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Salem Media to Delist Stock from NASDAQ

Move unlocks much-needed cost savings for Christian media giant amid declining ad revenue

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Salem Media Group, a publicly traded Christian media and broadcasting giant, plans to voluntarily remove its stock from the Nasdaq.

Shares (ticker: SALM) dropped to $0.39 after the announcement on Dec. 29, compared to $0.55 a day earlier. The Texas-based company was trading at around $0.32 at close of day Jan. 5, with an $8.9 million market cap.


The move comes after Salem fell out of compliance with the $1 minimum bid price for continued listing on the Nasdaq Global Market. In mid-June, the exchange issued a compliance notice after the stock spent 30 consecutive days hovering just below the threshold, in the $.90 range. The letter gave Salem 180 days to regain compliance by meeting or exceeding $1 per share for at least 10 consecutive days.

A one-year snapshot of Salem Media’s stock performance, via TradingView.

To date, the last time the stock broke $1 was May 9. Last month, Nasdaq warned that SALM would be delisted in January unless Salem applied to transfer to the Nasdaq Capital Market or requested a hearing to appeal the suspension. Leadership chose the latter initially but ultimately decided voluntary delisting would be more advantageous. In a statement, Salem said it anticipated “significant financial savings” as a result, with reduced operating costs and management time for compliance and reporting.

Still, Salem doesn’t plan on going private. The company expects its stock will start quoting as an over-the-counter security on the OTCQX market around Jan. 19, pending approval by operator OTC Markets Group. OTCQX requires a minimum bid price of $0.25 per share. More than 600 securities are trading on the exchange today, most being international companies.

Declining Ad Revenue Precedes Delisting

MinistryWatch previously covered Salem’s third-quarter 2023 results, reporting a 5% year-over-year drop in revenue to $63.5 million. As operating expenses grew by 31.9%, the company’s operating loss hit $36 million, compared to $8.8 million a year earlier. Net losses grew to $31.3 million (or $1.15 per share) from $11.9 million ($0.44).

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Salem Media CEO David Santrella cited S&P Global’s media outlook, predicting a persistent “ad recession” for the industry as linear TV continued declining and streaming services struggled with profitability.

The Nasdaq delisting will unlock some much-needed cost-savings, removing the quarterly requirements to host investor calls and publish a Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Noble Capital Markets estimates this will save Salem over $1 million annually.

Main photo: Photo via Google Street View

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Shannon Cuthrell

Shannon Cuthrell is a journalist with a background covering business, technology and economic development. She has written for Business North Carolina magazine, WRAL TechWire, Charlotte Inno and EE Power, among other publications.