New information has come out about the Issues Etc controversy. You will recall that Rev Strand, the Executive Director for the Board for Communication services gave two reasons for cancelling Issues Etc: 1. low listenership and 2. the cost of Issues Etc not covered by donations to the program.
Later the truth came out that there were a tremendous amount of MP3 downloads of Issues Etc.. The 4th quarter of 2007 had over 450,000 MP3 downloads alone!
Then we learned that before 2001 KFUO FM/AM combined were, for the most part, self-sustaining. But in 2001, the General Administrative costs of KFUO jumped from over $70k to over $300K a year. The 70K represented the costs that KFUO actually owed Synod. The 300K represented the load placed on them so that the International Center could cover all their costs. That load was spread over all synodical offices including KFUO.
With regard to funds, we also found out the bequests given to KFUO now had to be given through the Lutheran Foundation. This meant that out of a bequest of $100,000 only about 70K would actually be given to KFUO. Would you want to donate to an organization only to have this much of your gift eaten up by the fundraising organization? This is a big red flag.
Now we know that the Synod is anticipating a very significant shortfall in her unrestricted funds. To deal with the financial crisis all boards have been asked to make cut backs so that the Synod can rise above the problem. It was this crisis that offered the impetus to cut Issues Etc.
Why in the world would Synod hold this as a secret? Why didn't they let the members of the Synod and her churches know that this was the financial reason Issues Etc was cut? The issue wasn't so much Issues Etc. The problem has been the synodical headquarters!
Issues Etc. was a wonderful Gospel outreach. It was well worth the money. Let's see what else the Synod cuts out. Do we dare believe we might be saving on all the paper we get about Ablaze!? We need to see greater transparency from the International Center.
25 April 2008
From Pastor David Oberdieck's Blog...
...on the Wittenberg Trail:
Posted by William Weedon at 9:32 AM