Levine lands new investors, including Boeheim, for Galaxy

June 11th, 2018


SYRACUSE — Galaxy Communications has a new name
and new investors.
CEO Ed Levine says the company is now Galaxy
Media and is bringing aboard up to 10 new investors
to buy out the shares that had been owned by a private
investment firm and help the company reduce debt.
Those investors are local people, Levine says, including
his long-time friend Syracuse University basketball coach
Jim Boeheim.
“We’re thrilled to have Coach Boeheim as a part of the
team,” Levine tells CNYBJ in a phone interview, noting
the two have done business together since the late 1990s
and are personal friends.
Boeheim is one of seven investors who are buying the
portion of Galaxy Media that had been owned by Atalaya
Capital Management, Levine notes. As many as three
more individuals may join them.
Levine has used private investments in his company to
build it from a single station in Utica in 1990, to 14 stations
around Central New York today, as well as an eventsmanagement
business that operates around the state and
recently began providing services in North Carolina and
South Carolina.
In addition to the investors, Levine says he secured
a 10-year Small Business Administration-backed loan.
When that loan is paid off, the company will have no senior
debt, he says. “At that point the company functions
as an annuity,” he says.
Regardless of whether he ends up with seven or 10
new investors, Levine says he intends to keep for himself
ownership of the lion’s share of the company, at least
73 percent. Investors will get preferred equity, he says,
meaning they get paid even before he does.
Reflecting on his career in radio, first as a disc jockey
whose dream was to one day manage a major-market station
or, “maybe own a single station – so I could work for
myself,” Levine says he never saw himself in the position
he is today.
Galaxy Media has 100 employees. “I’ve got 100 families
that are depending on me to make the right decisions,” he says.

View Full Article Here https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1416/4436/files/061118_flip.pdf?2166221830747799048


Daniel Baldwin Gets His Game On

November 7th, 2017 from RadioInk.com

ESPN Syracuse has created a new local sports talk show featuring actor Daniel Baldwin. The Daniel Baldwin Show airs from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Baldwin is the main host, joined in studio by co-host Josh Grosvent, who is also the host of The Show mornings on K-ROCK (WKRL-FM and WKLL-FM).

 Ed Levine, Galaxy Communications CEO, said, “The Daniel Baldwin Show does not fit into the typical sports show mold. Although Daniel knows every bit of his X’s and O’s, he will weave stories in around the scores. The show has a spontaneous and fun feel. Think of it as intermission to your day of sports talk.”

The Daniel Baldwin Show on ESPN Syracuse is heard at 97.7 and 100.1 FM, 1200 and 1440 AM, and online at www.espnsyracuse.com.


View Article Here

Radio’s Top 20 Leaders

April 17th, 2017 by Ed Ryan (RadioInk.com)

One of the many features Radio Ink has become known for is its world-famous lists — like the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio, the Most Influential Women in Radio, and the Best Program Directors in America, just to name a few. In 2017, for the first time in many years, we are launching a brand-new list. And we let you, the readers, decide who deserves to be on it.

Voting took place at radioink.com over three weeks, and you broke the Internet (well, maybe you put a dent in its side panel). Thousands of votes were cast, and thousands of comments were made about those you nominated. We ranked and updated the standings every day, which brought a massive amount of traffic to our website and led to even more voting.

Who are Radio’s Top 20 Leaders? They are the people in the radio industry whose employees love working for them, and they are the people everyone wants to work for. They may not always be the executives getting all the daily trade press recognition, but you can be sure they are behind the scenes, making this industry tick. You know them. Many of you are working for them now. They are the people who know how to motivate their teams to success. They are winning at sales, programming, and management. Have they even climbed a tower or two? Probably!

They are relentless in what they do, and they do not fail. They hire the best people, give them the tools and training to succeed, then get out of their way. They are developing radio’s next layer of leaders. They are the most positive people in radio, and still excited to be in the industry they love. They are the people who take the time to mentor others and have a positive and lasting impact on the careers of their colleagues. They give time back to the radio industry to help it grow.

Our list of Radio’s Top 20 Leaders was created by you, the rank and file, the foot soldiers working the business every day. We set only a few rules before the voting on our website began, then let you have at it. They were: The person must be active in radio today and have at least five years of experience in the industry. Nominations could come from any department of a radio station or cluster. And executives who were on our most recent 40 Most Powerful People in Radio list could not be nominated for this list.

