Today, a statement was released on The LCMS homepage. I must say that I have not read the entire statement yet (maybe I should before I say anything). However, I have read enough to see that their main point for the cancellation of “Issues, Etc.” was due to low listener audience! Their proof: numbers from a “blending of the spring 2004 and spring 2005 ‘books.'” They list the “average listening audience during the ‘Issues’ Monday-Friday timeslot of 1,650. There is no indication these numbers have grown appreciably since. (emphasis added)” They also look at the number of streaming listeners, at a rate of 64 during the last full month (February 2008). For the Sunday night show, “the peak number of online listeners on the KFUO stream was 39.”
What Mr. Strand does not say is that this in no way includes the number of people who download the archives, listen to it via podcasts or other means other than listening to the show as it is live. For East Coast people, the live show on Sunday is 10pm, 9pm for Central people. For some, it is not conducive to listen to a show live. Therefore, we download the shows the next day. Where are those numbers in your statement?
The following statement seems to place all blame at Rev. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz’ feet:
Sadly, very difficult financial conditions sometimes require decisions that are not popular among all affected. In the case of KFUO-AM, the time had come when good stewardship of the church’s funds required a decision that meaningfully curtailed the deep, ongoing losses at the station. Ending the costs associated with “Issues, Etc.” was the only viable option, and the decision to do this was prayerfully and contemplatively made.
There are other shows on KFUO-AM. Again, why was it necessary for “Issues, Etc.” to be canceled? Was everything Wilken and Schwarz’ fault that KFUO-AM was losing money? I seriously doubt it, but that’s what this statement makes it out to be.