Part 3: Which Baltimore sports media entities suck? Here’s my report card…

October 23, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

Part 3: Which Baltimore sports media entities suck? Here’s my report card…

It’s been nearly three years since I started publicly examining the “State of Baltimore Sports Media” at WNST.net. As I predicted, the way you get your local sports news, information and analysis has seamlessly changed and now sits in the palm of your hands.

Three years ago when I wrote this in depth look at where the Baltimore sports media universe was heading, Twitter was truly at the dawn of its existence. The ability of mobile devices was far more limited and far less distributed. And the access to the genie of instant information in the palms of our hands that we’ve quickly become accustomed to will never go backward into the narrow bottle of the limited access of newspapers, television and radio waves.

Today, I will examine the current state of the Baltimore sports media experience and as much as many local journalists like to give “report cards” on the Ravens every Sunday night and Monday morning, I’m sure some folks will get their feelings hurt today.

I’ll tell you what I think about our competitors and the intentions of their bosses and their corporate, money-making media machines. Honesty. Candidly. Openly. As usual…

And, we’d love to hear what you think here in our “2012 State Of Baltimore Sports Media Survey” here.

One lucky survey entrant will win a trip next weekend to Cleveland on our Miller Lite Orange Roadtrip powered by Jiffy Lube.

As I’ve said over the past month, we’re trying to make WNST.net better every minute of every day so that we can be your primary source of Baltimore sports news and information on your mobile device.

Examining the Baltimore sports media business is the most important thing I do on a daily basis and while I rarely write about this stuff, it’s been my life’s mission to improve your experience as a local sports fan.

I find it almost hilarious and/or pathetic that anyone would listen to the radio station that calls itself  “The Fan” when the entire concept was drawn up in a board room in New York and never factors the actual “fans” into the equation when they assembled their corporate radio station team.

But competition is good. It sets the bar. At WNST.net, we’ve never ducked the obvious or taken Baltimore sports fans for granted – we know you’re judging us and comparing us every day because you utilize more than one outlet for your sports media consumption on a daily basis in 2012.

But we’re always striving to the be the FIRST place you go to get Baltimore sports information on your IPhone, Droid or mobile device.

In an effort to encourage you to give your feedback on the local Baltimore sports media scene, it’s only fair that I file my own report card.

So, who are the competitors and players on the local scene and where do you turn when breaking news happens in Baltimore?

My general overview of this is candidly clear: Baltimore is a lazy market on the new media end. I know how hard we work at WNST.net and I know what our resources are. I know the strengths and weaknesses of all of our competitors in the marketplace and many of the assembled group of “journalists” in the market have either been on my team, interviewed to be on my team or have cross-pollinated in something I’ve touched because I’ve been doing Baltimore sports media longer than virtually anyone in the marketplace.

My journey began almost 29 years ago in January 1984 at age 15 when Baltimore had three newspapers, three TV stations and a handful of AM radio stations that did local sports of any kind.

In 2012, there has been a mass fracturing in the way and convenience in which we consume media so many of the entities have “loose ends” in their coverage or holes in the strategy. Some of their portals to garner attention, feedback and building a trusted community of information are very old world and “lazy” for my tastes.

And before I begin defecating on all of our competitors – and that will be prevalent below – no less than two of these fossilized radio stations have the arrogance to call themselves “the only station that matters.”

It’s hilarious. And the truth is that WNST.net is kicking all of their asses in the only place that really matters – the internet and on your mobile device via instant access.

Here’s a report card from two weeks ago via Twitter:

Some will get their feelings hurt, but if you click to Page 2 you’ll see what I think of our “competition” at WNST.net…

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22 Comments For This Post

  1. dave hittinger Says:

    Once more half as long.

  2. justafan Says:

    I don’t understand why you feel it is necessary to critique other local sports media. What purpose does it serve? I don’t recall any of the other sports media outlets going out of their way to critique WNST. Sure, they are all your competitors, but your efforts would be better served by striving to be the best that you can be. I feel that to criticize others in the business detracts from your efforts.

  3. Ralph Says:

    You make some great points about “The Fan”. They have a powerful signal, but it is like owning a Ferrari and filing it with regular gas. The morning guys want to show Baltimore that they are “of the world” and have this arrogant contempt for B-more and the B-more sports fan. It is clear they can’t stand each other, but they make even this disdain for one another seem boring. Vinnie C is one of those guys who “fails upwards”. How he has had any success is beyond me. His voice is grating, his laugh horrifying, and his ego borders on demonic. He’s one of those guys who thinks because he has done okay in some areas of life, it follows that he possess wit and comedic skills. Not. And If he is such a great football mind, why isn’t he working in the NFL? Scott Garceau is the nicest guy in the world but he was “Captain Vanilla” in 1983. Wnst has its problems, but what a shock, a Baltimore sports media outlet interested in Baltimore sports. What will they think of next? Oh yeah and Glenn Younis..the mid-90′s called and wants its radio act back.