Once the list was decided,  we interviewed all 20 leaders, and then turned to the business of helping you. We picked their brains and asked them about leadership, how they achieved their level of success, what advice they have for others, and their opinion on the current leadership in the radio industry today. This issue, in addition to recognizing 20 great people, is one of the strongest training manuals you will come across in your career. Imagine having 20 of radio’s strongest leaders in one room and picking their brains for hours. This issue does that for you. And they were all a joy to interview.

HERE ARE RADIO’S BEST LEADERS FOR 2017…Ed Levine featured in top 20! Click the link below to view the article.

RI041717Leadership-Small (004)



April 3rd, 2017 by Inside Radio

Companies have used HD Radio side channels to create innovative content that is flowing well and easily through their respective markets. However, the overall monetization plans for these extra frequencies? That’s more like an inconsistent drip. But among the trendsetters, some profit ideas are already in the pipeline.

One of the industry’s marquee success story belongs to Saga Communications, a longtime champion of the space. CEO Ed Christian has consistently touted HD’s potential, so much so that he coined the term “metro station” to define new outlets launched by the company on HD radio-fed FM translators. Christian has also consistently lauded his company’s crafty “The Outlaw“ classic country format, now in six markets—Des Moines, Asheville, Springfield, IL, Jonesboro, Clarksville, TN and Manchester, NH—and spreading, all via HD side channels and FM translators.

“There’s real money there,” Christian recently told Inside Radio. “One of our HD metro stations billed about a half-million dollars last year, revenue that we would not have without it.” Saga COO/executive VP of operations Warren Lada is equally bullish: “Metro stations either fill a void format-wise, complement an existing format or act as spoilers. As such, it gives us an incredible opportunity to promote the stations and monetize the investment.”

CBS Radio, which has launched 130+ HD side channels, is also exploring creative sales approaches. “HD Radio has been around a long time, but it’s relatively nascent as we explore approaches to monetization,” VP of Programming Jeff Sottolano tells Inside Radio. “We recognize there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach.” Thus, the radio giant has sized up the ways that work best for them. CBS has found success in some markets selling on-air spots on side channels in the traditional way—as a complement to AM/FM buys. And Sottolano adds that signing one brand to sponsor a channel has been a win-win.

Case in point: In Philadelphia, Sottolano helped launch “Phillies 24/7” on the HD-4 channel of classic hits “98.1” WOGL, sister to sports WIP-FM, which has broadcast rights for the baseball franchise. “The channel is unique with team replays, condensed game versions, Phillies daily and weekly talk shows exclusive to the channel,” Sottolano says. “From a monetization perspective, we have been successful in presenting a single partner.” In 2017, it is RE/MAX.

CBS complements the sponsor buy with promotion on its Philly AM/FM stations, digital assets and social media. Sottolano adds, “It’s much like any 360-degree title sponsorship.” And providing added value, the Phillies 24/7 website is kind enough to provide a link: “Don’t know what HD Radio is? Click HERE to find out more.”

Also breaking revenue ground with HD is Nashville-based Cromwell Radio Group. Owner Bud Walters insists that HD side channels need not suffer any kind of inferiority complex among radio sales teams. “These original formats are ‘real’ radio stations providing alternative program choices,” he says. “In Decatur, we are getting listenership and ratings. We sell them just like full-power stations and do not push [the term] HD. Our stations are all streamed and have websites and apps.”

Galaxy Communications’ Syracuse NY classic rock “TK 99” WTKW airs ESPN on its HD-2 channel, which also broadcasts on WTLA (1200). Says the company’s Syracuse Market manager/director of Sales Steve Vasick, “This has allowed us to generate significant sports marketing revenue through sponsorships of local sports talk shows, exclusive broadcasts of NCAA tournament coverage and specialty ‘On the Road’ and pregame coverage of Syracuse University Athletics and Yankees baseball.”

The ESPN AM/FM combo allows coverage, such as the NCAA tournament on AM, while the FM could, for example, broadcast a local talk show covering breaking news about Syracuse University basketball. “This is a luxury afforded us by creatively utilizing the HD side channel. It has given us an outlet for programming that we previously had no place to broadcast,” Vasick says.

