Tag Archive | "Drew"

Rock your red with WNST.net Wednesday night for your chance to win a signed Caps stick!

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Rock your red with WNST.net Wednesday night for your chance to win a signed Caps stick!

Posted on 24 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Rock your red at either of our two Capitals vs. Bruins Game 7 viewing parties on Wednesday night for your chance to win a Washington Capitals signed hockey stick!

Join Drew Forrester, Damon “The Bulldog” Yaffe, and Peter DiLutis at Jilly’s Pikesville for your chance to win an Alexander Ovechkin autographed stick!

During the game you can enjoy $2.50 Natty Bohs and half-priced wings. Plus, receive 15% off your bill if you’re wearing your Capitals red!

Or, hang with Nestor Aparicio at The Gin Mill in Canton and you’ll have a chance to win a Mike Green autographed stick! You’ll also find $2 Natty Bohs and $2 Miller Lites. Plus, it’s Sushi Night!

Both parties will start at 7PM.

We hope to see you at either The Gin Mill or Jilly’s Pikesville on Wednesday night.

Rock your Red!

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Lost opportunties could haunt Ravens after devastating FG miss

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Lost opportunties could haunt Ravens after devastating FG miss

Posted on 22 January 2012 by WNSTV

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Crossing the bridge to victory with Luke, Drew and Nestor

Posted on 07 November 2011 by WNST Staff

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I’m free at last to “take the stand” in Jennifer Royle (ex-MASN employee & current CBS Radio employee) v. WNST.net

Posted on 29 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

Tick tock, tick tock…as time slips through the hourglass so goes Jennifer Royle’s 15 minutes of fame in Baltimore.

She’s now been here about 18 months and today figures to be the last time she gets a headline in the Charm City. Her lawsuit against me, WNST and my employees Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark, was completely without merit.

This costly and damaging witch hunt and blatant attempt to injure my company and a reputation that I’ve spent 27 years of my life erecting here in my hometown of Baltimore as a “tell it like it is” journalist in the style of my heroes John Steadman and Howard Cosell – is now complete.

Time and facts have proven that WNST never did anything inappropriate.

Ms. Royle dropped the case after our lawyers filed a motion asking a judge to order her to answer a series of questions that she didn’t want to answer.

Instead of responding to our motions, she took her marbles and went home.

As we stated all along, we did nothing wrong at WNST.net. Her allegations were a public affront to me, and an attack on my personal integrity and the value of everything we’ve built this 21st century local media company to stand for publicly over the past two decades.

My company and my personal reputation have been greatly damaged over the last six months with this black cloud of nonsense, gossip and bogus lawsuit, and I’m glad to publicly tell you today that we prevailed, but what we’ve received lacks justice for me, my employees, and our families.

Despite all of the havoc she’s wreaked inside of my company and the damage to my reputation in the community with her allegations, in the end Jennifer Royle got nothing, zero, zilch – not one penny of WNST money, which was her motivation from the outset. So, I suppose she “lost” this battle although I’m not sure it cost her any money at all to create this media firestorm so perhaps she’s a winner.  Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?

Many of you had never heard of her before her face graced the front pages of local periodicals as a “rising star,” while suing the one local media company that has the audacity to tell it like it is regarding bad journalism, media competition and the “hush hush” politics surrounding the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos.

And as much as my company can claim some sort of public “victory” today, I know I’m not a “winner,” that’s for sure. This was a game of legal chess and a complete waste of time and energy that no one in my company ever signed on to play.

Outside the hundreds of wasted hours of nonsense, grief, rumors and lies, it’s certainly been a life-altering, educational experience.

And, really, quite personally disheartening for a kid from Dundalk who grew up with next-to-nothing and has worked diligently, legally, ethically and with great passion and energy to make a great, authentic local company like WNST.net that lives and breathes to serve this community and make the internet, mobile devices and radio work against all odds and against the biggest giants of the media industry in the marketplace.

The garbage we’ve endured in this case was unimaginable until I realized how the incredible red tape of these lawsuits work.

But even after voluntarily offering to drop all of her charges last week via her attorney, she gave me her “concession speech” while wearing a press pass in the Ravens media lounge.

Two weeks ago before the Chiefs game, just hours after it became official that Royle was giving up her case, she approached me at a table with other reporters standing nearby and gave me her “post-litigation” quote while wearing a Ravens credential:

“What the f**k are you looking at? I did you a f**king favor. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT! ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT!”

By the way, these were the first uninitiated words she’s ever spoken to me, and the first time she’s ever engaged me in any conversation.

You want the truth about Royle v. WNST?

You might not be able to handle the truth…but it’s a click away right HERE.

I’m told that I’m finally free at last to speak my mind and tell my side of the story. So, while I was anxiously awaiting the trial next June and taking my seat in the courtroom and having the facts told in great detail because we have nothing to hide, instead I’ll take the stand here at WNST.net and tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

As usual…

That, by the way, is all that I’ve done for the past 27 years.  I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of writing, editing, reporting, critiquing, praising and evaluating the Baltimore sports scene in the media. I wrote 1,500 stories for The News American and The Baltimore Sun before I was 23 and began my radio career on Dec. 13, 1991. I’m three months short of 20 years as a radio host and local entrepreneur whose been traveling the world and living in and loving this city and its sports scene.

I report facts. I opine and analyze on Baltimore sports and just about anything else that I feel compelled and authentically interested in espousing my feelings about regarding topics I feel I’m qualified to opine. We live in America. I have First Amendment rights and free speech.

But today I’m here to tell you that “free” speech isn’t free.