  4. Phil Says:

    I like all the former WNST guys that are on the Fan, but I struggle to listen to them when I do try because the pairings just don’t work. I still find Drew the most entertaining of all the hosts around, great combo of analysis and fun/comedy commentary and bits. Luke is awesome producer for Drew…they click. Paul and Bulldog growing on me…Glen in the afternoon drive is good…may surprise him to hear this but more Ryan would add to show. Knowing that a Steeler’s fan is running the Fan ruins it for me anyway,of course, Scott’s a Packers fan, Jeremy’s a Colts fan, Zinno a Yankee/Giants fan (I believe–But Thanks for your military servise anyway!!!) Vinny is Skins fan…one big happy family I guess.

  5. Domenic Vadala Says:

    Nestor, I don’t necessarily agree with everything you’ve said however I can’t totally disagree with it either. I will say that I feel this was a fairly-written piece in my opinion. I find the dual pregame shows on 98Rock and WBAL to be somewhat confusing. I think it’s great that they can stream the games over two stations (both of which have pretty strong signals), however I think they would be better served by having one streamlined pregame show that airs on both stations. Furthermore, having to split NFL coverage with music doesn’t really work for me. Overall like you I enjoy the programming on 98Rock, however I don’t want to listen to music when I’m trying to get ready to watch/listen to a football game.

    As for the broadcasters, I agree with you about the Ravens’ announcers. I thought it was much better when Garceau and Tom Matte did the play-by-play. However the fact is that there’s no Chuck Thompson walking through the door anytime soon. I have no issue with Joe and Fred on the Orioles, and I think they do a great job. I also like what WBAL has done by having Tom Davis and Dave Johnson on the radio after games. Say what you want about the quality of the show itself, however by the time I get back to my car after games are over the postgame highlights package and out-of-town scoreboard they do is half over. I enjoy having postgame coverage to hear on my way home. I felt that was severely lacking last season when they moved over from WJZ where they had an hour-long postgame show with Davis and Johnson live from what’s now Rick Dempsey’s joint. Like the announcers on any team or not, they’re chosen by the teams themselves and not the station. That said, I would submit that the best play-by-play man on any local team is still Johnny Holiday with the Terps.

  6. ccbmore Says:

    Nestor- You conveniently forgot to mention that Roch Kubatko from MASN is blowing it up on Twitter and has 11.5k followers….

  7. P Gavin Says:

    So many straw man arguments here I am still laughing at the great comedy of this recycled article. Same old same old.. they suck and lie we tell nothing but the truth and are authentic and real.

    Traditional media may be a dinosaur but to say it lacks relevance is absurd. TWITTER is not the only thing in the world that matters. A mobile device while you watch a live game? Might be where our society has become so impersonal. I go to a game or sit down to TV to watch, not look at my phone. Sadly, I see it happen everywhere. And getting OPINIONS on twitter is vastly different than getting information. Any bozo w/ a smart phone IS NOT a journalist. How many REAL journalists are on the WNST staff, is the “information” sourced? verified? fact checked? vetted through an editor?? Might be the new media, but to call it anything other than opinion lacks the honesty and exposes yourself to what you call everyone else.

    Grading the competition is still making me laugh. Isn’t the scorecard in business also based on how much money an entity makes? Here is where the whole argument falls apart. You say that some of the others “make money” and that advertisers while come around eventually to web traffic as the only barometer of what is measurable. Well I guess everyone else in the marketplace are fools, by having the most twitter traffic any one who advertises else where just does not understand business today. Gosh, how do we stay open without your expertise? How do you guys get paid? And yet you knock the Team sites for selling things on the website??

    I am still so amused about your personnel expertise. You missed something in your rehash of previous articles. The bragging of how many guys you have fired, you used different words THIS time. If you are “totally local”, Billick is not local,he has been here about the same time as Ed Norris. Granted that Ed is horrible at sports and you have your strongest player pitted against that show. That match up is not close, Drew is local and has thoughtful arguments. AS far as his sidekick I’d assume that he will be “fired” sometime soon, he needs to get a call up to the big leagues. The 10 AM slot at your station is horrid. Cliche City and NO INSIGHT. The Noon hour is occupied by a stutterer who can not be listened to. The afternoon guy ripped off his act from the owner of the station w/out all of the name dropping.

