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Jim Boeheim to Invest in Radio Group Airing Syracuse Games

Jason Barrett

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Galaxy Communications is finalizing an agreement to sell a 21 percent ownership stake in the company. The interested buyer is a group which includes Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim, former Syracuse and Washington Wizards player Etan Thomas, and sports memorabilia expert Brandon Steiner.

The deal is waiting for approval from the Federal Communications Commission. If approved, the investor group would spend 2.1 million dollars to assume partial ownership of the company.

What’s likely to produce some local chatter is how the involvement of Boeheim in the radio group will impact Galaxy’s local stations. Classic rocker TK99 serves as the flagship station of Syracuse football and basketball games, and sports talker, ESPN Radio Syracuse (97.7 FM and 1200 AM), provides regular weekday local programs featuring hosts, guests and callers discussing Syracuse sports.

Galaxy President and CEO Ed Levine told Syracuse.com that he doesn’t see a conflict of interest since the radio station’s agreement is arranged separately with IMG College. Levine said he reached out to Boeheim and other investors about a year ago to help him pay off a loan he took out when he bought out a different group who were looking to cash out after a five-year investment. Finding someone with local ties to Syracuse was important because Levine didn’t want the company’s fate being decided by a private equity firm in New York, and Boeheim was at the top of the list.

Once the deal is completed, Ed and his wife, Pam, Galaxy’s CEO of its growing events marketing division, would retain 79 percent ownership in the Syracuse-based company. That could change slightly if other investors are added to the deal. Under that scenario, the group’s ownership interest would rise to 27 percent and the total investment would increase to $2.7 million.

In addition to owning and operating TK99 and ESPN Radio 97.7/100.1 in Syracuse, Galaxy also runs ESPN 1310 in Utica-Rome, KROCK (94.9 Utica and 100.9 and 106.5 Syracuse), Sunny 102 in Syracuse, and Mix 102.5 and 99.1 Tony FM in Utica-Rome.

Levine says he expects the FCC to grant approval sometime this summer.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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