On This 4th of July, I’m Grateful For WNST’s “Independence”

July 03, 2011 | Glenn Clark

I don’t know how many people I’m talking about (if I were to believe Arbitron, I’d think that the number of listeners of V1370 and the number of listeners to AM1570 WNST would COMBINED fit on a single bicycle), but I know that there are people who found themselves this weekend wondering where they would turn for Baltimore sports media in the future.

I’d like to believe that a few found their way to WNST.

If so, I’d first like to welcome those folks. We do things a bit differently here. You might be a bit confused, especially if the first thing you heard us doing was a doughy morning jock shoving 33 chicken minis from Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square down his throat while Dennis Schocket played John Mellencamp and Tom Petty in the background.

We don’t do that everyday, I promise. We did it this week to raise money for the Helping Up Mission on Baltimore Street and Antonio Freeman’s BMORE Free Programs charities. Baltimore really matters to us.

In fact, Baltimore matters so much to us that everyone you hear on the air at AM1570 and you read at WNST.net is someone who grew up as a Baltimore sports fan. We all have stories about watching Orioles games with our dads or sad stories about the day the Colts left, or glorious stories of where we were when the Ravens or Terps finally broke through and gave us championships.

We LOVE Baltimore sports here. We think you’ll see that in our product.

Because we desperately want to see these teams succeed, we hold them accountable when they don’t. We all love Ray Lewis, we all love Nick Markakis. But we’re not afraid to ask Ray Lewis why the Ravens haven’t been able to get past the Pittsburgh Steelers and we’re not afraid to ask Nick Markakis why his bat didn’t make the trip north from Spring Training with him.

(We’re grateful Markakis finally got his bat up from Sarasota. We’re also grateful the Ravens will presumably have at least two more chances to vanquish the Steelers this year.)

In the past two weeks, we’ve interviewed former Orioles assistant GM Kevin Malone, Ravens WR Donte’ Stallworth, former O’s pitching coach Leo Mazzone, former Terps center and New Jersey Nets draft pick Jordan Williams, Maryland football coach Randy Edsall, Nick Charles’ longtime CNN TV partner Fred Hickman, former City star and Detroit Lions WR Bryant Johnson, former Mount Hebron star and Bills DE Aaron Maybin, Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain, former Lake Clifton star and Memphis Grizzlies draft pick Josh Selby, Ravens WR Torrey Smith, Birds superstar prospects Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop and former Terrapins basketball coach Lefty Driesell live on air.

That’s all been in just the last two weeks. I already know that in the next seven days we’ll be chatting with Stronach Group president Greg Avioli (he’s now in charge of Pimlico) and Ravens S Ed Reed live on air. On top of that, we’re on the beat covering all angles of local sports with an authentic perspective that we hope you’ll find to be entertaining.

As a local sports fan myself, I’m grateful for what we do here at WNST. I take advantage of our on-air product, our website, and even our brand new WNST Save Baltimore Coupons, which allows me to save money at area businesses like “The Harp”, a spot near me in Perry Hall that I will admit I visit frequently when in the mood for a Blue Moon and a banger sandwich. (It’s delicious, trust me.)

I hope that as someone who may be new to what we do here, our product will help cushion the blow of losing your own favorite product. I really do. It wasn’t easy for me to accept WRNR as a viable option to replace WHFS on my pre-sets, but eventually it became my new go-to place to hear new music. WTMD has also moved into that role. To my knowledge, neither of those stations has ever put me through a set of music that included Limp Bizkit or Blink 182. I wish I could say the same thing about WHFS.

Eventually, I found a new product that suited me just fine.

I hope that as Baltimore sports fans, you’ll feel the same way about WNST.

And more than anything, I hope that you’ll celebrate the fact that WNST is a locally-owned and operated company, completely independent of any national corporate influence.

Our owner (Nestor Aparicio) and his partners (including Super Bowl winning former Ravens coach Brian Billick) will not be deciding to drop local sports in favor of political talk any time soon…although they understand the need to make good business decisions-some of which have not always been popular.

In a recent chat with WNST General Manager Paul Kopelke, Business Manager Ashley Bishoff and Account Executive Jon Schmidt, we started discussing how “special” WNST can really be.

As a talk show host/executive producer/reporter/columnist/update anchor/now Program Director, I’ve worked in many situations in my radio career.

I came home to WNST because the “independent” nature of the company allows it to be a VERY special place.

As you decide on where you’ll get your Baltimore sports content moving forward, I hope you find the same thing.

We’re not perfect…but I promise you we’re real.

I’ll stand by Aparicio, Forrester, Thyrl Nelson, Rex Snider, Luke Jones, Ryan Chell, Peter DiLutis, Ed Frankovic, Gary Quill, Chris Pika and the many other contributors to our station and site as folks who are TRUE Baltimore sports fans and are authentic in their feelings/beliefs/statements.

If this is your first time here, I hope you’ll keep coming back. I hope you’ll enjoy the independence of our product as much as I do.

And for those of you who lost your favorite radio station this week, if there’s anything I can do for you please let me know.