In the aftermath of iHeartMedia’s firing of longtime WFLA, Tampa morning personality Jack Harris, Salem Media Group had considered bringing Harris on one of its Tampa-area signals to allow him to say goodbye to his listeners. Now, the company says that due to Harris’ non-compete, it will wait until the fall to present the special show. Salem Tampa general manager Barb Yoder says, “When I read that Jack Harris regretted not having the opportunity to say goodbye to his fans at the end of his most recent morning show, it really touched my heart. I’ve been in broadcasting for many years as well and though he’s been on a competing radio station, I’ve always admired and respected him and the way he connects with the Tampa Bay community. So, to honor Jack we were going to devote one of our morning shows on ‘The Answer’ Tampa and Sarasota for a Jack Harris Tribute.” Salem is hosting another recently let go Tampa host as former “Q105” personality Mason Dixon will appear on its “Faith Talk” stations on “The Bill Bunkley Show” today (4/14) from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
After being let go from his two-hour morning drive show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA, Tampa last week, longtime market talk radio personality Jack Harris says he’ll return to the air in the market. The 81-year-old Harris tells the Tampa Bay Times that there is interest from other broadcasters but the six-month non-compete in his iHeart contract prevents him from working elsewhere right away. Harris says he didn’t get the chance to do a farewell show – something iHeartMedia West Florida president Chris Soechtig denies. Salem Media Group says it’s offered to host a farewell show on its crosstown news/talk WGUL “AM860 The Answer,” but also doesn’t want Harris to get into a legal tussle. Read the whole story here.
Salem Media Group is promoting its planned coverage of the booking of former President Donald Trump in Manhattan today (4/4). Salem Radio Network talk personality Mike Gallagher leads the Special Report coverage streaming on the Salem News Channel at 2:00 pm ET.
Edison Research, in partnership with NPR, is presenting a webinar on April 13 at 2:00 pm ET titled, “Hit Play, Boomer! Podcasting’s Age 55+ Opportunity.” Edison says, “Forty-two percent of Baby Boomers in the U.S. – those age 55+ – have ever listened to a podcast. Attend the webinar to learn more about what has shaped Baby Boomers in the U.S. and what their media habits look like today. Learn how they consume audio and which podcasts index the highest for listening among Boomers.”
The National Association of Broadcasters announces its new campaign highlighting the importance of AM radio in the car for news, community engagement, entertainment and vital public safety information. The campaign includes a website with a grassroots call to action and new tools for stations to highlight the importance of AM radio. This campaign is being launched as some automakers have stripped AM radio out of certain vehicle models.
Salem Media Group announces it has completed its previously announced redemption in full of the remaining $36.5 million in outstanding aggregate principal amount of its 6.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2024. The redemption was funded through the issuance by the company on March 20, 2023 of $44.685 million in additional 7.125% Senior Secured Notes due 2028 of the company (the “2028 Notes”), a portion of the proceeds of which was used to satisfy and discharge the Indenture relating to the 2024 Notes on March 20, 2023 and to complete the redemption on March 27, 2023. The additional 2028 Notes and the related guarantees were sold to certain existing holders of the company’s outstanding 2028 Notes whom the company believes to be qualified institutional buyers, in a private placement. The company believes that the completion of this refinancing will strengthen its balance sheet.
Salem Media Group announces the launch of the podcast show “Senior Fitness with Meredith” on Salem-owned SeniorResource.com. Host Meredith Chen is an AFAA-certified personal and group fitness trainer with over 15 years of experience. Each week, “Senior Fitness with Meredith” examines a wide range of topics including physical and mental wellness, nutrition, positivity, and the motivation seniors and families need for leading healthy and active lifestyles. Chen says, “We hope to reach a wider audience and help shed more light on important topics regarding physical fitness, mental health, and wellness that matter most to seniors as we continue to roll out podcast episodes now and into the future. We’re proud to be a part of a great network of people who are like-minded and dedicated to providing the best content online for a demographic that we feel is underserved, and we are looking forward to helping that change.”