View Article Here


April 3rd, 2017 by Inside Radio

HD Radio side channels have long been the industry’s hidden treasure. Mind you, that’s not necessarily a good thing. However, a decade after additional frequencies across the FM dial were first embraced, remarkable HD innovations are helping promote a bounty of new voices, and in some cases, new profits.

Outlaw Country and Pride Radio. Mother Trucker Radio and ESPN Deportes. HD side channels—which first came courtesy of the likes of iHeartMedia, Cox, CBS Radio and Saga—have historically been curiously hit and miss among radio groups small and large, and in markets great and small.

But companies have now come to recognize the across-the-dial potential of the channels. Among the currently welcome options: testing niche formats, cross-promoting established brands with complementary genres, flanking competitors, foreign-language formats that reach an underserved demo, reaching out to the 55+ demo, bringing back beloved formats such as smooth jazz, and/or reviving stamped-out heritage brands. Impressive? Yes. And there are craftier applications to come.

They’ll join a growing field—2,400 U.S. radio stations have upgraded to HD Radio Technology, according to statistics provided to Inside Radio by Xperi (which now owns the HD technology developed by iBiquity). Out of those 2,400 stations broadcasting in HD, there are 1,700+ multicast HD channels, including 1,300 HD-2, 400 HD-3 and 60 HD-4 frequencies.

Juan Galdamez, Xperi’s product marketing director for Automotive and HD Radio Technology, offers a fundamental point: “If you add a unique format to a market, there are additional listeners and dollars that come into a marketplace from those not currently involved with radio, both on the listener and the advertiser side. You don’t rob Peter to pay Paul by adding a new way to serve underserved listeners.”

Adds Becky Brenner, a partner with consultancy Albright & O’Malley & Brenner, “The possibilities are limitless; it is just a matter of resources. There is so much going on, with classic versions of the mainstream signal, all live cuts, all local music, long-form talk that’s an extension of the primary signal, comedy, block programming for religious/cultural programming….” And this: Jacobs Media founder and CEO Fred Jacobs suggests that radio groups can add value from side channels as an on-air training tool to audition and groom future talent.

Another potential application is to keep younger listeners interested in the radio dial. Mike McVay, senior VP Content & Programming for Cumulus/Westwood One, says, “For our spoken word news/talk and sports formats on AM, we have an opportunity to simulcast on the FM/HD band. It is clear to us that if AM talk stations want to attract younger listeners they need to be on the FM band. Alexa, Google Home and the connected car do not discriminate, but most other receivers do. We are always exploring other formatic opportunities as well as a more youthful Millennial-targeted news/talk product.”

Among the majors, iHeartMedia, CBS Radio and ESPN continue to take the HD bull by the horns. For instance, ESPN Deportes airs on seven HD side channels via simulcasts with FM and AM primary stations.“We have been an ardent supporter of HD Radio since its inception,” says Jeff Sottolano, VP of Programming for CBS Radio, which has 130 side channels on the air currently. “As the technology has evolved and the distribution platform has increased, we have an opportunity to reach more listeners.”

As examples, CBS Radio extended the brand of its heritage Chicago triple-A WXRT with a side channel offering a complementary indie-based new music format. Likewise, modern rock KROQ-FM Los Angeles provides side channel “rock of the 80s throwback” that harkens back to the music the seminal station played in its formative years. And in Washington/Baltimore, the once iconic modern rock WHFS—whose 99.1 frequency now airs the antithesis as a Bloomberg Business affiliate—was brought back to life by CBS on WWMX-HD2 at 106.5 and via translator at 104.9.

Galaxy Communications, which owns eight stations in Syracuse, NY and six in Utica, NY, is taking advantage of the FCC’s ruling to allow FM translators to rebroadcast AM stations and HD Radio side channels “to deliver more programming content for listeners and advertisers,” says Steve Vasick, market manager and director of Sales in Syracuse. In Utica, it uses an HD side channel of “K-Rock” WKLL to feed “99.1 Tony FM” on Utica-licensed translator W256AJ.

The side channel is allowing the radio group to test new strategies. “Tony FM has limited commercial interruptions, with just one break per hour, which benefits listeners and advertisers,” Vasick says. “To maximize the impact for advertisers, we are selling the station to a limited number of local advertisers—similar to an underwriting sponsorship—and their spots rotate through the break. This affords the advertiser a level of exclusivity, and allows their message to break the ‘clutter’ of traditional commercial radio stations.”

View Article Here


Page 1 of 612345...Last »