Salem internet gains provide Q3 black ink


Salem CommunicationsKey radio station metrics for religious specialist Salem Communications hovered close to either side of the break-even point in Q3 2013 and completely on the wrong side on a same-station basis, but soaring gains on the internet provided the company with a successful quarter.

Overall, net revenues were up 3.1% to $58.5M; operating income increased 5% to $9M; and EBITDA increased 5.4% to $12.7M (adjusted EBITDA was only up 0.7% to $13.1M).

Broadcast managed a small increase on the revenue side but required red ink for profit metrics. Its net revenue was up a scant 0.3% to $46M; station operating income fell 0.6% to $15.2M.

On a same station basis, net revenue fell 0.7% to $45.6M and operating income fell 0.4% to $15.2M.

Internet was a different story. Revenue soared 20.4% higher to $9.4M and operating income did even better, increasing 39% to $2.7M.
The company’s publishing division added $100K in revenue to $3.1M, representing a 1.6% gain, but its operating income was $200K less than during Q3 2012.

The company is looking forward to the addition of KRDY-AM San Antonio and KDIS-FM Little Rock to its portfolio. The stations were acquired from Radio Disney for $2M in a deal accepted by the FCC for filing 10/30/13.

Looking ahead to Q4, Salem is expecting flat to slightly down revenue results due to the lack of $2.4M in 2012 political spending. Its worst-case estimate on this count is minus 2%. Excluding political, it would be looking at a 2%-4% gain.