Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Lies Exposed

Remember that press release Mr. Strand from the Board for Communication Services issues? The one where he attempts to lay to rest the criticisms on the canceling of "Issues, Etc."?

M.Z. Hemingway shows us some of the lies and deceits of that document (original in italics, her analysis in standard font):

“Issues,” on the other hand, had two dedicated, full-time staffers devoted exclusively to “Issues.”
Todd and Jeff had extended duties beyond Issues, Etc. (KFUO production, hosting Sharathon, scheduling Sharathon hosts and guests, preaching KFUO Sundays, etc.) Ask KFUO General Manger Dennis Stortz ( and KFUO-AM Program Director Chuck Rathert ( if this is true.

KFUO operates with a lean management structure.
KFUO-FM doesn’t have a “lean management structure.” They have a General Manager, an Operations Manager/Production Director, a Program Director, a Music Director, an Assistant Program Director, a Sales Manager, a Promotions/Development Director and a Traffic Manager. Eight people seem like plenty of management for the 18th-ranked radio station in St. Louis ( In fact, when my Board for Communication Services conducted a management audit of the radio station, the radio professionals who helped us all pointed to the bloated management structure as a problem.

“Virtually all program hosts, along with other staffers, participate in the station’s annual Sharathon”.
Didn’t this include Todd and Jeff? However, Mr. Strand stated earlier that they were “devoted exclusively” to IE.

“All donations specifically earmarked for ‘Issues’ including Reformation Club income, were credited to ‘Issues.’”
The funds generated by IE Reformation Club members within a 100-mile radius of St. Louis were counted toward the KFUO general fund. You can verify this with LCMS Treasurer Tom Kuchta ( or KFUO Development Director Dorothy Kaestner (

The only “Issues”-related support that does not figure into the equation are the funds given by congregations directly to radio stations in their locales.
How come Issues, Etc. underwriter and advertising revenue from church sponsors totaling approximately $80,000 went to a KFUO general advertising fund and not to IE?

“Issues 300” was not a formal, sanctioned fundraising effort being done in cooperation with the LCMS Foundation; rather, it was an effort by Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz to raise funds for the syndication of the one-hour Sunday-evening broadcast. There were no ads, publicity, direct-mail materials, telemarketing strategies, or donor visitations poised to be set in motion by the Foundation.
Mr. Strand should check out the “What’s New” section of the IE website ( that he ordered removed. You’ll notice a downloadable flier on how to join the IE 300 Club. IE also aired live and recorded announcements for the IE 300 Club since the beginning of 2008.

In this case, if we had waited until early April, we would have been obligated to pay another $5,500 in monthly Sunday-night syndication fees.
Mr. Strand claims that the firings took place during Holy Week in order to save $5,500. However, KFUO was going to pay $5,500 in airtime and satellite costs no matter when the show was cancelled. Stations require a 30-day written notice of cancellation. The 30-day period begins the date of the written letter of cancellation. This is obfuscation on the part of David Strand. By the way, KFUO did pay the $5,500 in airtime and satellite costs after the show’s cancellation. KFUO management informed affiliates that there would be no show effective Sunday, April 23. Affiliates informed KFUO management that the contract agreement required a 30-day written notice of cancellation. KFUO management informed affiliates to “just bill us for the remaining weeks.”