Softness in its self-publishing business offset gains at Regnery, leading to a 9% revenue decline in Salem Media's publishing group in the second quarter ended June 30, 2018, compared to last year’s second period. Sales in the division were $5.4 million, down from $6.0 million in the 2017 second quarter. The net loss for the group was $444,000 in the quarter, up from $127,000 a year ago.
In a conference call discussing results, Salem executives said publishing division sales were down 24% in the quarter at Salem Author Services, its self-publishing unit. Executives attributed the decline to lower author submissions that began in the fourth quarter of 2016 but noted that, in the second period, submissions finally began to increase.
Sales at Regnery jumped 16.7% in the quarter over last year’s second period, led by solid gains in print sales that offset a drop in e-book sales. A more favorable publication schedule also aided the increase. Regnery publisher Marji Ross said the increase was led by sales of The Rational Bible: Exodus, by Dennis Prager, and Charlotte and Karen Pence's Marlon Bundo's Day in the Life of the Vice President. Both books have over 75,000 copies in print, Ross noted.
For the first six months of 2018, total publishing division sales were down 13%, to $10.8 million, compared to a year ago, while the net loss rose to $1 million from $500,000.