    Your competition has a guy who IS NOT AFRAID to say anything. He tells more “inside” stuff than anyone I have ever heard. He talks about dudes who drank themselves out of the league, personalized stories about adventures in recruiting and how certain guys in the league are in real life. To call him a scout is getting so low.. don’t wallow in that “smallness”. He knows more about the NFL from his experience than anyone in the market, it is not even close.Your NFL insider is NOT on the air in any significant way. You can talk about being backstage w/ Van Halen, but how many owner’s meeting have you been to?. He is building a life/family in the area, yet has been called awful names. Take a poll of people involved with the league and I’d bet he has more friends than an owner of a small station in Baltimore.

    Other than the comedic aspect of what Nestor perceives is reality I find the whole thing pathetic. Throwing bombs at everyone and calling advertisers, listeners and any other media entities morons can’t last. Personal grudges take away from life. Get real and quit blaming others for whatever gets your dander up. I doubt that they give you much thought. Credibility is shot for most what you want to accomplish when all we hear the same old rants.

    There is more to say, but there are other things to do. Self grade next time. Change the script and be introspective…. for once.

  8. Jim Says:

    Have to be honest I dont listen to WNST much anymore. That being said I do check out the sports page that you mail out every day. I like being able to get both Orioles and Terps news without having to go to 5 different web pages.
    Being in sales and driving all day from Cecil county down to greater Maryland, I follow Drew much more in the summer. Still more of a general news – WBAL guy in the morning, but I do go to more of an all sports format around 9 am. Drew is definatly better then the New York guys but he goes off basically 45 min after I tune in.
    With the exception of Drew and Glen, you ex employees are still much better then your current line up. Sorry but cannot listen to Thyrl. Nothing personal, just does not do it for me. 105 shoots itself in the foot with its limited times and pairings with trying to put obvious talent with total filler, but in the long run I guess that helps WNST.
    In closing at least you are passionate. I take you with a greain of salt but I do pay attention.

  9. Dave Says:

    Nestor, I can’t see why you feel the need to trash your competition. I think that every sports media entity has its positives and negatives, including WNST. Just like I’m sure you don’t appreciate it when people only harp on the negatives of WNST, I’m sure that the other sports entities don’t appreciate you doing that to them. Show some respect.

  10. jay Says:

    Just baffling how you can take yourself seriously as a ‘Media entity’ with guys like Thyrl on the air…I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but the man was not meant for radio…Drew is good and Glen is entertaining, but I need aren’t Glen and Jeremy Cohn seems like two sides of the same coin to me…I don’t know man, it just seems like if you spent the same amount of time whining about you competition (who I doubt even see you as competition given the scope of their respective operations compared to yours) worrying about cleaning up your own side of the street, you would be much better served…just a thought my man…

  11. BmoreBobRob Says:

    I look forward to this every year. The rippage of other sports outlets by Nestor and the thumping of his own chest is just priceless. If I did not know any better I would swear this was all done for effect much like a shock jock. With Nestor, it is 100% genuine, which makes it even better. Looking forward to next year’s edition.

    In true NST fashion, after reading how it is at the cutting edge, I tried to listen to the station today via my I Phone and had to stop after 5 minutes since the signal kept buffering. This is the usual result when I try to listen to NST from my I Phone. Needless to say, it does not happen with other stations. Secondly, I just tried to sign on to the web site using the NST mobile app and got an error message. NST at it’s best.

    What the hell happened to You Pon? So much excitement and then it blew away like a fart in a high wind.

  12. Frank Says:

    Nestor, you seem very angry at everyone lately, maybe you should take a break for awhile! This constant “negative” spin from you everytime you touch a keyboard is really getting old – look at it this way – there are alot of people in this region struggling – we dont need to turn on the radio or click on a website everyday to hear some guy who OWNS A FRICKIN RADIO STATION AND SPENDS HIS FREE TIME FLYING AROUND TO FOOTBALL GAMES AND SPRINGSTEEN CONCERTS bitching about how the guys at the other staions in town are liars and crooks. Get a clue, aprreciate the things in life you have, and smile once in a while!

  13. mike bayne Says:

    Nestor, I have known you since 1987 when these people bashing you were not even born. First 13 years of my life orioles in the world series 4 times. None since then. They need to google John and Vince to get Baltimore sports. that is John Stedman invent Bagley

  14. kris Says:

    look, the AM stations that you refer to are the ONLY ones that matter; due to the fact that they actually broadcast to an audiance, and carry matter of an important nature. Don’t knock your competition…beat them. but i know you can’t. So stop your bitching, your writing sucks too!

