Stuart W. Epperson
Stuart Epperson grew up on a small tobacco farm in Patrick County, Virginia. He held a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in radio and television broadcasting from Bob Jones University. Stu’s brother Ralph applied to the FCC for authority to build and operate a radio station licensed to Mount Aerie, NC. He received that grant and the station went on the air in 1947. Stuart was employed by his brother to work in a number of positions at the station. He entered broadcasting himself in 1960 with a radio station licensed to Vinton, VA – a station serving the city of Roanoke, VA and surrounding area. In 2013, he was inducted into the North Carolina Broadcasters Hall of Fame; in 2005 Time magazine named him one of “The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America”; was former president of the Council for National Policy; and, inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
His philanthropic endeavors include being a founder and first president of the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission; founded the Salem Pregnancy Support Center; One Kid At A Time (a mentoring program); the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring (a national effort to find mentors for at-risk kids); and Kidz Xtreme, an intercity Christian Youth Program focusing on Section 8 housing.
Edward G. Atsinger III
Edward was born in Honolulu, HI and with his family evacuated following the attack on Pearl Harbor shortly thereafter settling in Southern California. He holds a BA from the Bob Jones University and a Masters Degree in Communications from the University of Southern California, served as Associate Professor of Speech, and Director of Forensics at Los Angeles City College. In addition he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Masters University. He entered the broadcast industry in 1969 with his first AM station licensed in the suburb of Raleigh, NC. Among his numerous community and industry- related activities, Atsinger served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Religious Broadcasters, Cornerstone Christian Network, Chairman of the NRB Music License Committee, and currently is Chairman of the Radio Music Licensing Committee.
After both had operated radio stations for a number of years they came together to build a network of Christian Teach and Talk Family themed radio stations in 1976, followed later by a network of center-right Conservative stations. Thus began Salem Communications, now Salem Media Group.