Jennifer Royle is a competitor in sports media who we think is inferior as a journalist, and we really don’t care who knows it. She’s a public figure. She goes on the radio and the internet and her Twitter page and opines on all sorts of things that we believe she’s unqualified to evaluate as a professional Baltimore sports expert. Here’s my opinion: her opinion on Baltimore sports is so insignificant as to not be ever mentioned again by me or anyone at WNST.net.

And other than a few occasions in the past when we pointed out how off base she was in some commentary or a blog, we really gave Miss Royle very little attention in her first year in Baltimore. Honestly, other than as an occasional punch line -– which is all she is as a “source” or “insider” in our sports universe of legitimate experts — it wasn’t worth the effort.

And after this blog her name will never roll off my lips again. I have no interest in Jennifer Royle, nor have I ever had any interest in any aspect of her life before getting sued by her and being subjected to reading the daily drama of her existence on Twitter and all over social media. The biggest “favor” she did me was dropping the lawsuit so I no longer had to monitor her mindless web ramblings, which most certainly robbed me of my time as much as the lawsuit robbed me of sponsors and some dignity that I’ll never recover in some segments of the community who convict those in the court of public opinion and on the 5 o’clock news.

Now, let’s address this crazy lawsuit, which countless numbers of you have asked me about since it led the evening news back in March, and then we’re done with it.

And here’s another link. It’s almost 300 pages long. As you can imagine, it’s an arduous read but it contains everything you need to know about what Jennifer Royle alleged in Royle v. WNST (Aparicio, Forrester & Clark).

All I need to say will be said here: WNST will not be taking phone calls or posting any “he said/she said” commentary after we speak our peace (or is it piece?) this week. We are through with this chapter of sick, pointless litigation. And we are most certainly through with Miss Royle and her drama.

Enough, already.

We have families to feed, sports news and commentary to get to in football season and a community to serve in Baltimore.

For those of you coming here to read because you:

A) Love me
B) Hate me
C) Know me
D) Care about me
E) or you’re just a curiosity news-seeker

I will say this: I appreciate that you care enough to read on and care to know my side of the story. And I have a feeling the company she works for won’t be featuring this on the evening news the way they did when their employee was the plaintiff — but only time will tell. And I have a feeling that The Baltimore Sun won’t make the dismissal of this case a front page story the way they did when I was the defendant. And even though the story leaked last week during the awful tragedy regarding Mike Flanagan’s suicide, no one has reached to me to get my side of the story the way they all called me unprovoked before I had even been served papers back in March.

So, here’s how I really feel: This was the most despicable act purported on me in my lifetime by anyone I’ve never even met.

The amount of hours, explanations and mind space I’ve had to spend on a woman who I’ve never even had a conversation with or have given a nanosecond of my time or energy to since her self-aggrandized arrival 18 months ago and someone I’m not remotely interested in knowing anything personal about is mind-boggling.

What a country we live in! That’s all I can say.

This country and our legal system and tort law is very, very, very f**ked up – that much I’ve learned in the last six months since her threats began with a letter from her lawyer Brian Goodman of the law firm of Hodes, Pessin & Katz advising that they intended to sue my company, which would clearly harm my company and help Royle’s company, CBS Radio, have a competitive advantage over WNST.

But there was no way WNST was ever going to admit guilt where none existed. Sure, it would’ve been easier, but anyone in my life who even thought of recommending that cowardly behavior was dismissed and you can only imagine my anger at the notion of doing anything that impugns my integrity as an honest journalist.

I’d rather die.

And anyone who knows me will tell you that.

And Miss Royle wound up getting exactly what she deserved in the end: nothing.

As I wrote four months ago when this fiasco began, I have nothing to hide. There is no smoking gun. We’re by far the most read, commented, followed, text-based, Tweeting, blogging, content machines at WNST.net and all of it is purposely designed to be public.

My company immediately and eagerly produced droves -– if not tomes — of unedited, unaltered information and contents of all kinds for Goodman, Hodes and Royle. We have tweeted over 50,000 times. We have Facebooked vigorously for three years – tens of thousands of threads, comments, entries and pictures. We do 12 hours of very visible, downloaded audio and radio every day. I have personally sent and received more than 100,000 emails in the last year.

Not a speck of actionable material about Jennifer Royle was anywhere in our evidence.

Same with Drew Forrester.

Same with Glenn Clark.

We have hundreds of Tweets, posts, replies and evidence that would say that Jennifer Royle has had a rocky road with Baltimore sports fans and their public (and warranted in our opinion) criticism of her work and credentials as a local sports expert. She burst into Baltimore on the tail end of the Anita Marks era at 105.7 and CBS Radio and was quickly put into the Orioles clubhouse with a MASN/CBS credential.

And aside from any tangible evidence regarding this case, to publicly allege as she did in her lawsuit that we gossiped about her personal life or her sex life, based on blogs and tweets in which we said absolutely no such thing, is just preposterous and an affront to everything we stand for at WNST.net in reporting the facts about sports in Baltimore.

The shocker to me was that a respected firm like Hodes, Pessin & Katz — a group of people I considered long-time friends and who were involved in ownership and housing WLG-AM 1360 when I wrote more than $250,000 in checks to their company back in the 1990’s brokering airtime for my afternoon “Sports Forum” radio show — would take a case like this against me and think they’d win.

The original charging documents tried to plead that Royle is NOT a public figure, which I don’t think I needed to enter the Peter G. Angelos Law Center at my old University of Baltimore alma mater to research.

And I can’t imagine that anyone on her side of the fence ever realized that large portions of her personal life and relationships are an absolute open book on her Twitter page where she loudly and proudly interacts with the many famous friends she has in sports and openly denigrates fans and co-workers every day quite publicly. She openly Tweets with athletes, celebrities and media people on a daily basis about her physical attributes, her dog, her nephew, etc.

