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

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

Posted on 23 October 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

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…

Comments (22)

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Here’s what you think about WNST…so far!

Posted on 19 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

For being a radio station that no one can hear and that no one listens to according to Arbitron, our 2012 Great Baltimore Sports Media Report Card is garning huge hits and many folks trying to win the trip to Cleveland.

The final question on the survey asks: “What would improve WNST.net & AM 1570 in 2013 to make you visit more often?

SO FAR HERE ARE THE RESPONSES:

precisely updated “morning newspaper” Seems like some of the stuff is repeated and not updated

9/19/2012 2:29 PMView Responses

change to fm. am dosen’t seem to get here without static

9/19/2012 2:14 PMView Responses

Have Peter write more article, he does a great job with the business of things, but I miss hearing his thoughts in the blogs. Tell Drew to tone it down a bit especially with his predictions, when a game is way in doubt. I understand Nestor dispute with Angelos, but give it a rest. No one is more passionate about Baltimore sports than he is, but saying the same thing over-and-over again gets old. Luke does a great job, I’d like to see him do more Orioles stuff when it conflicts with preseason football though. All-in-all, WNST does a great civic job and love the trips idea, and hope to go on one soon when I get more $$$.

9/19/2012 2:14 PMView Responses

WNST.net: improve some of the functionality. It’s sometimes hard to maneuver through the site when you want to jump from page to page. AM1570: Although I know this can’t happen, signal strength. Also, get better midday talent. I like Drew and Glenn, but Yaffe and Mittermaier are awful (They always have been. I’m still trying to figure out how they have a job). Thyrl is only slightly better.

9/19/2012 2:06 PMView Responses

More of Thyrl, Peter DiLutis and especially Luke Jones… much, much less of Drew Forrester, for the love of God.

9/19/2012 1:41 PMView Responses

On air, have to say the loss of Rob and Bob hurt. Drew is solid. Glenn is decent. Can’t handle Thryl…its like he is trying to hard. Web site is good. I probably should really lean on it more than the sun. Old habits i guess.

9/19/2012 1:30 PMView Responses

More of Nestor on the radio.

9/19/2012 1:30 PMView Responses

I turn off the station at 10 a.m. when I am at work. I can not listen to Damon Yaffe.. I want sports information, not negativity and sermons about how the sports world should be and every single thing that is wrong in the sports world and what he would do about it. He may be the worst radio personality ever on WNST. It would be better if you had more expert guests and hear more from the people like Alan Mcallum. Sometimes, the ramblings of callers gets a little old on WNST. If I wanted to hear average fans opinions about what happened in yesterday’s game or what the Orioles should do tonight, I could just listen to my co- workers . Thanks

9/19/2012 1:08 PMView Responses

Access to Orioles players and manager (not your station’s fault). BTW, how did you get McClouth interview on the air last week?

9/19/2012 12:53 AMView Responses

Hire Bob Hainey back. Get rid of Thyrl Nelson.

9/19/2012 12:45 AMView Responses

stronger signal, when i travel WNST is what i tune to but it seems beyond a certain point i loose the signal, i travel I-70 frequently but roughly 10-15 the signal is gone

9/19/2012 12:21 AMView Responses

If you were Live&Local weekend mornings, while the other “Sports Talk” stations run info ads, you’de Kill It! I know there are different shows different times during the yr, I miss the concept of a 52 week SatAM “Ravens!” show…where the 1st caller every week was from Cali!

9/19/2012 12:21 AMView Responses

More breaking news and unique insights to Ravens/Orioles. Less of Nestor taking unprovoked shots at Angelos and the O’s – its fine when warranted and topical but no need to in almost every web post.

9/19/2012 12:12 AMView Responses

Can’t visit/listen more than I already do.

9/19/2012 11:50 AMView Responses

nOTHING.

9/19/2012 11:45 AMView Responses

Absolutely love the station, the radio hosts, the web site, the text service.

9/19/2012 11:38 AMView Responses

Nestor on the air more.

9/19/2012 11:23 AMView Responses

Add traffic and weather reports during morning and evening commutes.

9/19/2012 11:15 AMView Responses

I know this is something you hear a lot but it bears repeating: Due to the times I can listen to the radio (and I don’t have a smartphone with the apps) which is in the car, WNST’s signal makes it tough to listen to the station. Don’t worry though, in Westminster 105.7 the Fan gets constant interference as well, in fact during the day 1570 has a clearer signal.

9/19/2012 11:04 AMView Responses

In regards to Twitter and Facebook, nothing. Nobody touches WNST when it comes to Twitter and Facebook. My only complaint about WNST. net is the fact that the webpage is a little cluttered. It is not something that prevents me from checking the website daily but I do find it to be a little cluttered which I think can be a distraction for some visitors.

