Salem’s Q1 flat; broadcast down 2.3%


Christian content provider Salem Communications’ Q1 total revenue decreased 0.7% to $48.3 million from $48.7 million. Operating expenses increased 1.2% to $40.2 million from $39.7 million. Net income decreased to $0.2 million, or $0.01 net income per diluted share, from $2.9 million, or $0.12 net income per diluted share in the prior year.

Net broadcast revenue decreased 2.3% to $41.4 million from $42.4 million. Station operating income decreased 2.3% to $15.4 million from $15.8 million. Same station net broadcast revenue decreased 2.5% to $41.3 million from $42.3 million.

Non-broadcast revenue (Internet content, magazine and book publishing) increased 10.4% to $6.9 million from $6.3 million; and non-broadcast operating income remained consistent at $0.5 million.

During the quarter:
On 4/9, Salem entered into an agreement to purchase WWRC-AM, Washington, D.C., for $3.1 million from CC Media.  They will begin operating the station on 5/15 under and LMA.

On 3/5, Salem we entered into an agreement to re-acquire KTEK-AM, Houston for $3.7 million.  They began programming the station pursuant to a Time Brokerage Agreement with the seller on 3/8.

Q2 Outlook
Salem is projecting total revenue to increase 3% to 5% over Q2 2009 total revenue of $50.5 million. Salem is also projecting operating expenses before gain or loss on disposal of assets, terminated transaction costs and abandoned license upgrades and impairments to increase 3% to 6% as compared to Q2 2009 operating expenses of $40.6 million.