But the amount of absolute gibberish in their charging documents would’ve been laughable had it not been a blatant attempt to wreak havoc on my life and company and shake me down for money.

They actually spelled my name wrong when they sent the court papers and did so many times throughout the documentation.

They were demanding $800,000 and they didn’t know how to spell my name?

They served me papers three different times, so much so that I felt like I knew the poor retired police officer (and WNST fan) that chased me around town for two weeks in March. They even sued the wrong company at the wrong address in the beginning.

Quite frankly, I don’t need to opine too much about the specifics in the case.

They’re all RIGHT HERE for you to peruse.

But, in general, it seems Miss Royle can take anything we say on the radio or the web and somehow believe it has some link to her.

She somehow managed to complain in the lawsuit about a Tweet I sent regarding a half-price discount for one of our sponsors and think it was about her.

Go through pages 156 through 181 of her allegations in the lawsuit and see for yourself some of her charges.

She also complained that we nominated her for “Orioles Apologist Of The Month.” She and her legal team thought they could sue us for this? And win?

Her legal papers also allege that a caller made a reference to “Jen Midol” on WNST. It might not be too polite but it’s certainly not grounds for a lawsuit against me.

She even reached to Orioles poohbah Greg Bader, hardly a fan of mine or WNST, and attempted to involve him on Page 178.

But, thankfully, this circus is over.

And let’s make no mistake about it — WNST is NOT a winner. We lost. We lost big time. But Jennifer Royle didn’t get a penny from WNST.net.

I suppose that’s my “victory.”

But I’ve been victimized. When someone calls me or my team rumormongers and even whispers that anyone at WNST made comments that they never actually made is personally bothersome to me.

All told, I think this whole experience was despicable.

Not that this does me any good or helps me recoup damages to my name that might last the rest of my life in the public forum.

I have sponsors who dropped us. I have others who declined to do business with us or take an appointment with us. I heard whispers around every corner about WNST and me and perceived guilt. I had jealous rivals and unappreciative ex-employees cackle and desperately hope that WNST.net was guilty and going belly up.

Can you imagine my lack of humor when someone who identifies themselves as a WNST fan comes up at an Orioles game and asks if my station is going to be renamed W-Jen-ST once she wins the lawsuit.

This was no joke to anyone at WNST and isn’t a good conversation starter for me or Forrester or Clark.

The worst part has been being around the Ravens organization and having media members and members of the organization look at Drew, Glenn and me as pariahs or seeing us “guilty before judgment.” And the gender-based claims in this suit clearly imply that we’re somehow misogynists, when our wives, girlfriends and mothers are aghast that their loved ones could be accused of this kind of “social crime.”

But, in the end, this was exactly what my local attorney Steve Miles called it four months ago: a shakedown.

And my legal team was world class. If you have people making outrageous claims on you in the media space, you want Chuck Tobin and Drew Shenkman of Holland & Knight on your team. Those guys are the REAL heroes in this case. They’re two of the smartest, best dudes I’ve met anywhere in my travels. Rock stars and First Amendment Americans!

I owe a debt of gratitude to every one of you who said a kind word or dropped me a line with support and love. Thank you, Baltimore!

I run a company full of good people who are all honorable, work hard and want to be great. We love Baltimore sports as much as you love Baltimore sports and that’s why we’re here. And at this point, if you doubt those words you’re just a hater.

But, if you are a WNST hater who has read this missive this far, I’ll just assume you’re a hater who cares.

And I wouldn’t wish this sort of character assassination on even my most hated competitor.

This affected my 55-year old general manager Paul Kopelke and his family. This affected parents and wives and small children in the case of Drew Forrester. My wife, my mother and son all went through this with me and Drew and Glenn and our families and loved ones as well as all of my employees and supporters.

For me, it’s about integrity.  It’s about right and wrong.

I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was the most evil, heinous act ever performed upon me so Miss Royle should at the very least take a bow for scraping the bottom of the barrel in my 43 years on the planet.

When my 92-year old mother in Dundalk saw my face on the evening news looking like a criminal getting sued by a female journalist with hurt feelings and I look guilty on TV and in the newspapers when we’re perfectly innocent — well, that’s a little hard for me to take without both anger and sadness.

We were the No. 1 most viewed news story at The Baltimore Sun for almost two days when the lawsuit was filed, so I know the local media paparazzi and my competitors were waiting outside of the courthouse door for a “guilty” verdict on WNST that was never coming.

We’re moving on, but I’ll never forget this or forgive the people at corporate monoliths and competitors CBS Radio and MASN for bringing this out-of-town troublemaker into Baltimore to wage war on loyal local sports fans and on my company in the press, on the internet, and with contacts in local organizations via a baseless lawsuit that lacked any merit at all but landed her above the fold in newspapers all over town.

Where is she today to answer questions? She was the one throwing around dozens of crazy accusations?

Where’s her credibility now?

And what did she ever do or say to earn anyone’s trust in this community as a legitimate voice of Baltimore sports expertise?

I’ll leave that up to you to decide now and in the future.

Who do you trust for your news? And what is their agenda?

Our agenda at WNST.net has always been crystal clear:

To fully realize the potential of the vast audience our brand has acquired in Maryland over the past 17 years, WNST.net will be the dominant, honest voice in Maryland media by providing the “real” content of what’s happening in sports in our area.

We will deal with all of our listeners and sponsors with charity, benevolence, dignity and in the effort to educate and help sports fans in Baltimore better understand the big picture of sports so they can enjoy it even more.

