Salem Subsidiaries Swap Bay Area ‘Answer’

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Here’s a deal that’s purely internal in nature.


On Dec. 15, 2016, Salem Media Group assumed control of a troubled Class B AM serving one of the nation’s largest markets. The move came following an initial LMA executed in late June 2016 between a Salem subsidiary and the court-appointed receiver of all assets tied to Pappas Telecasting subsidiary Pappas Radio of California.

This station is now being traded from one Salem subsidiary to another.

KTRB-AM 860 in San Francisco was acquired by Salem’s East Bay Broadcasting LLC for $5.125 million in October 2016.

The 50kw Class B AM covers not only the San Francisco-Oakland market but also the San Jose, Monterey-Salinas, Stockton, Modesto, and Sacramento radio markets. Salem is using KTRB as the Northern California home of its conservative News/Talk format, “The Answer.”

While East Bay acquired KTRB, another Salem subsidiary, New Inspiration Broadcasting Co., in June 2016 entered into an LMA with Susan L. Uecker, Pappas’ court-appointed receiver, and assumed control of the station. In late December 2016, New Inspiration shifted the LMA from Uecker to East Bay Broadcasting.

Now, New Inspiration is converting its LMA into an outright purchase, and is offering East Bay the $5.125 million it paid to obtain the station some 1 1/2 years ago.

Salem may wish to take care in assuring that this transfer does not result in a civil penalty or Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.

On June 27, the Media Bureau revealed that Salem had agreed to a Consent Decree for a pro forma assignment of the license of 100kw Class C KKHT-FM 100.7 “The Word” in Houston from Salem-affiliated South Texas Broadcasting to Salem-controlled Caron Broadcasting on Dec. 31, 2017.

That was problematic, as the Media Bureau granted the applications on Feb. 28, 2018.

As such, Salem’s subsidiaries violated Section 310(d) of the Act and Section 73.3540 of the Rules. To resolve the matter, Salem made a $10,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury.