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KFUO-AM
Broadcast area Greater St. Louis
Branding WorldWide KFUO
Slogan We Are Where You Are
Frequency 850 kHz AM (HD Radio)
First air date December 14, 1924
Format Contemporary Christian Music
Power 5,000 watts day
Class B
Owner Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
KFUO-AM tower and studios on the campus of Concordia Seminary, April 2007 (Robert E. Nylund)

KFUO (850 AM) is the longest continually operating AM radio station in the United States. KFUO-AM is owned by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS.) KFUO-AM broadcasts contemporary Christian music, worship services, Bible studies, and short features.

Contents

History

KFUO-AM began its first broadcast on the evening of December 14, 1924. Among those designated as founders of KFUO-AM were the Rev. Prof. J. H. C. Fritz, the Rev. Richard Kretzschmar and the Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier. Other Lutheran Institutions connected to the start-up of the station included Concordia Seminary, the Lutheran Laymen's League, and the St. Louis Lutheran Publicity Association. KFUO-AM became a Synodical enterprise in 1927.

During the 1930s KFUO-AM was involved in a fight with another station, KSD (now KTRS (AM)), with whom it shared a frequency, while also negotiating with the Federal Communications Commission to increase its transmitter power and hours of operations. During this time it also began broadcasting The Lutheran Hour which is still heard on over 700 stations worldwide.

Current status

The ministry of KFUO-AM is financed largely by voluntary contributions from individuals, congregations and organizations and without any regular subsidy. The station derives no revenue from advertising and retains its non-commercial status. The management of KFUO-AM has chosen not to report financial data to the public as most other Christian ministries do. The station has earned a financial transparency grade of "F" from Ministrywatch.com.

The Cancellation of Issues, Etc.

On March 18, 2008, KFUO-AM's most popular program, the daily drive-time theological talk show, Issues, Etc., was abruptly canceled after 15 years. The decision was made by David Strand, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Executive Director of Communications. The producer and host of Issues, Etc. were fired with no explanation. Three weeks later an official announcement on the station's website said that the decision to cancel the show was based on "programmatic and business reasons."

An online petition to bring back Issues, Etc. collected over 6,500 signatures in the 3 months immediately following cancellation. A crowd of approximately 100 listeners held a protest in front of the LCMS world headquarters on April 14, 2008.[1] Issues Etc. resumed operations on June 30, 2008. The program is now broadcast weekdays from 3:00-5:00 PM Central Time on KSIV (AM) 1320, a St. Louis affiliate of the Bott Radio Network, and online at Piratechristianradio.com. Radio stations in five other states also carry Issues, Etc. live. Programs are available as podcast downloads from Issuesetc.org.

In February 2009 the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod officially gave up its legal claim to the trademark name Issues Etc. which it had allowed to lapse in 1999. The trademark is now owned by Lutheran Public Radio.

Notes

  1. ^ See Missouri-Synod Lutherans protest cancellation of radio show

External links

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