Salem Media Group announces the launch of the podcast show “Retirement for Real” on Salem-owned SeniorResource.com. “Retirement for Real,” hosted by Lena Armuth, is an investment podcast designed to help retirees make sensible financial decisions in retirement. Armuth says, “Today’s investors deserve to know that investing is simple, affordable, and accessible to all! Collaborating with Senior Resource was a no-brainer for me because our missions are so similar. My podcast is dedicated to empowering and educating retirees on personal finance and investing, and Senior Resource helps me share this message with a broader audience. I’m thrilled to see my podcast has reached listeners from all across the country, and I remain steadfast in my commitment to giving real people the knowledge and tools they need to better understand investing and their finances in retirement.”
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Illinois Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections alleging that Dan Proft didn’t disclose $1.2 million in contributions to the conservative political action committee that he operates. This is the second such complaint filed by Illinois Democrats against Proft in the past four months. Proft co-hosts the “Chicago’s Morning Answer” program with Amy Jacobson on Salem Media Group’s news/talk WIND-AM, Chicago “560 The Answer.”
Salem Media Group’s total revenue during the fourth quarter of 2022 was $68.8 million, down 0.5% compared to Q4 of 2021. For the full year 2022, total revenue was $205.3 million, an increase of 3.4% over the full year of 2021. The company reports a loss of $2.2 million for Q4 of 2022 and a loss of $3.2 million for the full year of 2022. Salem reports in segments and for the fourth quarter of 2022, net Broadcast revenue increased 4.5% to $53.3 million from $51 million in the same period in 2021. However, Digital media revenue decreased 10.3% to $10.4 million from $11.6 million in Q4 of 2021. The Publishing segment decreased 21.3% to $5.2 million from $6.5 million in the same period a year ago. For the full year of 2022, net Broadcast revenue increased 7.2% to $205.3 million from $191.4 million in 2021. Digital media revenue decreased 1.2% to $41.7 million from $42.2 million, and Publishing revenue decreased 18.9% to $20 million from $24.6 million in 2021. Looking ahead, Salem offers guidance for the first quarter of 2023, saying, “The company is projecting total revenue to be between flat and a decline of 2% from the first quarter 2022 total revenue of $62.6 million.”
Salem Media Group chairman of the board Edward Atsinger III and CEO David P. Santrella signed letters to Congressional leaders opposing a bill (H.R. 1279) that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent in the U.S. The executives point out how a late sunrise – especially in the winter months – would affect the reach of AM signals. They write that their stations “are in jeopardy of suffering a massive blow to their operations through a bill that is before you now. AM radio stations continue to be the backbone of many communities. They serve their audiences with programming features like news updates, traffic/weather reports, sports play-by-play, and talk programs. In some municipalities, AM radio stations also cater to a specific immigrant community, reaching their listeners with a specific foreign language or other programming elements like music or sports.” They go on to say, “H.R. 1279, as it is written, would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, thus impacting AM radio stations’ power and, therefore, coverage in the crucial morning drive daypart. This issue would be even more detrimental during the darkest days of November, December, January, and February, when AM stations would not be at full power until at least 8:00 am. From a programming and revenue standpoint, the morning drive daypart is still one of the most significant dayparts on an entire radio station. It’s the daypart that generates the most amount of revenue and is a cornerstone for the rest of the programming day. AM radio is facing a multitude of challenges. Radio, in general, faces constant headwinds from an ever-changing media landscape. This challenge might likely be the death blow to many AM radio stations. I am confident you don’t want to see that happen. Simply put, H.R. 1279 would significantly hinder AM broadcasters nationwide from effectively serving the communities they have been licensed to reach.”
