That increase, to $47.8 million, was on a same-station basis in the third quarter and included $1.2 million of political revenue. For the first nine months of the year, Salem has written $3 million in political revenue, an increase of 28% from 2014, the last big mid-term election year.
Salem CEO Ed Atsimger said, on more than one occasion, that Facebook was chipping away at its revenue. The company has been working on a new digital strategy to try to combat that. One of the steps it took was to hire Jamie Cohen as VP Local Digital earlier this year. Cohen came over from USA Today Network and is responsible for driving local digital revenue growth, which Atsinger says is up 35% since his arrival.
Including digital, broadcast, and publishing, Salem’s net revenue was flat at $65 million. For the fourth quarter, the company is projecting total revenue to be between flat and a decrease of 2% from fourth quarter 2017 total revenue of $67.2 million.
Salem provides Christian and conservative programming and owns and/or operates 116 radio stations, with 73 stations in the top 25 media markets. It also operates the Salem Radio Network, a national network, with nationally syndicated programs comprising Christian teaching and talk, conservative talk, news, and music.