9/19/2012 10:54 AMView Responses

stronger signal

9/19/2012 10:44 AMView Responses

Your website is poorly designed. I would look at making the site more visually appealing. It has all the basics, just could be so much better. SI.com is a great example of what a sports page should look like.

9/19/2012 10:26 AMView Responses

On air- less of those stupid top 10 lists and more talk on Mondays about Ravens as opposed to golf or other NFL teams. On line more Blogs by on air hosts maybe multiple times a day as needed with breaking sports news.

9/19/2012 10:15 AMView Responses

More compelling hosts – Drew is the only one really interesting. Lack of weekend programming is a problem. Limited Ravens pregame and postgame.

9/19/2012 10:11 AMView Responses

What really makes me against WNST(I only listen to Drew) is the trashing of EVERY other media entity in the area. It just is disgusting to keep hearing the same old mantra of “they suck” and we are the experts. The trashing of the O’s management(it’s personal, not business) is just so old. The hypocrisy of making note of other hosts “from some other town” and not Baltimore and yet having a constant stream of “out of town” experts to comment on Baltimore sports???? It just doesn’t fit what you proclaim as your model as LOCAL. Being proud of “firing” people is just so low brow and classless. That they are able to secure jobs on your competitors should be a testament to the training they get from the station… not a talking point that the other station sucks. You can look at your station as a good training ground for the Major Leagues. I know the radio business(as an advertiser, salesman for media and printed critic) and no matter what is stated, the station is widely considered MINOR. I can never stomach people who speak ill of competition, it is so juvenile and speaks to a inherent weakness of where it comes from. So how in good conscious can I believe that Honesty, Integrity are really the bedrocks of your mission? Trashing other people and companies does not garner a sense of Integrity. And I may be an older skew for what is sports talk radio today, but I could care less about “breaking news”, I don’t need to be aware of EVERYTHING happening at every moment. Part of the problem with our “plugged in” society is everyone looking at their phones 24/7. Speaks to the incivility, rudeness and narcissism of our time. Watch what is going around you and not your phone, catching up on the news(either on the web or TV) is something that I enjoy. Don’t need to know things before everyone else.

9/19/2012 10:05 AMView Responses

stronger radio signal

9/19/2012 9:57 AMView Responses

I think the service is great so I can’t think of anything to suggest at this time.

9/19/2012 9:49 AMView Responses

More nestor

9/19/2012 9:11 AMView Responses

I do lose your radio signal when I go north of shawan road, and i can’t get you in very clear at all up in hampstead, frustrating because I like your station a great deal.

9/19/2012 9:04 AMView Responses

I think you already do a great job. The only complaint I have is the TuneInRadio stream is unreliable. Don’t know if it’s the app or what, but since I can’t tune you guys in on the radio before sunrise, I depend on the stream.

9/19/2012 8:59 AMView Responses

More articles related to the Orioles, I feel this year that with the team being a winner for the first time in 14 years that the blogs related to the Orioles are lacking while anything dealing with the Ravens is written almost daily during September and even months prior to that.

9/19/2012 8:58 AMView Responses

Easier to navigate and find information (like events)

9/19/2012 8:54 AMView Responses

Although I really like the morning show witgh Drew, I wish he had a more interesting partner. At times things seem to get flat.

9/19/2012 8:33 AMView Responses

WNST.net—more timely info. Some headlines stay up for days (NHL lockout enters 2nd day). Also, some late scores are not available in various sports–especially baseball. Improve on the quality of the links. Too many times I have a link go somewhere other than the headline notes.

9/19/2012 8:28 AMView Responses

Live streaming from your weekly shows , catching it next day is good but would be nice to catch it during event , Dennis Pitta show in Perry Hall is a good example I saw on Facebook that it was packed and so I got in my car and went the bad part is they wouldn’t let me in due to size of place anyway it would have been Kool to catch the show as it was happening ..

9/19/2012 8:26 AMView Responses

More weekend stuff

9/19/2012 8:22 AMView Responses

Your live stream is getting more reliable but at times it is still problematic

9/19/2012 8:16 AMView Responses

Too much time on small local college sports but I understand the reasoning. I would like more national major sports news discussed instead – I turn off certain very bad callers – you figure it out. My listenting habits are mainly opening of shows where I get good summary and commentary on the game by the hosts but then turn off when i hear most opinions by listeners – prefer to hear “experts” so I turn on ESPN or certian 105.7 hosts that I thinka re very knowledgeable. For example I lover Billick segmnets and segments with out of town reporters/broadcasters etc.

9/19/2012 7:59 AMView Responses

Even though I understand the situation with the Orioles ….Sometimes the constant trashing can get to be to much. I do like that you dont just say what homer fans want to hear though. Also during the interviews with players/coaches after the games 1570 asks the best questions. Some outlets are embarrassing with stupid questions to athletes.

9/19/2012 7:50 AMView Responses

If it’s possible to improve on what you already do better than anyone else, is to continue to be very local. Your station makes a person feel like they are not just a listener, but a personal friend. This is so rare today in radio and nobody does it better than WNST.

9/19/2012 7:46 AMView Responses

replace Theryl and Glenn keep Nestor off the radio

9/19/2012 6:28 AMView Responses

More web content. Better writers/more research done to support opinions (like drew’s blog about the nationals suing the orioles. One of the most informative peices I’ve read). MOst of the time bloggers just spout their opinions with ZERO RESEARCH done.

9/19/2012 5:56 AMView Responses

More local High School sports coverage

9/19/2012 5:37 AMView Responses

I liked the old morning show with terry, Jeremy and drew

9/19/2012 5:17 AMView Responses

Not much. Everything is great.

9/19/2012 1:17 AMView Responses

More Ravens talk

9/19/2012 1:17 AMView Responses

a little more national news. a little more epl coverage. maybe an hour show once a week. maybe brent could do it for you.

9/19/2012 1:13 AMView Responses

sports specific shows?

9/19/2012 1:00 AMView Responses

You have got to get a section for the Wizards going!!!!!!!!!!! I love WNST but the only problem is that it acts like the wiz don’t even exist!!! Meanwhile they pay alot of attention to the Capitals, a team which has never played in Baltimore, while denying the former and still close to home Baltimore Bullets!!! I know many people who see this as the only glaring problem with WNST, other than that great job. But seriously guys let get some Wiz coverage Baltimore is a hotbed for future NBA players and its a shame to see the number one name in Baltimore sports not even covering our own NBA team. Just need a section for the Wizards and WNST will be pure Bmore sports perfection.

9/19/2012 12:56 AMView Responses

More frequent updates, better O’s relationship though Angelos sucks & needs to sell the team

9/19/2012 12:27 AMView Responses

You have got to get a section for the Wizards going!!!!!!!!!!! I love WNST but the only problem is that it acts like the wiz don’t even exist!!! Meanwhile they pay alot of attention to the Capitals, a team which has never played in Baltimore, while denying the former and still close to home Baltimore Bullets!!! I know many people who see this as the only glaring problem with WNST, other than that great job. But seriously guys let get some Wiz coverage Baltimore is a hotbed for future NBA players and its a shame to see the number one name in Baltimore sports not even covering our own NBA team. Just need a section for the Wizards and WNST will be pure Bmore sports perfection.

9/19/2012 12:56 AMView Responses

More frequent updates, better O’s relationship though Angelos sucks & needs to sell the team

9/19/2012 12:27 AMView Responses

My only complaint about WNST is Drew held a contest a few yrs ago for kids to wire a survey about their favorite teacher and he would give them free tickets to an O’s gm. Well she did it and was excited but she never got to go. This was about 3 or 4 yrs ago. Every time she hears his voice she remembers. Other then that no issues with the station.

9/19/2012 12:26 AMView Responses

Free stuff Keep up the good work

9/19/2012 12:25 AMView Responses

Honestly, there’s not much that I can think of other then that sometimes the text alerts seem to be delayed. If you can fix that everything else is great!

9/19/2012 12:16 AMView Responses

FM station for the car.

9/19/2012 12:10 AMView Responses

A better signal. Talent besides Drew.

9/19/2012 12:09 AMView Responses

You guys have a great knack of finding radio talent, id try to hold onto it a little but with that said i dont know a lot about running my own business so im sure nestor had his reasons.

9/19/2012 12:05 AMView Responses

I liked the top of the hour national sports news updates but realize that WNST is no longer affiliated with SNR(yahoo!radio) or FoxSportsRadio. Also, wish you could find weekend programming that actually sticks. Otherwise, bravo on jobs well done.

9/19/2012 12:03 AMView Responses

The radio has got to get better hosts. First Nestor took off to handle admin stuff, then Jeremy, Haynie, Long and Ray were gone. After Drew in the AM I shut the station off until the next day. If Drew ever left I would never listen again.

9/18/2012 11:54 PMView Responses

trips news more info on texting

9/18/2012 11:53 PMView Responses

More fan events and trips to College Park for basketball games.

9/18/2012 11:51 PMView Responses

n/a

9/18/2012 11:39 PMView Responses

Get rid of Bull Dog

9/18/2012 11:38 PMView Responses

Nestor, I grew up in Severna Park and went to college at UVA. I’m 46 years old. In 1994 I moved to Baltimore County. I want to thank you. I feel like you and your station introduced me to the customs and culture of Baltimore. I have never stopped listening. I applaud you for keeping Angelos honest. I listen in the car driving to work every morning for Ravens coverage. Keep innovating.

9/18/2012 11:24 PMView Responses

Wouldn’t change a thing

9/18/2012 11:23 PMView Responses

Make the home page less busy and not so blog dominant.

9/18/2012 11:18 PMView Responses

Not much…it’s on the radio on the way to work then .net when I log into my computer. Lose the signal in the evening on the am radio on the way home.

9/18/2012 11:17 PMView Responses

Signal strength. I travel Balt dc metro territory. More caps coverage.

9/18/2012 11:17 PMView Responses

Nothing – you guys have great content

9/18/2012 11:16 PMView Responses

Difficult to address but the radio signal strength on west side of baltimore is frustrating and is primary reason I tune out. Website has so much content difficult to quickly consume. Occasionally hosts pet peeves become repetitive.

9/18/2012 11:14 PMView Responses

Usually with the station i just get out of signal range and cannot hear it anymore when i want to listen. In terms of social media and social media interaction its top notch and the website is top notch. Its the only station in town where you know you can take trips to see Baltimore teams on the road and that is fantastic as a fan. I feel like even though the Orioles are doing well the station still wants to beat the team up at times and i get that i truly do but it turns you off as a fan. I also get the chest out we are the best mindset, any person in any field should have it , but that as well becomes a bit trying after awhile as a listener and supporter. Other than that its the best in town for Baltimore sports and keep up the fantastic work.

9/18/2012 11:13 PMView Responses

Bring back Bob and Rob

9/18/2012 11:11 PMView Responses

any way to get a stronger signal

9/18/2012 11:11 PMView Responses

Considering I am an avid listener to the program and follower via twitter, facebook, ustream, you name it. WNST is by far greater than any other media outlet in town. With that said, I know Nestor and company are always looking for ways to grow. So I will provide a few suggestions… Since I work 8-5 I rarely get to listen live although I do one my way to work tune into Drew and Luke. But, I am on the audio vault MORE than anyone. It is by far one of my favorite features and I love the “search” tool. Having said that, I would suggest if possible to keep even older links in the audio vault. I know time to time I like to show friends and family certain encounters that may have happened a while back that no longer are available on the audio vault. Maybe a “Best of Drew” or “Best of Glenn” section could work or just keeping old old links. For example, I would like to hear the Angelos interview that you guys play frequently, but I can’t find that if I search “Peter Angelos” in the audio vault. Overall, WNST does a fantastic job. Whether its the text service, the knowledge of sports talk hosts, the MANY trips Nestor puts together to various sporting events. Its just fantastic and I couldn’t be happier or luckier to have grown up all these years listening to WNST. I am 23 years old and i have been waking up running to turn on WNST on my way to Pikesville High School, I even got my New York roommates at College Park enjoying WNST with me. Thanks Nestor and crew for all the great coverage you provide to all Baltimore fans around the world. Keep up the good work. -Sam Bruck

9/18/2012 11:09 PMView Responses

Expand the time given to Damon and Paul program, give less time to Thryl. Damon and Paul are a strong follow-up to Drew in the a.m. Only my opinion but I listen ALMOST everyday, even when out of town. The website is the best in town, not even close.. The content is legit, but the design could improve somewhat. Anyone who is not subscribed to the text service is missing out. Will be honest, I jump over to Haynie often, Dude is the best in my opinion. Drew is fantastic and a step up over the clowns on the FM side in the a.m. He owns the morning as far as I can tell.

9/18/2012 11:08 PMView Responses

A few shows repeat throughout the day, making them outdated when they repeat. Other than that, great job!

9/18/2012 11:08 PMView Responses

On air longer hours.

9/18/2012 11:06 PMView Responses

Improved nighttime signal, but you know that. I liked Haynie, but I know that was tough. Liked him better on your station than on WJZ. Website design could be better. Sometimes content hard to find. You’re doing fine overall–I love that you’re locally owned–so rare in radio.

9/18/2012 11:05 PMView Responses

Nothing. If I had more time I would listen more.

9/18/2012 11:01 PMView Responses

The radio reception in the car in Baltimore is very spotty which tends for me to switch to 105.7 and stay there more times than not.

9/18/2012 11:00 PMView Responses

WNST IS AWESOME!

9/18/2012 10:58 PMView Responses

I find the quality of the audio in the audio vault on the site to be poor sometimes.

9/18/2012 10:58 PMView Responses

Better radio signal.

9/18/2012 10:57 PMView Responses

Comments (0)

It’s time for a WNST “report card” & we need your help!

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It’s time for a WNST “report card” & we need your help!

Posted on 19 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

As the owner and C.E.O. of WNST.net since 1998, I believe the most important trust in running Baltimore’s longest-running sports information company is listening to the needs of the marketplace.

It’s the fans of the Orioles, Ravens, Terps, Caps and other issues of Baltimore sports concern that put us in business and keep us growing and healthy in 2012.

As has been our custom over the past two decades, I’m always available to receive emails at nasty@wnst.net concerning any issue at WNST.net. (Or as Peter Angelos famously lied to me in 1997: “I’m a very available individual…”)

Today, I’m asking you to give me a report card on how we’re doing here at WNST. We’d sincerely appreciate an honest appraisal of the way you use Baltimore sports media in 2012 and the way you view WNST.net, our competitors and, hopefully, some helpful suggestions on ways we could improve what we’re doing.

As an incentive, we’ll take one lucky winner and a friend to exotic Cleveland, Ohio for a weekend of football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in November on our WNST Purple Football Roadtrip, courtesy of Jiffy Lube.

 

 

 

And we’ll never sell or share your information. So, take a few minutes if you can and perhaps you’ll be our big winner!

TAKE THE 2012 GREAT BALTIMORE SPORTS MEDIA REPORT CARD HERE

Do we suck? Are we awesome? What are we missing? How can we better service you? What do our competitors do that you like? What do you love about WNST? What do you dislike about WNST?

Every two years we do a major survey to gauge how we’re doing. But the media world changes and evolves at a frightening speed in 2012 with mobile devices, tablets and the instant distribution of thoughts, news, observations and information.

Many, many things have changed in the Baltimore sports media scene since I began working at The News American in January 1984. As a kid who saw that hot metal type line up on newsprint and then watched and learned at The Sun from 1986-1992 to doing sports radio locally and nationally, I’ve picked up many hints and plenty of help along the way to create a company that is boldly local, proudly independent and enduringly honest.

I’ve dedicated my entire life to Baltimore sports and to the journalism, information and analysis that goes with it. This is the only thing I’ve ever done with my life and I want WNST.net to be the best and biggest media company in the marketplace.

We want to be the media organization that serves you the best. Unlike our “small” AM radio signal, you can now take WNST.net everywhere in the world you go…

We’re always looking for a deeper level of engagement with the fans we already have via Baltimore sports. And more so than any other voice on the internet bringing you Baltimore sports reaction and analysis, we are striving for perfection and your attention at WNST.net.

In the old days, you had to go to your radio to get your WNST fix. Now, via mobile devices, we’re in your pocket everywhere you go, every hour of the day.

We’re hoping to connect with you in a more meaningful way and to better serve Baltimore sports fans as mobile grows and your tastes evolve. Over 21 years of doing radio and now almost 15 years of WNST as an entity, we’d like to strengthen our relationship with Ravens, Orioles, Terps, Caps, lacrosse and local high school programs.

Unlike morning shows with guys from New York and Boston and “experts” from the Washington suburbs and parts of upper Michigan and St. Louis, the crew at WNST.net is always local and has lived the history of Baltimore sports.

Now we’re asking you: has WNST.net done a good job of this?

Judging from every measurement we can find on the internet – Twitter, Facebook, Google Analytics, reaction to our posts and opinions, we’re doing a damned fine job.

But we can always be better.

This is where you come in…

In our market, quite frankly, it’s been about authenticity and credibility.

WNST builds our audience through quality programming, content and distribution. And then we build relevance for local marketers and businesses who keep us in business because of your support of their sponsorship of our programming and information.

When you support a WNST sponsor you directly affect our ability to improve and keep bringing you the best Baltimore’s best sports coverage divinely possible.

So, as Bruce Springsteen might say, bring on your Wrecking Ball and give us some feedback. We’re thick-skinned. Any constructive criticism or feedback is always welcome at WNST.net.

Once again, here’s a link to our report card and survey

 

Comments (4)

Moose memories and “Welcome Home” for wise deserter of Birdland

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Moose memories and “Welcome Home” for wise deserter of Birdland

Posted on 23 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

As Mike Mussina makes his triumphant return to Baltimore this weekend for the Orioles Hall of Fame activities it’s certainly a thought-provoking time to be a long-time observer and fan of the franchise.

Sure, the Orioles are once again relevant — playing meaningful and exciting games every night — which harkens to the days of 1996 & 1997 when “Moose” was an integral part of the magic of being an Orioles fan every fifth day during the zenith of Camden Yards’ passion and Inner Harbor energy.

Mussina has been gone from Baltimore – except for three visits a year in New York Yankees pinstripes – for 12 years now. So long ago that time has seemingly dimmed the glory of his deeds and his departure serves as a truly seminal moment in the awfulness of the Orioles franchise under the stewardship of Peter Angelos since 1993.

In the 1970’s it was routine for the Orioles to lose players to owners, markets and franchises that had more wealth, population and revenue. Many members of the franchise “Hall of Fame” and “Oriole Way” stalwarts left like Mayflowers in the middle of the night for greener pastures including Don Baylor, Bobby Grich, Reggie Jackson, Wayne Garland and Doug DeCinces and later Eddie Murray, Mike Boddicker, Mike Flanagan, B.J. Surhoff and Mike Bordick were all dealt away to save cash and get younger players.

