Galaxy Communications

Galaxy Communications is expanding its event empire. The upstate New York radio broadcaster is acquiring two Long Island-based beer and wine events, the “Hops & Props Craft Beer Fest” and “Taste of Flight Wine Expo” for an undisclosed sum.

Like many radio companies, Galaxy has been diversifying its business by adding live events and using its radio stations and digital media to support and promote the events. In the Syracuse and Utica, NY markets where Galaxy owns stations, the company puts on several festivals, including the popular “Taste of Syracuse” food and beverage event and “The Janesville Beach Hot Air Balloon Festival.” To manage its growing roster of events, Galaxy created a live events division, Galaxy Events.

The Long Island-based events, however, are new territory because Galaxy doesn’t own any radio stations in the market. As part of its purchase of the parent company, DBE Events, Galaxy is also retaining its chief executive, Eric Bell, who is joining the Galaxy Events team. With Bell on board, Galaxy says it can continue to grow the Long Island events and expand them to other markets.

“Buying these two terrific events gives us a foothold into the Long Island market,” Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, said in a news release. “Having Eric Bell on staff will give us further ability to expand and scale our events division beyond merely where we own radio stations.”

As part of the deal, Galaxy plans to open a Long Island office. Said Bell: “I see this as a platform for growth. I was impressed by the dedication and talent of Galaxy Events team and know that working with them will help to grow the festivals that I started within the Long Island Market and will allow for additional growth in new markets.”