BY CHARLES MCCHESNEY
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.
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