. Financing is tough, and value isn't very high because there aren't very many buyers." BONNEVILLE's CRAIG HASLAM likewise told the paper that his company, which was interested in buying KFUO several years ago, has "no current interest."
"I feel betrayed," KFUO Radio Arts Board Chairman NOEMI NEIDORFF told the P-D. "I feel they have a certain responsibility to the community." She said that she is interested in forming a not-for-profit corporation to buy the station, but REGIONAL ARTS COMMISSION Chairman DONNA WILKINSON, another member of the Arts Board, said that the committee "won't sit down and talk with us. They won't even give us a term sheet."