LCMS-owned KFUO Radio announces cooperative support of new classical music station in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, October 15, 2012—The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is pleased to announce a cooperative arrangement between KFUO Radio, the church’s broadcast ministry, and the Radio Arts Foundation of St. Louis (RAF). RAF plans to launch a new FM station serving the greater St. Louis area with a focus on classical music, blues, jazz and other arts programming. The first step in this arrangement is the sharing of KFUO’s vast classical music library with RAF.
From its inception, KFUO Radio has broadcast the finest in classical music and sacred classics, since 1948 by way of KFUO-FM, and currently streaming via www.CLASSIC99.com. (KFUO’s FM broadcast license was sold in 2010.) The station’s historic classic music library is a collection of recordings that werelent, leased or given by music producers and distributors for the purpose of broadcast to the St. Louis market. This library consists of some 25,000 CDs, many of which are no longer available. The two organizations will share the music electronically.
“We have shifted our programming to more mainline and sacred classics,” said Ron Klemm, manager of CLASSIC99.com and a veteran of 34 years at KFUO. “This shift has meant that many of these recordings have not been used since KFUO-FM went off the air. We believe it to be a moral obligation to make sure this music, some of which is extremely rare, is shared with others.”
“We are so pleased to be able to more widely share the collection of beautiful music our church has been blessed to accumulate over the past several decades,” added the Rev. Rodney E. Zwonitzer, director, broadcast services for the LCMS. “The focus of CLASSIC99.com’s programming is becoming more global in nature. It is our understanding that RAF’s new station will have a decidedly local focus. Thus, this should be a mutually beneficial arrangement. We are grateful to see God’s hand at work in opening up the doors to a developing partnership with RAF to share our audio treasures with the listening public.”
This arrangement is indicative of the LCMS’ long-standing commitment to further classical music and the arts in the St. Louis area. “All parties are committed with thanks and anticipation of this agreement,” Zwonitzer said. “This attitude specifically is the motivation and focus of this cooperative arrangement, whereby all pledge to find additional ways to continue working together.”
“The RAF supports this agreement as a move toward the future of cooperation between the LCMS and the RAF in their separate missions. The valuable assets of both entities will be shared with respective audiences to enhance the overall reach of this great music,” said Jim Connett, general manager, RAF. “Our thanks, to Rev. Rodney Zwonitzer, Ron Klemm and the LCMS for their vision and spirit of cooperation for all who love this music.”
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The 2.3 million-member Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.