Guest / Limited Access /

Amid Salem's growing array of media holdings, Christian teaching and talk stations remain its bread and butter. Salem's chief financial officer, David A. R. Evans, approximates the company's income as follows:

50% Teaching and talk stations
25% Christian contemporary music stations
15% Secular news/talk stations
10% Magazines and websites

Unlike secular radio, in which stations purchase content from program producers, Christian programs have always paid for airtime. While half of Salem's income comes from teaching and talk stations, half of that revenue comes from program producers. So serving these ministries—by maintaining a large and responsive radio audience and by charging rates that markets can support—is in Salem's financial interest.

The company conducted an initial offering of stock (NASDAQ: SALM) in 1999, followed by a secondary offering in 2004. Public financing has allowed Salem to expand quickly, purchasing dozens of stations since 1999 and engaging in purchases or station swaps with some of the country's largest secular chains like Clear Channel Communications and Spanish-speaking Univision.

But radio's industry-wide stock woes, due in part to fluctuating advertising dollars, have troubled Salem as well. National Religious Broadcasters president Frank Wright hopes Wall Street considerations don't pressure Salem into making poor decisions. Evans says the opposite is happening: Radio's struggles are causing Salem to diversify sensibly.

The company continues to invest in a variety of media—mostly magazines and websites—that Evans says both support its radio ministry and bring in new streams of revenue. Such expansion serves Salem's mission and core audience, he believes, and will allow the company ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only
Equal-Opportunity Offender
Uzbek government crackdown on Muslims worries evangelicals.
RecommendedWhat It's Like to Live On Less Than Two Dollars a Day
What It's Like to Live On Less Than Two Dollars a Day
Sociologist Kathryn Edin talks about what she learned from spending time with families that live on less than the price of a gallon of milk.
TrendingBlessed Are the Agnostics
Blessed Are the Agnostics
How I learned to see my unbelieving husband through God’s eyes.
Editor's PickKen Starr Fired? Baylor Reviews Investigation into Football Sex Scandal
Ken Starr Fired? Baylor Reviews Investigation into Football Sex Scandal
America's biggest Baptist university expected to announce changes next week.
Christianity Today
Dollars and Sense
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.