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Salem Communications Grows As ‘Bill Bennett’s Morning In America’ Signs 100th Affiliate In Less Than

( [email protected] ) Sep 22, 2004 06:02 PM EDT

Salem Radio Network, a division of Salem Communications Corporation, announced this morning that it has signed the 100th affiliate for "Bill Bennett's Morning in America," the network's new nationally-syndicated morning show hosted by former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett. Bennett's program premiered April 5th, and despite the fact Morning Drive is considered the most difficult daypart to clear, "Morning in America" hit the 100-affiliate mark in less than six months, making it one of the fastest-growing programs in national radio today.

Cumulus-owned KRMD-AM in Shreveport, LA is Bennett's 100th affiliate. Vice President and Market Manager C.J. Jones says of " Morning in America:" "We love it, and we're thrilled to be Bill's 100th station."

"'Bill Bennett's Morning in America’ has been one of the most successful debuts in radio history," said Salem Radio Network's President Greg Anderson. "We were optimistic that we could get to 100 stations in a year. To do it in less than six months is just astounding - and it speaks to the bond Bill has developed with his audience and the passion with which he's pursued this project."

During Bennett's three-hour daily program, listeners learn from Bill and a variety of nationally-recognized voices about politics, world affairs, the war on terror, the country's financial outlook, pop culture, movies, and country music all at the same time.

Industry observers attribute " Morning in America’s" success to Bennett's unique brand of understated eloquence, open-mindedness, and fun. "I don't want to yell at people in the morning," said Bennett. "I don't think that's how they want to start their day. I believe you can have a conversation that is serious, but you can also have a lot of fun at the same time."

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree from Harvard. He is the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute, Chairman and co-founder of the education company K12, Inc. and the Chairman of Americans for Victory Over Terrorism--a project dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public opinion as the war on terrorism moves forward.

"Bill Bennett's Morning in America " is broadcast nationally from 6AM-9AM (Eastern) weekdays on KRLA/Los Angeles, KSKY/Dallas, KNEW/San Francisco, KTTH/Seattle, KNUS/Denver, WGKA/Atlanta and WNPT/Philadelphia among other top stations. " Morning in America " is also heard live on XM Satellite Radio at Channel 166, and streams on the web at www.bennettmornings.com.

In other news from Salem Communications, the company recently named Chuck Jewell as General Manager of stations KKHT-AM (1070 AM) and KTEK-AM (1110 AM) according to Rob Adair, Vice President of Operations.

Jewell joins Salem Communications following a long and successful career in radio broadcasting that spans 30 years. His career includes serving in all phases of management including marketing sales and programming.

"We are fortunate to have someone with the experience and talent of Chuck Jewell in Houston," said Adair. "His proven ability to grow what has already been established is a matter of record, and should serve him well in his new position of General Manager. It is exciting to have his leadership within Salem's ranks."

George Plauche who has served as general manager of the stations since 2000 will continue with Salem Communications on assignment.

Jewell is joining Salem Communications from Dame Broadcasting where he served as general manager of WGLU-FM, WQKK-FM, WCCL-FM and WYSN-AM in Johnstown, PA. Jewell's extensive experience in radio broadcasting includes serving in similar capacities with Citadel Communications, Wicks Broadcasting Group, Henry Broadcasting/American Radio Systems/Triathlon Broadcasting, Midwest Radio, Inc., and Park Communications.

Jewell said: "I am excited about this wonderful opportunity for growth, and more important, the opportunity to work with dedicated professionals in a growing, dynamic company like Salem Communications."

Salem Communications Corporation, headquartered in Camarillo, California, is the leading U.S. radio broadcaster focused on religious and family themes programming. Upon the close of all announced acquisitions, the company will own 98 radio stations, including 61 stations in 23 of the top 25 markets. In addition to its radio properties, Salem owns Salem Radio Network, which syndicates talk, news and music programming to over 1,600 affiliated radio stations; Salem Radio Representatives, a national sales force; Salem Web Network, the leading Internet provider of Christian content and online streaming; and Salem Publishing, a leading publisher of Christian themed magazines.

Source: BusinessWire