An individual who was named by Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink as General Manager of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 has just joined Salem Media Group.
What he’ll be doing is a bit of a secret.
The Camarillo, Calif.-based media company specializing in Christian and conservative content has hired Gary Spurgeon, and he’ll serve as the SVP/Special Projects for the company’s broadcast division.
Salem owns and/or operates 121 radio stations, in addition to the Salem Radio Network, which offers nationally syndicated programs in the Christian teaching and talk arena; conservative talk programs from hosts including Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder, Joe Walsh and Eric Metaxas; SRN news; and Christian Contemporary Music (CCM).
Salem did not offer any details on what Spurgeon’s role or assigned tasks are. However, Salem notes, “Gary has a long and successful track record running radio stations and managing sales departments for many broadcasters including Renda, Cox and for the last 6 ½ years, as VP/GM for Radio One’s properties in Dallas and Houston.”
That’s somewhat accurate. Spurgeon was VP/GM of Radio One’s Dallas and Houston station groups from April 2011-August 2017 and since then has been based in Jacksonville, Fla., where his Vista & Suono media consultancy is based.
Spurgeon’s roots in the First Coast date to 2004, when he became Market Manager for Cox Radio‘s Jacksonville cluster. He exited that role in February 2006, and in May 2006 joined Renda’s Jacksonville stations as VP/GM, serving in the role for five years.
Earlier in his career, Spurgeon was a regional VP/GM for Regent Communications, Media One, Burbach Broadcasting, and K&K Broadcasting, largely working in the Erie, Pa., area.
From 1997-1999, Spurgeon was a VP/GM for Gulfstar, now a part of iHeartMedia, in the Shreveport, La., market.
“Gary brings a fresh perspective to Salem and I’m confident we will see the benefits of new thinking,” said David Santrella, Salem’s President of Broadcast Media.
It’s just not clear how Salem will benefit from Spurgeon.