Thursday, March 20, 2008

No more Issues

Regular readers know that I’ve enjoyed quoting interesting interviews run on the KFUO radio show Issues Etc. Particularly interesting to me have been the ones by Terry Mattingly on the pop culture-ization of American worship.

This morning I caught on to Tuesday’s story that Issues Etc. has been cancelled and the staff fired, with the St. Patrick’s Day episode being the last. The KFUO website (which appears sluggish due to unusually high traffic) says
For programmatic and business reasons, the decision was made this week to discontinue the "Issues, Etc." program on KFUO-AM. We look forward to bringing you new programming in this time slot in the near future. Also, we thank "Issues" host Rev. Todd Wilken and producer Mr. Jeff Schwarz for their years of service on behalf of the station. Those interested may still download past "Issues, Etc." programs from the "Issues" archive on this website. Thank you sincerely for your continued support of KFUO's radio ministry.
I tried to find more of an explanation but apparently nobody’s talking.

However, dozens of LCMS bloggers and other former listeners have been critical of the decision, led by LCMS Pastor William Weedon, who called the act “Holy Tuesday Treachery”. Rev. Weedon has compiled a long list of listener testimonials.

Some station donors are angry and are instead donating money to the ex-employee financial support fund. There’s the obligatory online petition which has 1200 signatures. There’s even a brand new blog “Bring Back Issues Etc.”

I don’t know the issues and not being in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, it’s not my fight. I hadn’t listened to the show recently (because I was upset over the ignorance displayed by a guest they had for an hour in February), but one mistake does not negate all the good work they’ve done since 2003.

Appropriately, the next to last episode (on Sunday) was about a hymn. (Alas, it’s about a modern hymn with sappy music, but...) As far as I know, there’s no radio show anywhere on the Internet that has spent so much time on liturgical music, so the loss is a great one.

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