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Salem Media Group, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter 2020 Total Revenue of $64.5 Million

Salem Media Group (SALM), one of the largest Christian broadcasters in the nation and the only one that is publicly traded, released its results for the three and twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2020.

Total revenue for the year ended Dec. 31 declined 7 percent to $236.2-million.  Though operating expenses also declined, Salem still posted a net operating loss of $7.8-million.

Every aspect of Salem’s operation showed decreases in revenue except digital media revenue, which increased 1.1 percent.  Salem’s publishing arm, which includes the well-known Regnery Publishing, saw the steepest decline.  Revenue fell 13.4 percent to $18.5-million, and operating losses ballooned from $1-million to $3.4-million.

Salem also reported more than $20-million in losses as a result of the sale of 17 of its radio stations.

Fourth quarter 2020 results were slightly better than a Salem’s very weak third quarter, though they still mostly lagged fourth quarter results from 2019.  Net broadcast revenue increased 5.9 percent compared to the third quarter of 2020, but decreased 4.8 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.  Total revenue also decreased, by 0.2 percent to $64.5 million from $64.6 million.

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Also of note in Salem’s earnings announcement:  In January 2021, the company applied for $11.2 million in Payroll Protection Program loans.  The company has received $8.4 million in funding and expect to receive the remaining amount in the next several weeks.

Salem owns nearly 100 Christian and conservative talk radio stations, and it syndicates programs for such conservative celebrities as Dennis Prager and Eric Metaxas.  As MinistryWatch previously reported, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Salem Media Group’s “corporate family rating” and senior secured notes rating to Caa1 from B3. The future-looking outlook was also lowered from stable to negative.  According to Moody’s, any company with a “C” rating is a “poor quality and very high credit risk.”

On Mar. 11, 2021, Salem Media Group (SALM) was trading for about $3.20 per share.  In 2004 it traded for more than $30 per share.  Though the stock has had a rally in recent months, nearly tripling in value since August.

Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine, and Vice President of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 25 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.