— Salem Media Group, Inc announces the acquisition of George Gilder’s investment newsletters Gilder’s Technology Report, Gilder’s Technology Report PRO, Gilder’s Moonshots, Gilder’s Private Reserve and Gilder’s Guideposts. It also launches a new website for Gilder at www.GilderReport.com. Salem says adding this content to Eagle Financial Publications’ portfolio of investment newsletters and trading services adds more depth to an already powerful mix of products.
— Hillsdale College student Elena Lanning won first place for Most Creative/Innovative Show at this year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Conference held in New York from February 23 to 26. Lanning was awarded first place for her show, “Five Minute Myths.” This award was the sixth national first-place honor from is WFRH, Hillsdale, Michigan “Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM” ’s sixth national first-place award from the National Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. Additionally, WFRH’s Scot Bertram was named Best Faculty Advisor in radio. Bertram says, “I am thrilled for all the students whose hard work is being recognized. It’s always exciting and gratifying to have industry professionals acknowledge the outstanding content created by our students at WRFH. The station benefits greatly from the passion and commitment our students have for radio and audio.”
— Salem Media Group, Inc plans to report its fourth quarter 2022 financial results after the market closes on March 8. The company also plans to host a teleconference to discuss its results on that day at 4:00 pm CT.
— iHeartMedia, Inc chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler will participate in a question and answer session during the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on March 8 at 3:15 pm ET. A live webcast of the session will be available to the general public at the start of the session through a link on the Investors homepage of iHeartMedia’s website. A replay of the webcast will be available in the Events & Presentation section of iHeartMedia’s Investors homepage.
— The “Moments with Marianne” show, hosted by Marianne Pestana and heard on KMET LLC’s KMET-AM, Banning, California each Friday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, is adding another program to the station’s schedule on Tuesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
— The University of Minnesota athletic department and LEARFIELD’s Gopher Sports Properties announce a multi-year contract extension with iHeartMedia Minneapolis through the 2026-27 athletic season. Gopher football games will air on “KFAN FM 100.3.” Men’s basketball will air on a mix of KFAN and KTLK-AM. Gopher men’s hockey will air on KTLK-AM. Women’s basketball game broadcasts will continue to air on KQQL-HD3/K244FE “KFAN+.”
— Wonder Media Network, a women-founded, mission-driven podcast network, announces that their original hit podcast “Womanica,” which tells the often untold stories of iconic women across history, will join the iHeartPodcasts platform. iHeartPodcasts president Will Pearson says, “We’ve been such big fans of Wonder Media Network and the incredible podcasts they’ve produced over the past few years and we’re incredibly excited for this partnership. ‘Womanica’ has already built a big and passionate audience and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce these amazing stories to millions of new listeners across our network.”
The New York City Radio Committee, a joint partnership of New York City radio broadcasters iHeartMedia, Spanish Broadcasting System, Salem Media Group, Media Co., Univision, and Audacy announce the completion of a successful campaign designed to promote the power of radio advertising agencies and advertising executives. The multi-media “Fall in Love with Radio” campaign ran from mid-September to the end of November during which more than 2,800 radio spots were broadcast on 21 of the most popular stations in NYC. The campaign included digital and social media marketing, trade press, and signage at venues during Advertising Week in New York City. According to independent brand lift analysis by DYNATA, ad professionals who saw or heard the campaign were 29% more likely to consider radio for their media campaigns compared to those that had not seen the campaign. Of those that saw the campaign, 82% said they were somewhat/extremely likely to consider using radio for their next campaign compared to 53% of respondents who did not see the campaign. Audacy New York market president and NYC Radio Committee chair Chris Oliviero says, “The outstanding results of the campaign prove when we tell our story, with data and creativity, that radio can substantially enhance its position with advertising professionals. While radio continues to earn its place as an essential part of any media plan, we still must communicate our benefits and invite more marketing partners to collaborate together. This innovative multi-platform outreach accomplished just that. My appreciation to all my colleagues in New York City, across several ownership groups, who came together with a commitment to make ‘Fall in Love with Radio’ a success.”