We will be an advocate of all things Baltimore and Baltimore sports while keeping a keen “21stCentury-oriented” approach to build a bridge between sports and its fans through our website, broadcasts and community activism.
Integrity and accuracy will be our calling card.

And I want to stress again: we never did anything wrong, unethical or nefarious. Through all of these dramatic accusations, Miss Royle forgot to bring the one thing into the legal arena with her – a real case with any evidence to back up her heinous allegations.

And just as I wrote four months ago when this fiasco began, none of this will change how little she knows about Baltimore sports or how much Baltimore will “embrace” her greatness now that this sham and attack on my life and the lives of everyone connected to me and WNST is apparently complete.

Justice will never be served on my side of the ledger but WNST will forge ahead and not look back.

We will always be the real place you turn for Baltimore sports news and information that you can trust.

And Jennifer Royle will always be remembered as the female sports reporter who sued WNST on the front page of the newspaper and didn’t win. Period.

It’s football season. The Ravens are on the field and we’ll now go back to doing what we do best – bringing you the best sourced information, the most reliable news and analysis in Baltimore sports media.

We hope you enjoy what we do at WNST.net. And if there’s something we can do to get better, please drop me a note: nasty@wnst.net.

And it goes without saying, we’re always looking for local businesses to partner with and market to Baltimore sports fans just like you and me.

Thanks for supporting WNST.net and all of our families and friends. We appreciate you and look forward to continuing our growth and greatness with our new lineup in the fall.

FOR OBVIOUS LEGAL REASONS WE ARE NOT POSTING COMMENTS TO THIS BLOG OR REGARDING THIS SUBJECT MATTER. WE CONSIDER THE CASE OF ROYLE v. WNST CLOSED. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING…

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Ch-ch-ch-changes at WNST for football season and Ravens coverage

Posted on 18 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s a momentous day here at WNST.net in many ways. Some great news will be divulged here today and other tidbits and updates will be best savored on another day. But make no mistake about it: today is a very proud day for me at WNST.net.

We’ve quietly made some changes in our format and I’m really blessed to loudly and proudly announce the addition of Luke Jones to our WNSTeam as Drew Forrester’s new co-host, producer and whipping boy on The Morning Reaction and the promotion of Glenn Clark to afternoon drive show host from 2-to-6 on weekdays replacing Rex Snider, who submitted his resignation last week.

I enjoyed Rex Snider’s passion and I really wish him well in the future. He was one of many folks who I was fortunate to meet and afford an opportunity to live the dream of doing a daily radio show at WNST and I hope this will launch him to greater things. He’s a man of integrity and I enjoyed watching his brand (and his hair) grow.

On a personal note, I can’t appropriately express my bursting pride in Glenn Clark’s progress as a host, writer, journalist and learner of all things Baltimore sports and he’s more than earned this “promotion” but he’s too humble to even show he’s really all that jazzed. It’s just his style – grinding and doing it more than talking about doing it.

Clark, strangely enough, was my son’s best pal growing up whom I never paid attention to in Perry Hall. If there’s some perverse justice in all of this for him, well, I’m stuck driving around town now listening to HIS show in MY former time slot. And now HE gets all the attention from the chicks…

Life is strange…

It’s always funny when folks in the community mention how many of my former “discoveries” have wound up on the air at my competitors (both still in business and out of business) and how I’ve been somehow forced to watch them take their brands elsewhere this is rich with irony. It was CBS Radio and their brain trust who chased Glenn to Arizona where he learned enough to come back and kick their asses every afternoon at WNST.net as our program director and media “bootcamp” coach. Those “experts” over at CBS Radio lost the best talent in the marketplace in Glenn Clark and they had him under their roof and instead hired the likes of Anita Marks and Jennifer Royle.

In our @Twitter parlance, I’d call that #winning for @WNST.

Glenn Clark has forgotten more about Baltimore sports than most anyone I know knows. And he’s not even 30! Beginning today, Glenn Clark will have Baltimore’s best afternoon drive radio show. Just watch it grow!

I’m so delighted to have Luke and Glenn in their new roles and I know you will be too if you’re a faithful WNST user, listener, lover or Baltimore sports fan.

Luke Jones will be a steadying force for Drew’s early-morning crankiness. Oh, and Luke has ALSO forgotten more about Baltimore sports than most anyone I know.

These guys are REAL experts, REAL sources within the locker rooms of the Ravens and Orioles and Terps. They are the best in the marketplace already and will only help WNST.net grow even more with their multi-talented skill set to write and create and contribute in cogent, historically relevant conversations about Baltimore sports.

I’ve forgotten more about Baltimore sports than almost anyone I know and I learn things from Luke and Glenn every day. They’re cool dudes!

So now please allow me to drone on and on about my sports media “man crush” on Luke Jones, who is by far the coolest discovery I’ve ever made in Baltimore sports media.

He went to Syracuse University wanting to do this with his life – become a sportswriter and journalist covering his favorite three teams (Ravens, Orioles, Terps – although I’m not really sure it’s in that order?).

Instead, Luke wound up becoming a school teacher in Shrewsbury, Pa. and recently made a difficult decision to give up a wonderful life and a career in education that he’s as equally passionate about to join our WNST Team.

I can say this: I’m TRULY honored to have Luke on our team.

I can say this for SURE: Luke Jones is as fine of a man as I’ve ever had knock on my door looking for a job. And he won a freaking contest two years ago!

Mark my words: Luke Jones will be the best journalist in Baltimore over the next 10 years and I’m going to hold us both accountable to hold up those words and watch them stick.

