RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
|12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2014
|RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS [Abstract]
|RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
NOTE 12. 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.
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 2012, 2013 and 2014 amounted to $165,000, $170,000 and $175,000, 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 2012, 2013 and 2014 amounted to $1.2 million, $1.2 million and $1.3 million, respectively.
Terminated Subordinated Debt due to Related Parties
On November 17, 2011, we entered into terminated subordinated lines of credit with Edward G. Atsinger III, Chief Executive Officer and director of Salem, and Stuart W. Epperson, Chairman of Salem's board of directors. Pursuant to the related agreements, Mr. Epperson had committed to provide an unsecured revolving line of credit to Salem in a principal amount of up to $3 million, and Mr. Atsinger had committed to provide an unsecured revolving line of credit in a principal amount of up to $6 million. On May 21, 2012, we entered into a line of credit with Roland S. Hinz, a Salem board member. Mr. Hinz committed to provide an unsecured revolving line of credit in a principal amount of up to $6.0 million. On September 12, 2012, we amended and restated the original line of credit with Mr. Hinz to increase the unsecured revolving line of credit by $6.0 million for a total line of credit of up to $12.0 million (together, the Terminated Subordinated Debt due to Related Parties).
The proceeds of the Subordinated Debt due to Related Parties may have been used to repurchase a portion of Salem's then outstanding Terminated 95/8% Notes. Outstanding amounts under each subordinated line of credit bore interest at a rate equal to the lesser of (1) 5% per annum and (2) the maximum rate permitted for subordinated debt under the Revolver referred to above plus 2% per annum. Interest was payable at the time of any repayment of principal. In addition, outstanding amounts under each terminated subordinated line of credit were required to be repaid within three (3) months from the time that such amounts are borrowed, with the exception of the subordinated line of credit with Mr. Hinz, which was to be repaid within six (6) months from the time that such amounts were borrowed. The terminated subordinated lines of credit did not contain any covenants. At December 31, 2011 and 2012, $9.0 million and $15.0 million, respectively, was outstanding under the Terminated Subordinated Debt due to Related Parties. On March 14, 2013, we repaid these lines of credit upon entry into our current senior secured credit facility. On April 3, 2013, we provided written notice to Messrs. Atsinger, Epperson and Hinz electing to terminate the Terminated Subordinated Debt due to Related Parties and related agreements effective as of May 3, 2013. There are no outstanding balances on the Terminated Subordinated Debt due Related Parties as of the repayment date.
Because the transactions with Messrs. Atsinger, Epperson and Hinz described above constitute related party transactions, the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee (the Committee) of Salem's board of directors approved the entry by Salem into the subordinated lines of credit and any definitive credit agreements associated therewith. As part of its consideration, the Committee concluded that the terms of the subordinated lines of credit were more favorable to Salem as compared to terms of lines of credit available from unaffiliated third parties. Additionally, in August 2012, the company obtained a fairness opinion from Bond & Pecaro confirming this conclusion.
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. Hinz and, Mr. Riddle and Mrs. Weinberg
Truth For Life is a non-profit organization that is a customer of Salem Media Group, Inc. During 2012, 2013 and 2014, the company billed Truth For Life approximately $2.1 million, $2.1 million and $2.2 million, respectively, for airtime on its stations. Mr. Hinz, a director of the company was an active member of the board of directors of Truth for Life during 2009 and through September 2010. Mr. Riddle, a director of the company, joined the Truth for Life board in October 2010 and remains a member of this board. Mrs. Allyson Weinberg is the wife of the company's former director Dennis M. Weinberg, who did not stand for re-election to the board at the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Mrs. Weinberg joined the board of Truth for Life in April 2011 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 2012, 2013 and 2014, the company billed Know the Truth approximately $0.4 million, $0.4 million and $0.5 million, respectively, for airtime on its stations. Mr. Riddle, a director of the company, joined the Know the Truth board in 2010 and remains a member of this board.
Split-Dollar Life Insurance
The company purchased split-dollar life insurance policies for its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1997. During 2011, the then existing policies were cancelled and new policies were entered. The company is the owner of the 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 insurance cash surrender value. The premiums were $193,000, $386,000 and $386,000, for each of the years ended December 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. As of December 31, 2012, 2013, and 2014 we recorded net assets of $1.3 million, $1.6 million and $1.9 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 that is 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 2012, 2013 and 2014 amounted to approximately $386,000, $239,000 and $274,000, respectively.