Salem-Eagle deal eyes conservative media powerhouse

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California-based Salem Communications Corp. has acquired the assets of Eagle Publishing, The Washington Times has learned.

Eagle owns a range of corporate brands familiar to conservatives, including Regnery Publishing, HumanEvents.com, and RedState.com, as well as sister companies Eagle Financial Publications and Eagle Wellness.

A formal announcement of the deal is expected Monday.

Eagle is one of the most influential companies in the conservative media space,” said Edward Atsinger III president and CEO of Salem Communications Corp. “Its addition to Salem brings together a unique portfolio of conservative media properties and fits with our strategy of integrating traditional media and new media assets all serving the same target audience.”

Mr. Atsinger said he was attracted to the combination in part because “each of Eagle’s businesses matches up so well with Salem’s extensive media platform.”

That platform consists of an array of broadcast, online and print entities that includes 102 radio stations in 39 markets, the “Family Talk” Christian-themed talk format on XM Radio, ChristianRadio.com and the Salem Radio Network, a national radio network that syndicates talk, news and music programming to approximately 2,500 affiliated radio stations. Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Bill Bennett and Dennis Prager are among Salem’s high-profile radio hosts. 

Salem Communications also owns Townhall.com, the popular political blog HotAir, Christianity.com, seven conservative and Christian magazines plus Xulon Press, a self-publishing service. The Salem Web Network offers a dozen resource sites for “a values-driven audience,” the company said.

“It is hard to believe more than 20 years have passed since I started Eagle Publishing,” said Tom Phillips, owner and chairman of Eagle Publishing. “Our dedicated employees can be proud they built Eagle Publishing into a company that has helped shape American public discourse through hard-hitting news, dozens of best-selling books, popular political websites, profitable investment advice and leading-edge health solutions.”

Current political dynamics suggest that a conservative media powerhouse could serve a potentially dominant national audience. A major Gallup poll of more than 18,000 Americans released Friday reveals that 38 percent of respondents now identify themselves as conservatives — compared to 34 percent who are moderates and 23 percent overall who identify themselves as liberals.

“When we made the decision to sell the company, we knew we wanted to find a strong buyer that would fully embrace Tom’s important vision,” said Eagle Publishing President Jeff Carneal. “Of the several interested suitors, Salem provided the best opportunity for our employees, customers and brands. Salem’s unique assets and strong management will ensure a bright future for the Eagle companies and take the combined company to a new level of success and influence.”

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