  15. chris Says:

    Rather than always point to what your competetion does not do well, simply state what you do well and why you think you do it better than everyone else. I know part of the reason you do this is because you are a Howard Stern Follower. He did this in the mid 80′s and has continuued to do it throughout his entire career (until recently, he’s become too fat and happy since he joined Sirius) and it workked for him because he was the first to do it this way. Unfortunately the times have hanged and this is now what everyone does. So if you want to stand out like Howard did, do what he did…that is be different from the norm.

    personally, i love your website and like some if your radio personalities. I think Drew and Luke are an awesome team. I also like the chemistry that paul and damien have from years of knowing eachother and working together. I honestly don’t listen to Thyrl often and I will occasionally listen to Glen. I like Glenn for the most part and always try to tune in for “Hug it out radio” but he does seem to be a bit of a bully if someone disagrees with him. Also his interviews include softball questions (at least with the local athletes) and he gets nothing new out of them. By far though, Drew is the best personality on during the morning drive.

  16. BmoreBobRob Says:

    The rippage of Nestor is even better than Nestor’s rippage of others.

  17. P Gavin Says:

    So True BmoreBobRob. William Burroughs famous observation about a paranoid person rings true.”A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on”. If that doesn’t sum up Nestor, I am not sure what does. He has a narrative in his mind that everyone is against him. That the competition lies awake at night with the singular purpose of how am I going to screw over WNST. It ain’t happening, but his view of others is astounding. That there is little defense of him and his viewpoint(here) is telling. The gist of what most are saying is “take care of your own business”. Don’t throw rocks at everyone. It serves him very badly.

    He takes shots at listeners all of the time. I can quote(paraphrase) him (“Almost every listener/sports fan doesn’t know what they are talking about”.)

    He takes shots at advertisers. They should be only advertising on my station because I have the biggest web presence. This is where he is truly delusional. Just because others have not “caught up” with his forward thinking, they don’t know how to run their businesses. Anyone who advertises on/in other “competitors” is wasting their money. To call out people who could put money in your pocket is crazy. I would love to hear his “pitch” and show him how he is wrong and myopic. His station is(and can only be) a niche player. Sports is not everything… and people who think it is are WRONG.

    He takes shots at former employees. I have heard 1st hand of his Spiro/Swami firing. The reason has changed a few times. And I know 1st hand what the reason given was(then) and what the perception was from the two men involved. Truth be told I felt that they were the best thing ever on local radio. He took a shot at Conn directly… He never has at any time been involved in the strategy of sports. What team did Nestor coach? Buying yourself a Super Bowl ring, being related to a Hall of Famer or hanging around the locker room does not equal credibility(as far as strategy goes).

    He calls out the competition. “Corporate Creeps” “Redskin Scout” “Ex-Con from NYC” “disposable thoughts from Preston and Schmuck(count their click thru’s)” “people need to sit in their cars all day to listen to WBAL” and so many others. It is gross.

    Most of his arguments, observations and “expert”(from being a newspaperman from age 9(sic)) musings on the “others” are self-defeating. Scorched earth policy may have worked for Gen. Sherman, but in today’s landscape it just harbors resentment and a few laughs from this corner. Prove it on your own. Passion is good… paranoia is bad. A managerial style where you denigrate all of your ex-employees must make your crew feel “so safe”. If I was working in your organization and read all of the horrible things you have written(and said on the air) about your old crew I would not be eager to “bring it hard”. I would be looking at an exit strategy.

    The only conclusion I can draw from what I have read and heard is that this “belief system” is the only way the Nestor can get out of bed. It drives, motivates and inspires him. Sad Sad Sad.

  18. Frank Says:

    I read your site almost everyday (truth be told I read the blogs you and Drew author) and nothing else. I listen to Drew in the morning and enjoy his show (more Drew and way less Luke). Anyway to my point…your diatribe here is so far from professional that you should be ashamed. If I was part owner in your company I would be calling you to the board room for a chat. Focus on WNST – Focus on what you can do to become better both as a person and a business and if this blog is the BEST you Nestor have to offer please get out of the business. You will be much better off in the long run and so will the station and its listeners.

    I want to write to you about the web presence you talk about so excitedly. I don’t care how many twitter followers you have, or facebook fans/friends, or text service subscribers. Do you know why? The why is because all of those are meaningless. How much money have you made from your twitter followers? As Drew would say “Correct” NONE. There are so many people/companies etc with legitimate twitter numbers that find out as you have that “Followers” on twitter doesn’t equate to dollars. Same with Facebook. I have NEVER once clicked on one of your sponsors ads on the website, nor have I ever patronized one of your sponsors that I have heard on your radio station. I would love to see the actual numbers of these companies that make sponsorships – there is no way in hell that Royal Farms is making a great ROI from there radio ads with your station. Nor for that matter any other advertiser. I have emailed you before about all of this and how the Alexa numbers are meaningless, how twitter is worthless for making money, how facebook doesn’t mean crap, how Youtube videos don’t make squat (PS- you have over 2200 videos uploaded and total views of 3.5 million thats like 1,600 views of each video on average) This is NOTHING, meaning no MONEY. I know this as I have 1 video with over 1 million views alone – I know the revenue cycle at youtube. Your Youtube channel has only 836 subscribers – again this is NOTHING. Where is the valueif I want to advertise my BUSINESS with WNST – what do you guys hang your hat on? This I would like to know? How many listeners do you have on average per hour during the day? Again where is the VALUE – WHY am I going to spend my MONEY with WNST? I know all the reasons you preach are meaningless so Where is the VALUE??? In closing – I like the morning show – I like a few blogs, I don’t like much else – and please for the love of GOD get somebody to replace the mid day host.

  19. S. Hoffman Says:

    Earlier this week, Nestor, you responded to some criticism on your Facebook page by questioning the work ethic and ability to acquire/retain sponsors of ex-WNST employees. I pointed out that an ex-employee had a major beer brand as a sponsor when he left WNST and took the sponsor with him to his new employer. I also pointed out that two other ex-employees were loyal soldiers of yours just a few seconds before being tossed on their ears without notice. After issuing these “report cards” on the state of local sports media while championing honesty, accountability, etc. in all mediums including social media in this and several of your other blogs, rather than offering an honest rebuttal, you simply deleted my posts. I hope your readers keep that in mind the next time they witness you dislocating his own shoulder patting yourself on the back in some capacity for some other self-proclaimed victory.

    There’s also one glaring point in your latest blog that’s worth mentioning…105.7 utilizes a single Twitter feed for their station and their on-air talent each have their own feed from which they post. WNST uses one feed for most if not all of their people. It’s certainly an effective strategy in driving up numbers (much like splitting blogs up into multiple pages in order to drive up total hits on this site), but not exactly an apples to apples comparison.

  20. John Says:

    Is there anything more entertaining than the inadvertent comedy that the poster boy for “little guy syndrome” provides on a daily basis? Nestor, you’re my favorite cartoon character: “Like me! Like me or I’ll cry!”. My advice for you is to take a break from your hourly self-pictures and posts about what you’re eating, what you’re drinking, what your cat is doing, etc. and actually learn about “Baltimore Sports”. Could you picture Unitas or Brooks going around telling people how great they were? Or trashing Yastremski or Bart Starr in an attempt to elevate their own status? Keep it up man, you’re funnier than any sitcom.

    PS: Can someone tell Drew that pregnated pauses don’t work well in radio, especially when operating solo. Most times I just think that your signal dropped again and then he starts re-pontificating (ie: “Billick’s not going anywhere” days before he was fired). And that fake Colts fan is an embarrassment to anyone over the age of 12. I have heard more professional high school stations, really man. Become good and people will know you’re good. It’s really quite simple.

  21. bernard Says:

    Nestor, You lose Drew, might as well turn of the microphone. He is the pnly thing (person) that is revelant on your lineup. Thyrl has a voice & personality that belongs in a cave, the other guys I don’t even know or listen to anymore. You’re a pain in the ass & I don’t know if it’s because yopu’re a runt, (little guy) or it’s the personality of “You against them” If you ever became them, you would become an even bigger pain in the ass. Get a good manager & take a break from the station before you lose everything including your life. I stopped listening to WNST & posting when Bob Hyanie left.

  22. P Gavin Says:

    Media Entity?? No generator?? No backup?? And we are supposed to believe that WNST is the King of Baltimore Media?? This is a sick joke(on yourself). You take yourself seriously, yet off the air for three days. Reminds me of a bank in the 1930′s. As an FCC License holder do you have a responsibility to the community? On top of the blog taking shots at everyone else, it must make you feel proud of your station. Amateur Hour.

    I guess you are just “too lazy” to get it right. WBAL doesn’t go off the air EVER, I guess “they matter”.

    Funny that the people who took time to write ARE NOT defending your viewpoint. If that doesn’t get a man to pause and reflect…. nothing will. Sell your brand and no more scorched earth policy. It always comes back to bite you. Everyone is laughing AT YOU.

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