Salem Communications May Delay Debt Goal for Purchases, CFO Says

Salem Communications Corp. may delay its goal of cutting leverage if it finds acquisitions, according to Chief Financial Officer Evan Masyr.

The Christian radio broadcaster is seeking to lower its ratio of debt to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to less than 4 times after spending more on acquisitions and less on repaying obligations than it expected, Masyr said. That ratio was 5.9 times as of June 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Salem acquired radio stations in various markets in the past year, as well as Eagle Publishing Inc., owner of conservative book publisher Regnery, for an undisclosed amount, Masyr said. Total debt for the Camarillo, California-based company fell to $289.3 million as of June 30, down 3 percent from a year ago, Bloomberg data show.

“We’ll get there in plenty of time before we have to refinance,” Masyr said in a Sept. 5 telephone interview. “If no good acquisition opportunities come up, we’ll get there quicker, and if some do, it may take a little longer.”

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