John Shimkus (R-IL) was joined by William Lacy Clay (D-MO) in assailing the $26M sale of KFUO-FM by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to Joy FM, depriving the St. Louis market of its only Classical radio outlet.
Shimkus said, “As a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, this is not a position that I take lightly, but I truly believe that the sale of our area’s lone classical music station does the church and the community wrong,” Shimkus said. “My wife is a classical musician, and as residents of the St. Louis metropolitan area, we take advantage of the fine arts that KFUO-FM supports. That cooperative link will hurt many regional institutions.”
“We have seen that losing the arts can wreak havoc on a community,” added Clay. “If Classic 99 is converted to a different music format, the cultural and economic consequences will be dismal. The world-renowned St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will lose airtime and its chief advertising venue, forcing gifted musicians and staff to suffer even more pay cuts and freezes. Losing Classic 99 will result in a cultural deficit as well. 94% of readers polled by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feel that the loss of Classic 99 ‘takes away a vital voice for the arts in this community,’ and will detrimentally affect their ability to support local artists.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The legislators can utilize their bully pulpit and make as much noise as they want, but a little thing called the First Amendment severely restricts how much weight they have to throw around in matters of radio formats, just as the FCC is restricted.