Talk host Dave Elswick tells TALKERS magazine that he’s signed a one-year contract extension with Salem Media Group to continue hosting the 7:00 am to 11:00 am program on KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1 FM The Answer.” Elswick notes that he’s beginning his 23rd year as a talk host in the Little Rock market. He says that with COVID protocols now in the rear-view mirror, he’s returning to hosting live broadcasts of the state legislature’s general session. Prior to joining Salem, Elswick served with iHeartMedia at crosstown news/talk KARN-FM.
Salem Media Group announces that South Florida radio host and activist Ninoska Pérez Castellón is joining the lineup of its new Spanish-language talk format on WWFE-AM, Miami “La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.” Salem recently acquired the signals that will comprise “La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.” Pérez Castellón served with Univision Radio for 26 years, leaving WAQI “Radio Mambi 710 AM” after its recent change of ownership. Pérez Castellón, a well-known South Florida media personality who was born in Cuba and raised in Miami and is an activist in the fight for freedom in Cuba, has appeared in national and international media outlets including “Nightline,” CNN, “Hannity,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” Al Punto Univision, and MSNBC as an expert on Cuban issues. Salem Media Miami VP and general manager Monica Rabassa comments, “We are extremely happy and honored to have Ninoska Pérez Castellón join Salem Media Miami. Ninoska’s unrelenting voice in support of freedom and just causes now has a new home at ‘La Nueva Poderosa 670 AM.’” Pérez Castellón states, “I am thankful that Salem Media, a powerhouse in conservative thought, has stepped up and given Hispanic conservative voices a home at a time when we have been under attack for the sole purpose of silencing us. I am extremely happy to be back on the airwaves connecting with the audience I love.” In addition to Ninoska’s program, the station’s revised lineup will also feature Father Albert Cutié, a.k.a. Padre Alberto, who currently hosts a television talk show produced and transmitted by Mega TV in South Florida, and nationally on DirectTV and AT&T U-verse.
Salem Media Group, Inc. announces that it is promoting Dan Nelson to vice president, Salem events and marketing. Nelson has been serving as director, Salem events and marketing since 2018. In his new role Nelson will focus on expanding both Salem Media’s brand image and revenue generation in the area of special events and travel experiences. Salem Media CEO Dave Santrella comments, “Dan and I have worked together since my earliest days at Salem. He always impressed me as one of those people that can take an idea and bring it to life. To this day, I can give Danny just the seed of an idea and the next thing you know he has a full-blown working model. I am thrilled to see Danny get this well-deserved promotion.” Salem Media’s president of broadcast media, Allen Power, adds “Dan has consistently set a high standard for everything he has undertaken. His talents are many including creativity, attention to detail, excellence in follow-through, and giftedness in visual marketing and production. Perhaps, his greatest strength is his ability to work with leaders at literally every level of our company to advance Salem’s brand and image. He does all of this with passion, humility, and a great sense of humor. If you look up the definition of ‘go-to’ person, it’s highly likely you’ll see Dan’s smiling face.”
The daily podcast hosted by Chris Stigall officially joins the Salem Podcast Network. Stigall hosts the “Philadelphia’s Morning Answer” program on Salem Media Group’s WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990, The Answer” and hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon talk program on Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City. He says, “I want to thank the Salem Podcast Network for bringing our podcast into their family of great shows. As a radio guy my entire career, I wasn’t sure how the podcast version would be received when we launched. Our advertising partners who invested in the show early as well as the smartest audience in the digital space have helped our young podcast crest four million downloads, and we’re just getting started!” Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce adds, “Chris Stigall is a special host who has developed a unique relationship with a very loyal audience. We saw this when we brought him over to ‘AM 990 The Answer’ a few years ago, and we know he will have the same reaction from audiences nationwide with his podcast.”