Luke will be our daily Ravens beat writer being assisted by Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Ryan Chell and Peter DiLutis. I will be providing live UStream video from the road on Saturdays and Sundays and we’ll be platforming plenty of roadtrip fun on our YouTube channel as well. If you own a local business, my rock star sales crew will be knocking on your door for sponsorship of our new programming.

Glenn Clark and I will re-institute “The Friday Football Frenzy” and we’ll have a bevy of rock star guests every Friday afternoon as we go deep into the purple fall and beyond. Thyrl Nelson will continue in his role as the ruler of the Mobtown Sports Beat from 10 a.m til 2 p.m. when Glenn takes over. Ryan Chell will remain in his role as producer of both shows while keeping his eye out on the news of the day.

WNST also has big plans ahead for a powerful mobile app for Droid and we already have heavy traffic to our IPhone site, where traffic is up over 300% this year.

And as much as we are saddened to see another talented WNST personality leave our nest, it’s also a wonderful thing to be able to give more new people with a dream a chance to make a living doing this in Baltimore radio and media. I love my role as a leader of people these days and I’m surrounded by youthful energy and exuberance that really gets my juices going as an entrepreneur and lover of great sports media.

Many of my former employees have moved into different spots in the industry and I’m very proud of having a reputation for being a “star maker” in Baltimore sports media. And these are the two brightest, young stars we’ve ever had at WNST.net.

Even Drew Forrester thinks these kids are good!

;)

If you read or listen to their work, you’ll agree. And no one is a tougher critic of WNST or holds our brand to a higher standard than I do.

WNST.net will be bringing you Baltimore’s best football coverage all fall and Baltimore’s best radio, blogs, news and information all day, every.

We Never Stop Talking Baltimore sports.

Now, more than ever!

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Part 3: People ask me all of the time: “How big is your stick?”

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Part 3: People ask me all of the time: “How big is your stick?”

Posted on 04 May 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

If you’re on this website, chances are you’ve been a WNST or Nestor or Drew or local Baltimore sports fan for quite some time. Sure, a few of you just heard about us recently on Twitter, but for the most part it feels like I know most of you. All 50,000-plus of you, who come to us in so many ways all had a “virgin experience” with WNST. But you’re all here now and my 42 years in Baltimore — 27 of them as a local journalist and almost 20 more as a local media and marketing entrepreneur – has you somewhere an arm’s reach away whether you’re my Facebook friend, Twitter follower, ex-girlfriend, a former sponsor, current sponsor, old friend from high school, you’re on our text service, you get our morning newspaper, you got a “Dump Trumpy” or a “Wacko 4 Flacco” sign from me  – I think you get the picture.

I’ve always thought that the late, great Dick Schaap had the greatest line I ever heard about humanity and walking the earth: “I collect people.”

There are a LOT of you. There really are.

And I’ve shaken hands with thousands of you like a politician at the Heritage Fair in Dundalk and honestly it’s almost embarrassing at this point when people yell nice things — or sometimes it’s the occasional F-bomb at an Orioles game — at you all afternoon at a sporting event or at a restaurant or just walking through Towson or Bel Air or White Marsh or Catonsville. It’s mostly wonderful and makes me proud on behalf of my Mom and Pop and I’m extremely grateful that so many people have randomly talked to me about my work or a Baltimore sports memory we’ve shared over the years.

One thing I know I can say for certain is this — I’ve answered every email I’ve ever received. Tens of thousands of them, really, since I started in 1992 and the email started rolling in soon after. In the early days, I even tried to appease the unappeasable and when I was on 425 stations from 1999-2001 at Sporting News Radio, I learned it was going to be impossible to make everyone happy with my conclusions and well-founded opinions based on evidence and facts.

Hell, I’ve given up trying to argue with every nut who sends me hate. But, if you send me a thoughtful disagreement, I have no problems replying respectfully.

But the 1-in-a-thousand who are rude or abusive are far less memorable than the 999 others who have been incredibly kind, supportive, helpful and encouraging as I’ve tried to build an authentic local company that you can trust and one that you’d want to support.

I feel like WNST was a trailblazer in a lot of ways from doing sports radio first in Baltimore in 1998 to becoming the premier sports media company in the community on the internet – and if you don’t know by now, that’s the ONLY place that will matter in the future.

We were stressing being a “community business” before there were “online communities.”

We know customer service because in so many cases we actually KNOW our customers – like really KNOW them! We know how to treat our listeners, users and partners with dignity and respect and integrity. But we need to prove the value of our audience every single day with sales reports because every business owner I know has had troubles, shortages, headaches and financial pain of some kind since August 2008. It’s a reality for anyone who owns a business that the way we’ll do business has changed forever in the new media age combined with the depression in this economy and the way our society has suffered over the past three years. And the price of gas affects every single American and has added crushing weight to the cost of every consumer product we use on a day to day basis.

WNST is no different than any other small business. We’ve shrunk in manpower over the past three years and we’ve made up for it with willpower and old-fashioned sweat equity by refusing to deliver Baltimore anything less than the best and most timely sports information divinely possible.

For our crew, this change to the world of new media has been a welcomed addition and a VERY measurable, accurate portrayal of the depth of coverage in both content and audience reach.

I welcome our partners, friends or competitors to measure our viability and reach vs. that of CBS Radio, WBAL or any of the corporate-owned radio conglomerates who look at Baltimore as a place on a map with pins in it that represent how much money they can suck out of our economy without participating in any long-term civic concern, especially with the media voice to create a positive change in our community.

So while I’ve expended a lot of words over the past two days to show you WNST.net, here are a series of pictures that explain a lot of the reasons we’re bullish on our growth.

And for those of you who think I use too many words – and you’re right, by the way – this is more of the “picture book” some of you have been requesting.