But in the 1980’s and 1990’s, replete with a fan base from six states that pumped unprecedented money into the franchise and reached into the state’s funds to build Camden Yards and turn Baltimore into a spigot for Major League Baseball profitability, the Orioles never lost a player they wanted to keep.

Not until they lost the best player and pitcher of his generation of Baltimore baseball when Mike Mussina wore the “turncoat” label and bolted for the New York Yankees.

After the 2000 season, tired of three years of losing and Angelos’ low-balling and obvious meddling and mismanagement, Mussina simply took the advice of his agent Arn Tellem and played out his option and walked. On Dec. 7, 2001 after years of eschewing the notion of playing in big, bad New York he signed a six-year, $88.5 million deal to play for the Evil Empire.

I’ll share my many personal memories and my friendship with Mussina later in this blog but I can remember the surreal nature of watching that press conference from The Bronx from Chicago’s Sporting News Radio studios with my jaw open. It was the definitive signal that quality Major League Baseball players simply didn’t want to be in Baltimore anymore and it had little to do with crab cakes or the American League East.

Mussina was thought to be “irreplaceable” at the time and 11 years later time has borne out that diagnosis.

Mussina left the Baltimore Orioles because the owner stunk. He knew it and everyone in baseball knew it.

So, Mussina will finally return and don Orioles colors this weekend for the final time and he’ll find a few fresh statues on the veranda, a team in the midst of its first pennant run in 15 years and a seemingly soulless shell of a former love affair for baseball in Baltimore.

There’ll be plenty of empty seats and shoulder shrugs at his mostly sweet and sour induction into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame this weekend. Certainly a worthy candidate if there ever were one, Mussina’s time as a starter for the Birds is only eclipsed by the deeds of Jim Palmer, who as I’ve said many times is the greatest (and most underappreciated) Oriole of all time by any measurement.

Palmer let loose with a haughty pronouncement on a MASN broadcast earlier this week in promoting this weekend’s festivities. “The Moose is going to Cooperstown – at least I hope. He’s got 270 wins,” said Palmer, who went on to proclaim that in the steroid era to win all of those games and Gold Gloves and remain a “clean figure” in the needle witch hunt of the Mitchell Report should get him a Hall of Fame ballot punched in 2014.

For “real” Orioles fans, he’ll always be known as the Benedict Arnold of the modern generation for leaving the

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The Orioles Peter Angelos and the Machiavellian Theorem

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The Orioles Peter Angelos and the Machiavellian Theorem

Posted on 15 August 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

With each passing day and each Orioles win the team’s chances at actual playoff qualification are becoming more and more realistic. Given the previous decade and a half or so of Orioles baseball, as fans now find themselves on the precipice of the success that they’ve been pining for, it would seem almost a given that fans would be coming out in droves to see the spectacle that has become winning Orioles baseball. That however, at least until now, hasn’t been the case.

We’ve been talking for months, as the team continues to exceed any reasonable expectations, about when the fans could and would begin to truly “buy in” and when they’d back up that faith with their attendance at the ballpark. Yet here we sit, in the latter stages of a legitimate playoff chase, and still the ballpark sits empty.

 

Maybe it’s time we looked a little deeper at how we arrived here in order to understand how we can all begin to move forward.

 

In his Masterpiece “The Prince” Niccolo Machiavelli lays out some political ideals that have not only stood the test of time and that remain viable in modern political theory, but also may have given Orioles ownership the blueprint by which they’ve been operating throughout the Peter Angelos regime.

 

One of the most popular and debated Machiavellian questions arising from “The Price” is the question of whether it’s better to be loved or feared. Machiavelli suggests that while being loved is nice (I paraphrase), it is fear that stirs the hearts of men and keeps them in line. People will turn on those that they love when the going gets tough, but with fear comes the expectation of hardship, and that more than anything compelled by love will cause men to think twice before crossing their benevolent leaders.

 

During the early Angelos years, the owner operated the club like a fan would, bringing in high caliber baseball architects to build his club, giving them the authority and financial means to do their work and although at times still overbearing (rulers still have to remain the boss) Angelos, in comparison to previous regimes, was easy for fans to endorse and (dare I say?) love.

 

As the 1997 season wound down however and fans became disenchanted with the team, they weren’t shy about voicing their displeasure over everything from the crowds that now filled the stadium (wine and cheese) to the talent brought in to do the job (mercenaries). Fans complained about everything from the aging talent, to the misguided leadership of the club, to the seemingly preferential treatment given to Cal Ripken Jr. to the length of the speech that the owner gave on the night Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games record. Love indeed didn’t keep the fans from turning (at least in word) on the team and its owner.

 

That love didn’t compel the fans either to consider the plight of the Orioles when the city gave a far cushier deal to the Browns to relocate to Baltimore and become the Ravens, it didn’t compel fans to stand together with Angelos in his battle against the teams cable outlet or against Major League Baseball to keep the Expos out of DC. The goodwill built by the owner, with the fans, didn’t seem to serve him at all once the going got tough for the Orioles. Nor did the goodwill built by the owner toward his players (in taking care of them financially and in standing by them during baseball’s strike/lockout or in siding with a star player during a battle with his manager) serve him well when other teams came waving bigger checks, better chances to win or opportunities to play with their family members.

 

Maybe the 1993-2000 chapters of Orioles baseball did prove to Angelos that it was better to be feared than to be loved. It also seems that it’s cheaper, easier and more profitable too.

 

At that time it also likely became apparent to Angelos that he’d have some dirty work to do, and that no matter how he elected to run the franchise from that point forward, there was little the fans, the city, the league or anyone else could do about it. Angelos could (and arguably did) tear down the magnificent franchise he had helped to build and polish and in the process remind fans that not only was he the boss, but also that whatever he decided to do, he could do, and that everyone would simply have to accept it. Angelos laid the groundwork for fear. The fear that he could and would run this franchise in any way that he saw fit, from a competitive standpoint that he could and would be willing to run them into the ground, and that those who didn’t like it had no recourse.

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Season of “Moneyball” begins for Angelos, Duquette, Buck & Orioles of 2012

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Season of “Moneyball” begins for Angelos, Duquette, Buck & Orioles of 2012

Posted on 13 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

The second half of the Baltimore Orioles’ re-awakening 2012 season is about to begin and the local baseball fans are a bit befuddled by it all.

As a Baltimore sports fan, I’m never allergic to exciting wins and a 12-game over .500 start to any baseball season. We’ve seen a manager who not only channels Earl Weaver in his size, stature and mannerisms but also with shrewd use of role players and borderline big leaguers. It’s been three months of watching guys who are trying hard no matter who is called up from Norfolk or who hits the disabled list. We’ve witnessed the blossoming of a true superstar in Adam Jones, who signed a record contract in mid-May against all previous precedent given by the Angelos family.

And, for the first time since 1997, this version of the Baltimore Orioles has stirred fans’ awareness – if not necessarily their emotions or beliefs – that this could be a dog-days-of-summer presentation that will bare watching as the fellows in the purple sweaters practice in Owings Mills in two weeks.

But here’s the problem: the 2012 Baltimore Orioles roster — as currently assembled on July 13th — is either in parts of tatters, simply unproven or just flat-out stinks.

I’ve been watching baseball for 40 years and I can’t think of any situation that compares to this.

The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are 45-40, now just five games over .500. However, if the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs. It’s officially the second half of the season – I watched the All-Star Game on Tuesday night even if none of the rest of you did – and the Orioles have a legitimate chance to play at least one postseason baseball game in October.

In the new Bud Selig fantasy world of more October baseball and profit, the Orioles are truly contenders in a way we couldn’t have imagined in March and haven’t seen since the Clinton administration. And no one else in the American League East looks to be galvanized to go on a tear, either.

Meanwhile the young guns of Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Tommy Hunter are all in Norfolk after repeated self-inflicted shots into the bleachers after a series of “Ball Ones” and long, hot innings of ineffectiveness and blown leads.

The now-rested bullpen will attempt to continue to atone for the sins of the many failed starts over the past eight weeks.

The offense is in tatters. Despite the trade for a post-40 Jim Thome – yet another acquisition a player who is in the December of his career ala Sammy Sosa and Vladimir Guerrero — the Orioles are at least making some attempt to get to October after such an encouraging start.

Will Brian Roberts be a factor in the second half? Is Nick Markakis fully healed from his hamate bone injury? Can J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters provide more offense in the second half? Is Xavier Avery a star or just another so-so-outfielder from the Orioles’ depth chart?

There are far more questions than answers heading into the second season of baseball.

The Orioles have been irrelevant for 15 years. This year it appears we’ll have the first-ever Ravens’ training camp opening where the orange team will be the ones making summer headlines.

Will they trade? Who will they trade? What will they get?

One thing we know: trades for legitimate pitchers and hitters who can help the Orioles will not only cost some prospects but will involve large sums of money to pay these proven

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Here’s what your local “sports media personality” needs to know in 2012

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Here’s what your local “sports media personality” needs to know in 2012

Posted on 15 June 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It was so much easier when I was growing up, this sports media thing. First, you learned how to write and then you went to some journalism or “communications” college or university, you did an internship and then sent resumes out and you got your dream job and lived happily ever after.

