Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Document and Entity Information

Document and Entity Information
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2012
Nov. 01, 2012
Class A common stock
Nov. 01, 2012
Class B common stock
Document Information [Line Items]      
Document Type 10-Q    
Amendment Flag false    
Document Period End Date Sep. 30, 2012    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2012    
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3    
Trading Symbol SALM    
Entity Registrant Name SALEM COMMUNICATIONS CORP /DE/    
Entity Central Index Key 0001050606    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Filer Category Smaller Reporting Company    
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   18,851,235 5,553,696