RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2017
|Related Party Transactions [Abstract]|
|RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS||
NOTE 16. RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
Our board of directors has adopted a written policy for review, approval and monitoring of transactions between the company and its related parties. Related parties include our directors, executive officers, nominees to become a director, any person beneficially owning more than 5% of any class of our stock, immediate family members of any of the foregoing, and any entity in which any of the foregoing persons is employed or is a general partner or principal or in which the person has a 10% or greater beneficial ownership interest. The policy covers material transactions in which a related party had, has or will have a direct or indirect interest.
On November 22, 2017, we closed on the acquisition of radio station WSPZ-AM (now WWRC-AM) in Bethesda, Maryland for $0.6 million in cash from AM 570, LLC, a company owned by Edward G. Atsinger III, Chief Executive Officer and Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman of the Board. We began programming the station within our Washington DC market as of September 15, 2017 under a LMA with AM 570 LLC. We assumed the lease agreement for the land, tower and broadcasting equipment of WSPZ-AM (now WWRC-AM) as of the closing date.
During the year ended December 31, 2017, we paid approximately $21,000 to Delmarva Educational Association Corporation, a related party entity which Nancy A. Epperson, the wife of the Chairman of the Board, and Stuart W. Epperson Jr., the son of the Chairman of the Board, serve as directors. The payments represented commissions due to Delmarva under a revenue sharing promotion.
On December 15, 2016, we entered into a related party LMA with East Bay Broadcasting, LLC, a company owned by Edward G. Atsinger III, Chief Executive Officer and Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman of the Board, to operate radio station KTRB-AM in San Francisco, California. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we paid approximately $0.5 million to Easy Bay Broadcasting, LLC under the LMA.
Leases with Principal Stockholders
A trust controlled by the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Edward G. Atsinger III, owns real estate on which assets of one radio station are located. Salem has entered into a lease agreement with this trust. Rental expense related to this lease included in operating expense for 2017, 2016 and 2015 amounted to $191,000, $185,000, and $180,000, respectively.
Land and buildings occupied by various Salem radio stations are leased from entities owned by the company’s CEO and its Chairman of the Board. Rental expense under these leases included in operating expense for 2017, 2016 and 2015 amounted to $1.5 million, $1.5 million, and $1.3 million, respectively.
On September 15, 2017, we entered a lease with AM 570, LLC, a company owned by Edward G. Atsinger III, Chief Executive Officer and Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman of the Board for land, tower and broadcasting facilities, of radio station WSPZ-AM (now WWRC-AM) in Bethesda, Maryland. Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee reviewed the lease terms and determined that the terms of the transaction were no less favorable to Salem than those that would be available in a comparable transaction in arm’s length dealings with an unrelated third party. We sold the related land, tower and broadcasting facility to an unrelated third party on December 28, 2017. The unrelated third party assumed the existing income generating leases acquired with the broadcast tower, including the AM 570 LLC lease.
Radio Stations Owned by the Epperson’s
Nancy A. Epperson, the wife of the Chairman of the Board, Stuart W. Epperson, currently serves as an officer, director and stockholder of six radio stations in Virginia, five radio stations in North Carolina, and five radio stations in Florida. Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation (“Chesapeake-Portsmouth”) is a company controlled by Nancy Epperson, wife of Salem’s Chairman of the Board Stuart W. Epperson and sister of CEO Edward G. Atsinger III. Chesapeake-Portsmouth owns and operates radio stations WJGR-AM, Jacksonville, Florida, WZNZ-AM, Jacksonville, Florida and WZAZ-AM, Jacksonville, Florida.
The markets where these radio stations are located are not currently served by stations owned and operated by the company. Under his employment agreement, Mr. Epperson is required to offer the company a right of first refusal of opportunities related to the company’s business.
Radio Stations Owned by Mr. Hinz
Mr. Hinz, a director of the company, through companies or entities controlled by him, operates three radio stations in Southern California. These radio stations are formatted in Christian Teaching and Talk programming in the Spanish language.
Truth For LifeMr. Riddle
Truth For Life is a non-profit organization that is a customer of Salem Media Group, Inc. During 2017, 2016 and 2015, the company billed Truth For Life approximately $2.1 million, $2.2 million and $2.2 million, respectively, for airtime on its stations. The company had receivable balances of $0.2 million related to these sales at December 31, 2017 and 2016. Mr. Riddle, a director of the company, joined the Truth for Life board in October 2010 and remains a member of this board.
Know the Truth - Mr. Riddle
Know the Truth is a non-profit organization that is a customer of Salem Media Group, Inc. During 2017, 2016 and 2015, the company billed Know the Truth approximately $1.2 million, $0.4 million, and $0.4 million, respectively, for airtime on its stations. The company had receivable balances of $0.7 million and $0.2 million related to these sales at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Mr. Riddle, a director of the company, joined the Know the Truth board in 2010 and remains a member of this board.
The Truth Network Stuart W. Epperson Jr.
The Truth Network provides original and broadcast Christian radio that is a customer of Salem Media Group, Inc. During 2017 and 2016, the company billed The Truth Network approximately $11,000, respectively, for airtime on its stations. The company had receivable balances of approximately $3,000 and $4,000 related to these sales at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Mr. Epperson Jr. is the CEO and President of the company.
Split-Dollar Life Insurance
Salem has maintained split-dollar life insurance policies for its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1997. Since 2003, the company has been the owner of the split-dollar life insurance policies and is entitled to recover all of the premiums paid on these policies. The company records an asset based on the lower of the aggregate premiums paid or the insurance cash surrender value. The premiums were $386,000 for each of the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015. As of December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015, the company recorded the net cash surrender value of these policies as assets of $1.4 million, $1.0 million and $0.6 million, respectively. The cumulative premiums paid on these policies were $2.8 million, $2.6 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Benefits above and beyond the cumulative premiums paid will go to the beneficiary trusts established by each of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Transportation Services Supplied by Atsinger Aviation
From time to time, the company rents aircraft from a company owned by Edward G. Atsinger III, Chief Executive Officer and director of Salem. As approved by the independent members of the company’s board of directors, the company rents these aircraft on an hourly basis at what the company believes are market rates and uses them for general corporate needs. Total rental expense for these aircraft for 2017, 2016 and 2015 amounted to approximately $217,000, $301,000 and $133,000, respectively.
The entire disclosure for related party transactions. Examples of related party transactions include transactions between (a) a parent company and its subsidiary; (b) subsidiaries of a common parent; (c) and entity and its principal owners; and (d) affiliates.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef