in any way to help grow what we’re doing here by taking it to the streets with the people who’ve helped build us as Baltimore’s favorite local sports media brand since 1992.
This isn’t as much a blog about “local sports” as much as it is “local sports fans” and that’s what we do at WNST.net: we have served people who love Baltimore sports with the best information, analysis and insights in the marketplace since 1998.
But we’re also a functioning business and to remain competitive and profitable into 2011 and beyond we are changing some elements of our business model to better serve you and to better serve Baltimore businesses by putting the two of you together and saving you money.
And we’re not only in the local business of stimulating economics but we’re also in the business of being honest, transparent and accountable.
From the time I sold copies of The Dundalk Eagle on my block in Colgate to get roller skating money to selling baseball cards to the neighborhood kids, I guess I’ve always had to find ways to build a business and a brand. I like the accountability and I live for dreaming up new ways to make things better.
It’s like a disease, and at 42 I’ve found it’s like a chromosome you either have or you don’t. And in 2011 I owe it to you to build a sustainable business model that speaks directly to you – the tens of thousands who use WNST as a primary resource for your sports information – and creates commerce for local businesses.
This is the tightrope I’ve walked since I voluntarily left The Baltimore Sun in 1992 and had payrolls to meet and families to feed via our business at WNST.
And I’ve become a junkie for following people who inspire me. The death of William Donald Schaefer last week shook me and I’m glad I’m writing this stuff because I wonder who is going to be the next person who loves Baltimore enough to do something and create something bigger than themselves and create jobs and stimulate growth in our region?
This is the really important stuff in the 21st century – sports is an opiate that holds it all together via a sense of community and a larger commitment to something larger than ourselves.
When I’m not watching the Orioles or Caps or scouring the universe for NFL Draft and lockout information, I’m a devotee of Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin Roberts, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra and others who inspire people. I’ve also become quite the political junkie over the past decade when every one of these fistfights in Washington, D.C. hinders my ability to get ahead in life via my business and my brand — the same as the rest of everyone. And I never write about my political feelings because quite frankly, I get enough hate mail for my stance on the Orioles, who have been the most glaring turd in the history of Baltimore business when you consider the damage that’s been done to the dream of William Donald Schafer and anyone else who ever fought to keep the Orioles here during the 1980’s when it was “even money” that one day they’d become the Washington Nationals (or maybe even the Washington Orioles).
And if you like what we do at WNST.net or you know someone who knows me or Drew Forrester or Paul Kopelke or any of the other people on our business team who have worked tirelessly since 1992 to make this website, media company and business relevant and thriving then we’re going to be reaching to you for your support as we change how we sell our products. There are a number of ways for us to go moving forward to be successful and if you care enough to be reading this blog then you’re probably the ones who will care the most to help us into a new era of mobile prosperity at WNST.net.
This is not unique to business in 2011 — there are all sorts of business models that are changing across many business platforms. Two weeks ago when Brian Billick came to Mother’s the one thing his business ear talked about in regard to the NFL labor situation was that every business he goes into to speak the theme is clear: EVERYONE is changing how they do business in 2011 because the old way doesn’t work any more.
Specifically in the media business – and I know some of you NEVER take the time to consider these factors but businesses must make money and profits in order to retain employees and keep the content and/or service at a peak level – everything we’ve ever done has been a “free” service – in effect, paid for by advertisers who spent marketing dollars to reach your ears.
Since the advent of the internet, video platforms like You Tube and the magic of mobile devices and social media, the “dinosaur” media world has been turned upside down. Lots of failed business, unmeasured media campaigns and everyone’s fear and loathing of social media and the era when any customer can scream bloody murder on the internet at any time and at least influence their interior group of friends and acquaintances.
It is here where WNST.net has always lived and thrived. We LOVE talking sports with Baltimore sports fans. And many of you have told other people about us. And we love getting information and analysis served up that is compelling, humorous, educational and expertly informed. We are part of that social media conversation that has become a linchpin of our life experience, whether it’s simple post about your breakfast or a photo from wherever you are in real time delivered like an instant Christmas card directly to everyone who loves you or cares about you.
I’m going to be taking the next week to educate all of the WNST users about our business and imploring you for your partnership and personal help in moving us to the next level.
Sorry this will be a long series but many of you ask me questions regarding our business and I feel that this transparent way is the best way to address our growth and expansion in 2011 and beyond.
And I’m always here for any positive or negative feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Peter Angelos once said: “I’m a very available individual…”
PART TWO HERE: “The History of WNST Radio and what we stand for…”