Survey Monkey

Last February, when I did my five-part “State of Baltimore Sports Media” blog series, I accompanied it with a survey (powered by Survey Monkey, hence the headline – good company by the way…I recommend them!). There were a billion questions, much of it has kind of aged like the technology questions about Droids and IPhones, but here are some highlights:

WNST Text Service (powered by MSnap & Marketron)

We were the first in Baltimore to offer an instant news text service. Now, every media company in the market has one, although ours is universally considered the best. Ask ANYONE who has it if they like it. Our numbers have steadily grown over the past three years:

COST TO USER: FREE!!!!!

Google Analytics

These kind of speak for themselves:

Buy A Toyota Morning Newspaper

I asked this question on the Survey Monkey back in February 2010:

So, because of YOU, I built it.
And Blue Sky Factory and rock stars like Greg Cangialosi have helped me with it. BTW: If you need an email marketing organization, they are the BOMB!

This is what it looked like today:

This morning 14,273 people received the newspaper in their email inbox.

You can subscribe in the upper right corner of this website!

Like all of our services here at WNST.net — it’s completely free!

YouTube

We are still pretty much the only local sports media outlet that utilizes YouTube with any quality or consistency:

We’ve had 53,274 people access our videos.

We’ve had 2,262,591 views on our channel in the last 12 months.

Subscribe to them. It doesn’t cost anything…

Alexa

I’ve written about this many times. Just click on the Categories to the right of this blog and you can read all about Alexa. These are just some current trends that I thought you’d find interesting:

Facebook

Our Facebook reach is greater than anyone’s. You can just look that up for yourself and see the way we reach our friends and partners in many ways there with pictures of events, status updates, fun sharing of information and opinions. But here’s a surprising part of what you don’t know. This is from our WNST.net Facebook “Fan” page:

Yeah, chicks dig WNST…

Twitter Scoreboard

This is the part where the competitors REALLY get their feelings hurt. You can see the size of their “signal” transparently. Go ahead…pick anyone else in Baltimore and see how many followers they have and you’ll see the size of one’s “girth” in the audience marketplace. We used to have 5,000 watts to their 50,000 — hence their “stick” was bigger. But not anymore…


This is all public information. Go check your our favorite Baltimore sports media competitor’s feed and see their reach.

If you care to learn more about WNST.net, simply click on the ADVERTISE button in the upper right corner and download our 2011 Media Kit. It gives more details about a lot of the measurements of WNST.net.

TOMORROW: How Groupon and Living Social have changed traditional media and sponsorship forever. And why we’re moving to a business model that sells goods for local Baltimore companies at discounts.

And I’m always here for any positive or negative feedback: nasty@wnst.net.

As Peter Angelos once said: “I’m a very available individual…”

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LIVE PURPLE HAZE CHAT: Watch the Ravens game with us today at 4:15

Posted on 20 December 2009 by WNST Staff

Once again, we are opening our special WNST Purple Haze chat room for today’s game. Our traffic has been enormous when we’ve done these during the games and with so many folks glued to their couches today and the 21 inches of snow on the ground in the area, we hope you pull the old laptop out and watch the Ravens-Bears game with us.

Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark will be monitoring the action from the press box and Nestor Aparicio will be in Sect. 513 Tweeting, blogging and getting you all of the latest from M&T Bank Stadium.

Come back at 4 p.m. and join us in the WNST LIVE CHAT…

We’ll watch the game together!

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Our pledge: we’ll continue to try to “help” the Orioles

Posted on 10 September 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

So since Greg Bader and the Orioles’ last remaining flunkies and apologists have again begun to spread “anti-WNST” venom in the web community with lies and false allegations about my integrity or intentions, I suppose it’s my turn to “react” and spew venom. Sorry, I’m not going to get caught up in it and, honestly, I have no time for negativity and nastiness.

The Steelers are playing tonight and we’ve got two events – Donna’s in Dundalk and the Twestival at Ramshead. The Ravens are playing on Sunday. I’m honestly feeling really good about WNST and Baltimore and the changing weather. I’m in a good mood. I’m not going to allow the Orioles and their shallow souls and mean-spiritedness to wreck Opening Week of the NFL season.

The blog that Drew put a lot of effort and words into properly tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

As has been our stated mission from inception: we wanted to help the Orioles. We wanted to extend an olive branch. We wanted to take them up on THEIR offer to come to the ballpark for $1. We wanted to show our sincerity by donating to Nick Markakis’ Foundation. (Drew DID leave out one big issue in his blog. I wanted to give half of the charity money to Living Classrooms Foundation but Drew talked me out of that, saying the “critics” would say there was something beneficial or self-serving on our part by giving money to our own charity.)

Once again, the Orioles have spurned and aggressively rejected (if you doubt that, I’ll post the official “cease and desist” letter we got from MLB’s legal eagles) our heartfelt, sincere and completely transparent attempt to help them fill a few seats in their empty ballpark while they’re 34 games back in the AL East.

All we wanted to do was once again publicly state our support for the city, for the future hope of the Orioles and try to be, as Charley Eckman would say, “right guys.”

So much for kindness but what do you expect in a country where elected officials stand up and scream “LIAR” at the President of The United States and get away with it?

Civility and forgiveness are not always concepts I’ve embraced or possessed but they’re certainly character traits that I’ve improved upon every day over my nearly 41 years on the planet.

My track record for building bridges and sincerity speaks for itself.

I CLEARLY had major problems with the Washington Capitals for a decade. Now, Ted Leonsis and I are email and Facebook friends and he understands my sincerity and love of hockey because he finally took an hour to hear what I had to say. And, I’m overjoyed to participate and help the Caps and NHL become a part of the Baltimore sports landscape. I love hockey. I’ve always loved hockey.

