Every day someone comes up to me on the streets of Baltimore and tells me that I should “turn up the signal” on AM 1570. That’s been going on since May 1998 when I first got involved in purchasing WNST, which was then WKDB, a failed kid’s radio station. As you know, this is the worst time of the year for us, when daylight ends around 5 p.m. and we are mandated by the FCC to “downpower” our transmitter, which restricts our AM radio access to an 8-mile circle around Towson, where our towers reside on the hill overlooking Loch Raven High School.
Maybe you’ve heard our “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” promo on WNST? We did that for a reason. We’re NOT just an AM radio station anymore, as your eyes on this website should surely tell you. We have a lot more to offer than 12 hours of radio these days at AM 1570 on your radio.
(But you’re already here on the website reading this, so that should be pretty self-explanatory.)
Believe me, if we could petition the FCC to get more “hamsters running the power,” we would do it. But we don’t really need to at this point with the website being so robust and so active on a daily basis.
The good news? Since 1998 this thing called the internet has been invented allowing us to stream out live audio anywhere in the world where there’s access to www.wnst.net. And we’ve now taken this website to the point where it’s FAR more than just radio. It’s blogs, news, the text service, WNST on demand via our audio vault where right now you can listen to anything we’ve had on the radio station at your fingertips, WNStv allows us to show you what our eyes see. And much like “calling in” to WNST in the old days, you can post a comment 24/7 to any blog or soon you’ll be able to write your own blogs and share your thoughts, ideas and stories.
And for many people with iphones or high-quality PDAs or phones, WNST.net and all of our programming is available in the palm of your hand. Some of you just don’t know it’s there!
Beginning today, I have made a fundamental change in my philosophy regarding this blog on WNST.net. In the future, I’ll be writing not only about the Ravens, Orioles, Terps and other local sports issues, but I’ll also be blogging here about WNST and the local media market and why our website has become the best place in the community for local sports.
I honestly think we need to re-educate our own WNST people (listeners, users and sponsors alike) about this website and the transcendence of new media in the marketplace. So I appreciate you reading this and sharing this with other people who enjoy WNST’s radio side at AM 1570 on the dial. (Please forward this to anyone you know who also loves what we do at WNST!)
We are in the process of selling local advertising during what is essentially a depression in the marketplace for both advertisers and media. We are trying to grow our AM radio station into a powerful web tool for all of you who love Baltimore and love Baltimore sports.
But we can’t do it without your help and without educating our own users about the new WNST.net.
First, if you own a local business or are involved with a local business that would like to see a spike in their customer base or traffic, we’d love to hear from you. It’s pretty apparent to some but some are oblivious to the fact that we feed our families by selling advertising to local business and having our listeners and readers go to these establishments and patronize their businesses.
Without selling advertising here at WNST, we are out of business. It’s just that simple.
Unlike MASN and some other local entities, we are not given subsidization or “welfare” from the people. Our only stream of revenue comes from the local marketplace and the sponsors you hear on WNST and see on this website.
So, that being said, I’m sure you’re wondering how many people come to our website vs. the rest of the marketplace?
The answer: a LOT more than you think and many more than our competitors would like for you to believe.
Unlike Arbitron’s “fantasy numbers” and lies about how many people WNST has in its sphere, the web is a lot more clear cut, trackable and accurate.
The first thing you should do is go to www.alexa.com. Alexa is “The Web Information Company” and is owned by Amazon. There is no “industry bible” for tracking web traffic but this is about the best and most trusted resource we can find that compares actual websites fairly and accurately around the world. Here is the link to the FAQ’s about Alexa.
You can start with yahoo, google and youtube (they are the Top 3) and go from there. You can put any website in the world into the little box at the top and you’ll get a “ranking” number, kinda like Top 25 polls. Except that these aren’t POLLS or guesses…this is actual daily, calculated traffic to the website over the past 90 days.
In Baltimore, here is the order of traffic and the numbers as of 8 a.m. today (Alexa recalculates every 3 days):
Baltimore Sun is 3,680th in the world (and No. 1 in Baltimore by a lot, as you’d suspect)
BaltimoreRavens.com is 29,089
WBALTV is 34,651
WJZ is 37,337
WMAR is 97,747
WBAL Radio is 99,991
WNST.net is 126,621
It always makes us laugh (or sometimes cry) when we go into a sales meeting and hear anyone in local radio or media talk about their audience as being larger than ours.
It’s just a lie and we need to re-educate people about where the eyes are in 2008 on the internet in Baltimore.
First, here’s a link to the most recent Arbitron fiction, which actually has us beating our sports radio “competitors” at their own game: radio. These are only the “12 and older” numbers, nothing to do with men or sports, where we dominate the marketplace.
WNST is a 0.7
WJFK is a 0.5.
And below is a list of the current state of Baltimore sports on the web. These are all sites that get significantly less daily users according to Alexa, “The Web Information Company.”
Let’s start with other sports-only sites:
MASNsports.com is 210,486
Pressbox is 851,682
WJFK is 765,917
105.7 new sports site is 1,007,508
WVIE is 7,348,136
Again, WNST’s Alexa ranking is 126,621…
Want to compare us to local television?
Fox 45’s – FoxBaltimore.com — website is 300,445
Or how about local radio?
98 Rock is 263,064
WPOC is 327,759
92Q Jams is 389,281
WCBM is 615,560
Magic 95.9 is 1,830,527
WYPR is 1,135,011
WLIF is 1,246,343
100.7 The Bay is 2,836,104
Or local print?
Baltimore Magazine is 337,663
Towson Times is 404,947
These are all older, more “established” media entities that would love to tell advertisers that they have a “bigger audience” than little WNST.
(Ya know, “that little AM radio station no one can hear.”)
Once again, WNST.net’s Alexa ranking number is 126,621. That means we are the SEVENTH largest local entity on the web in the marketplace and No. 1 BY A LOT for local sports-only sites. We were actually AHEAD of WBAL.com overall back in April 2008 before the Orioles killed our spring traffic and the Obama-McCain election summer helped spike theirs.
Our Google analytics show that 62,773 of you came to our website during the first month of its relaunch (Oct. 19th at noon we changed platforms). Our numbers tell us that almost 10,000 of you come to the site every day for your sports news, information and blogs.
And there are now nearly 4,000 of you who receive our text messages every time there is breaking news and information to report. (Like today when the Ravens-Redskins game moved to a 8:15 start on Dec. 7.)
I just wanted you to have the facts.
This is only the beginning of many blogs and the dispersal of information that quite frankly, if we don’t tell you you’ll probably never know.
WNST.net is a lot bigger than you think!
Please share this with anyone you might think would care to know about WNST or some folks in the marketplace who might want to advertise and hear their name on WNST Radio or see their coupon and logo and offers on WNST.net.
We can’t keep producing the best content and highest-quality programming and information without the community.