When it comes to media—whether television, radio, web, or print—individuals and families interested in Christian and family-themed or values-driven content often find their options limited. This week’s Shining Light Company, Salem Media Group (Symbol: SALM) is working to change that. Headquartered in Camarillo, California, this company is committed to bringing a positive and life-changing message that influences faith and impacts our culture.
Though Salem Media Group originally focused primarily on Christian teaching talk radio stations, their network began expanding in the 1990’s to include contemporary Christian music, news talk, Spanish-language Christian, and business programming. In 1993, they launched Salem Radio Network (SRN), which is now one of the leading full-service networks in the US syndicating talk, news, and music programming to approximately 2,000 Christian-formatted and general market radio stations throughout the country. They distribute daily and weekly programming for more than 70 ministries and organizations.
Family Business Beginnings
Business partners and brothers-in-law Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson combined their radio assets to create Salem Communications. While beginning with stations in California and North Carolina, the duo then purchased stations In Boston, San Antonio, New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles to further spread their influence. It wasn’t until 2015 that the company changed their name from Salem Communications to Salem Media Group to the diverse set of assets owned by the company. Also of note to Christians, the Salem Media Group purchased the King James Bible mobile application (app) in 2016.
Their reach expanded again in 1999 with the purchase of CCM Magazine. Salem Publishing now circulates several other Christian and conservative publications including YouthWorker Journal ™, The Singing News, and Townhall Magazine™. In 2006, Salem increased its presence in the publishing industry with the purchase of Xulon Press™, a provider of self-publishing services targeting the Christian audience.
The online division of Salem Communications, Salem Web Network (SWN), also began in 1999 with OnePlace.com. Today, SWN consists of some of the most recognized brands in the faith marketplace –Crosswalk.com, Christianity.com, and GodTube.com to name a few. In 2006, they purchased Townhall.com®, a general-market conservative news leader, followed by conservative political blog HotAir.com in 2010. The following year, they launched the Church Products division with the acquisition of Worship House Media, an online multimedia retailer to churches. It is clear that Salem Media Group has a far reach of influence, typical of a successful Shining Light Company!
People Over Profits
Shining Light Companies are known for valuing people over the bottom line. Salem Media Group has received rave reviews about their propensity to make employees feel welcome and encouraged during their time at the company. One person said that they had never felt so welcome in a place of business before, but that changed when they were hired by Salem Media. Others remarked that the company places seems to be genuinely interested in their employees’ success rather than just about what they can bring to the table. It is clear from employees themselves that Salem Media Group is committed to not only providing faith-filled content, but also lives it out through the way they operate the company. And this type of success cannot be overemphasized or quantified.
Today, Salem Communications has grown to include a total of 99 radio stations, 61 of which are in the nation’s top 25 markets, and their web network reaches over 7 million users every month. These outlets are truly making an eternal impact, and for that, we are proud to spotlight Salem Communications as this week’s Shining Light Company.
DISCLOSURE: Shining Light Companies are exemplary companies who live out the Golden Rule in their business practices, demonstrate strong servant leadership and create compelling value through the products and services they offer. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.