We are currently partners with Towson, UMBC, Loyola, Stevenson and virtually anyone else who would reach out to us and ask for help.

I’ve had a 17-year partnership and goodwill with the Blast — and before them the Spirit.

I have tried time and time again to reach out to the Maryland Jockey Club with very spotty results. Like the Orioles, they have a brand that is a husk of what it used to be but I’ve always maintained that the Preakness is the most significant sporting event we have in Baltimore. The MJC has routinely spent gobs of money supporting virtually every media entity in town except for WNST. But, if they call today and ask for help with the Maryland Million later in the month, we’ll do all we can to help them because we think it’s important for the community.

My relationship with the Ravens has always been more-than-strong over the years, and quite frankly we’ve ALWAYS pissed off their media partners because I expose their general laziness and malaise which has oft-times created friction. (Truth be told we’re the REAL “R****s Radio” and have been since Nov. 1995). Oh, well. We do tell the truth.

Oh, and the former Super Bowl-winning head coach is my business partner and great friend.

I don’t feel the need to list my resume or charitable contributions item-by-item or how many things we’ve done to support the community and be a great partner to hundreds of businesses and people over my 25 years in the media — going back to The News American and The Sun in the mid-1980′s.

We don’t just TALK about making the city a better place — we live it every day in every aspect of our company. We promote Baltimore sports and have great and sincere enthusiasm for it.

And, honestly, my biggest problem over the years has been being TOO honest when there’s always corporate pressure to lie and ignore the orange elephant in the middle of the city full of empty green seats.

But, I leave the bulls***ing to the rest of the charlatans who sell media around the city like WBAL, CBS Radio, Pressbox, The Sun and anyone else who takes a check as “hush” money for the miserable state of the city due to the devastation of a baseball team that drew 3.7 million into the city in 1996 and now draws a little more than 1 million over 80 dates.

So, now after 25 years I’m going to jeopardize my credibility by scamming, scheming and a lying over $1 tickets to a miserable last place team’s baseball games? When there wasn’t a penny to be earned and when I probably “deep down” knew that the Orioles would act like the vindictive, petty people that they are?

And during the biggest football week of the year when it would have been perfectly acceptable to ignore them? (Their own flagship radio station has been ignoring them for six weeks now!)

Like somehow, WNST was “secretly” plotting some ugly event on Tuesday night at the ballpark? Trust me if we wanted to do a “protest,” we’d just do one like we did in 2006.

We’ve tried to use the carrot. We’ve tried the stick. We’ve tried the olive branch. We’ve tried emails. We’ve tried phone calls. We’ve used every means of communication possible to reach these people but they continue to ignore us because they think we’re “unimportant” just like their leader said three years ago.

But no one can EVER say that we haven’t tried. Time and time again, we’ve tried to be civil to these corporate thugs and try to find a way to make them understand that we love the baseball team more than they do.

Well, we’re NEVER going to give up. That much is assured.

But we’re never going to lie for them or accept their false allegations about my character or my intentions or WNST’s purpose or mission to “fix” the team.

We’ll try to bring them another olive branch in April and see if they piss on us again.

Like they always do.

My phone line is open. All they have to do is call. I do email, text, Twitter, Facebook, radio, etc. As most of you know, I’m probably the most accessible human being in the city.

But it’s not their style or their intention to “make up.”

They only know about war and lawsuits and battle. Check THEIR track record on that!

They don’t believe in peace and goodwill and partnerships and trust — and in my mind, that’s the REAL reason the stadium is sitting empty with another last place team in 2009.

They can’t even get along with Cal Ripken and Brooks Robinson.

What prayer do I have?

On to the purple weekend…

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Live from Westminster: Ravens put 11 on “active” PUP to start camp

Posted on 28 July 2009 by Luke Jones

7:23 p.m. — The Ravens have waived former Terps receiver Isaiah Williams.

6:44 p.m. — Defensive back Derrick Martin made the defensive play of the afternoon, picking off a pass from John Beck during 7-on-7 drills.

Only two offensive linemen practiced today, Robby Felix and Bryan Mattison (the defensive coordinator’s son).  Offensive line coach John Matsko really worked the two linemen hard.

Newly-signed Jayson Foster jumped right in, snagging a pass after signing with the team today.  Foster’s signing was such a secret that many of the assistant coaches had to ask his name on the field.  He wore No. 18 today—with no name on the back.

Though Marshal Yanda is sporting a bulky brace on his knee, he was moving around fairly well on the sideline today.  He wasn’t as active as Ben Grubbs or Adam Terry in his running, but it was good seeing him moving around after the horrific knee injury he suffered in Indianapolis last season.

6:23 p.m. — The afternoon practice was pretty uneventful and similar to the morning workout.  It lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, though rookies stuck around for a little longer to work with special teams coach Jerry Rosburg.

The most exciting moments came from 7-on-7 drills when Joe Flacco connected on a 15-yard fade route to Demetrius Williams over defensive back Frank Walker.  With Williams now the projected No. 2 receiver, it was nice to see him making a play after spending a large portion of last season on injured reserve.

More to come in just a few moments.  Time to make my last Ravens Report of the day.

3:31 p.m. — The Ravens have just signed diminutive WR (hey, he’s 5-foot-7) Jayson Foster. Foster went to Georgia Southern and here’s his mini bio. He spent time in Denver and Pittsburgh and we’re still researching him. Even the PR folks in Westminster don’t know much about him. More to come…

2:52 p.m. — If you’re following WNST on Twitter, you just saw that free agent wide receiver Robert Ferguson told Glenn Clark he wants to play for the Ravens.  Ferguson will join Drew on the Comcast Morning Show on Wednesday at 9:40 a.m.

We give live “Tweets” from the field at McDaniel College throughout the morning and afternoon practices.  You can follow it here.

2:45 p.m. — We have less than an hour to go until the players are back out on the field for the afternoon workout.

Veterans will be reporting tomorrow and are scheduled to take their physicals at 3:00 p.m.  If you’re planning on attending training camp tomorrow, remember it will only be rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans.  The remaining veterans will not be practicing on Wednesday.

1:48 p.m. — A name to keep an eye on during training camp is Jameel McClain.  The Syracuse linebacker came to Baltimore as a rookie free agent last season and really impressed coaches, earning a roster spot and playing time in the second-rated defense in the NFL.  His two safeties—a blocked punt and a sack of JaMarcus Russell—was a franchise record.

McClain has been moved to the inside linebacker position and will compete with Tavares Gooden.  While Gooden is the favorite to start next to Ray Lewis, McClain’s endless motor will make it nearly impossible to keep him off the field.

“The guys that work hard at this program are the guys that do the best and are [guys] who can have a chance to play,” Mattison said.  “That’s a real endorsement to our personnel people.  They saw some great things in him, and he just proved it throughout the year.  And I think he’s going to take off from here.”

1:42 p.m. — We heard from new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison after this morning’s practice.  He is pleased with the mix of experience and youth in his defense.  His top priority is to get the defense to play at the same high level the fans have come to expect every season.

He mentioned the “Raven” mentality and bar that has been set over the past decade.

Mattison also touched on the health of a secondary that had several players recovering from injuries dating back to last season.  He thought several of the players looked bigger and healthy.

12:18 p.m. — McGahee looks trimmer and feels healthy entering the preseason.  He emphasized to reporters that his placement on the PUP list is strictly precautionary.  The running back simply doesn’t want a repeat of last season.

When asked whether he lost weight, McGahee jokingly said “no comment.”  You can check out this interview in the WNST audio vault.

12:02 p.m. — John Harbaugh spoke to the media after the morning practice, describing the first workout as “good” and “crisp.”

Harbaugh talked about the improved strength and size of receiver Demetrius Williams.  It was Williams’ goal to become stronger and build muscle mass around the joints.  Harbaugh was pleased with how Williams looked in the morning.  With Derrick Mason currently retired, Williams is the project No. 2 receiver behind Mark Clayton.

The Ravens coach said the placement of McGahee on the PUP list is strickly a precautionary move after the running back underwent knee surgery in the offseason.

11:54 a.m. — The morning practice was very brief, lasting only 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Players were dressed in shorts, and there was no full-speed contact.

The player who drew the loudest applause from the crowd was wide receiver Mark Clayton who caught a long touchdown pass during offensive drills.  Rookie running back Cedric Peerman also grabbed a nifty one-handed catch.

Quarterback Joe Flacco looked pretty sharp in his first training camp workout, but the keystone moment for the former Delaware Blue Hen was actually an incomplete pass to running back Matt Lawrence who ran the incorrect pattern.  The second-year quarterback corrected his teammate, ran the play again, and completed the pass to Lawrence.  It was a simple example of the leadership Flacco has with this offense.

Veteran Kelly Gregg was back on the field and looks to be in great shape.  The nose tackle’s surgically-repaired knee was only wrapped in an ace bandage, a good sign for Greg Mattison’s defense.

11:43 a.m. — To clarify the PUP list a bit more, this list is referred to as the active PUP list.  These players are eligible to practice any time, and John Harbaugh even said some of them could be ready to go as early as tomorrow.  The purpose of this list is to keep these players eligible for the reserve PUP list—the one where players do not count against the 53-man roster but must miss the first six weeks of the regular season.

PUP list players still count against the 80-man training camp roster, so there is no added roster flexibility in regards to the preseason.

11:21 a.m. — The Ravens initial PUP’ers are Willis McGahee, Lamar Divens, Davon Drew, Yamon Figurs, Ben Grubbs, Adam Terry, Jason Phillips, Samari Rolle, Lou Saucedo, Marshal Yanda and Joe Reitz.

Definition of “physically unable to perform”: This List designates players with serious injuries that will keep them from being able to start a season on the 53-man protected list but may be able to return to the roster during the regular season. The players must be placed on this roster at or before the league-wide 65-man summer roster cutdown to be eligible for this designation, and they must stay on this list for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. After this time teams have 3 weeks to evaluate such players after which each such player must be placed on the 53-man roster, season-ending Injured Reserve (IR) or waivers.

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The “Drew Bennett era” ends before it begins

Posted on 26 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

In yet another weird turnabout of July pre-camp events, wide receiver Drew Bennett who signed to become a top option for the Ravens on the edge has decided to retire instead of report to camp on Tuesday in Westminster.

Apparently, he has re-injured his knee and has reconsidered his Friday decision to sign a one-year deal with the Ravens.

“I’ve been blessed to have the opp to play in NFL for as long as I have but it’s time for me to move on to next chapter in my life,” Bennett said in a statement.

After returning home from Baltimore this weekend, a previous knee injury flared up, making me realizing that I am unable to play another NFL season. Therefore, I have decided to retire from the NFL.”

After an offseason of workouts and rehab, I thought I was ready to play again, but it became apparent over this weekend that while my mind is willing, my body will not be able to make it through another NFL season.”

So, just who are the options left on the marketplace?

Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Marvin Harrison, Joe Horn, Plaxico Burress and Ashley Lelie.

Not exactly a buyer’s market. There’s a reason these guys don’t have jobs.

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