And maybe you got a gold watch if you hung around at the newspaper or TV station for 25 years or more?

Here at WNST.net this summer, we’re extending an open offer to any Baltimore sports fan who wants to be the next Baltimore Sports Media Superstar via our competition. All of the info is here…

The harsh reality of media and new media in 2012 is that it’s an all-encompassing commitment of time, experience and continuing education that makes a local personality or entity relevant as breaking news, information, analysis and the games themselves fly by in real time with your mobile device with you at all times.

And that’s just the content side.

Here’s a speech I gave to a Loyola Sports Marketing class in May 2012. This is Part 1 in a series about my current thoughts on the state of Baltimore sports media and the industry as a whole:

If you can’t sell your own personal brand – by bringing in audience, engaging them, adding value to their life experience and adding expertise or analysis that people care about – you will NOT be successful in the new media world.

If no cares to be your audience – or in this era that would be “opt in” or “follow” or “subscribe” — then no one will be available to stimulate the commerce necessary that ultimately will pay your salary via local sponsorship dollars..

In the old days it was easy – there were three TV channels, a few radio stations and a newspaper or two. Whoever the local program director or editor hired was all that the public got and all that you’d ever get from the “inside” of a sports team. The competition for those scarce jobs and the outstanding pay via expensive local television news ads fueled by automotive dealers and local advertisers was all coveted. And the public in Baltimore essentially had three choices for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news – WBAL, WMAR and WJZ. There were two newspapers – The Sun and The News American. And sports radio didn’t exist except for Charley Eckman screaming bloody murder about some local issue on the Johnny Walker show on WFBR.

That was the entire world of Baltimore sports media in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

And the only ones who really did it the “new world” way were Coach Eckman and Tom Davis, who bought and sold their own “in-show” advertising and made far more money than most radio “talking heads” did and certainly more than the folks at The Sun or The News American.

All of the TV and newspaper people were part of a larger ensemble and staff. The radio sports talk guys needed to fight for audience and those radio stations needed hosts who garnered real traffic and real new business for local sponsors and advertisers.

This is the world I lived in on local AM radio from 1992 until 2006, when tens of thousands of you crashed my webpage and my email with traffic from all over the world after the initial “Free The Birds” walkout and showed me a new world of WNST.net on the internet.

In the new media world, if you can’t sell your own brand as a sports media expert then how can a local sponsor or business owner trust that you can help them sell pizza or cars or beer?

The reality is that I’m in college every day at WNST.net. The college of life, emerging media and business in 2012 and how it relates to the changing ways of sports fans’ consumption of information via mobile devices in real time.

It’s taken two decades but I’ve finally figured out why I went to college back in the 1980’s. All of those beers at Jay’s off campus at the University of Baltimore and all of those evening classes about Marshall McLuhan — it’s all finally paid off. All those classes with Julie Simon and discovering the roots of communication and theory of how the “medium is the message” and emerging “global village” has changed the world in the last decade since the internet has extended our FCC towers at what was formerly a “little AM radio station” at WNST-AM 1570 and brought video and words and statistics and instant feedback into the realm of the palm of our hands via mobile via WNST.net.

I’ve finally figured out the value of my University of Baltimore education and Corporation Communications degree – it just took me 20 years!

While I’m not going to be donating to UB anytime soon – or anytime that the name of Peter G. Angelos

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MASN has gobs of money but they don’t want to give any of it to the Nationals

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MASN has gobs of money but they don’t want to give any of it to the Nationals

Posted on 12 June 2012 by Drew Forrester

You would think the prospect of the Orioles getting $75 million or more annually via TV rights fees would make the ballclub happy.

It might also make them better.

But that’s not the case.

It’s not the case because the same guy who owns the Orioles also happens to own the TV network that pays that rights fee to the team.  Confused?  Conflict-of-interest, you say?  Perhaps it is, but that’s what the story involving MASN and the Washington Nationals has become — one giant conflict of interest.

Sadly, it’s the Orioles on-field product that could suffer the most during this time of uncertainty.

THE REALITY OF WHAT’S GOING ON

The short version of the story is this:  The Washington Nationals currently receive $29 million a year from MASN for a rights fee.  They are allowed to “challenge” that rights fee figure every 5 years.  The Nationals believe they should receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million per-year in exchange for MASN televising their home and away games.  MASN feels like $35 million is a fair number.  Therein lies the conflict, one that has remained unresolved for so long that Major League Baseball had to step in to arbitrate the situation and award a new rights fee figure to the Nationals.

Oh, yeah, the Orioles also receive $29 million annually from MASN.

Peter Angelos owns MASN.

And he also is the majority stockholder of the Orioles.

You get it, now?

MASN receives roughly $14 million a month (yes, a MONTH) from Xfinity (nee Comcast) according to a source familiar with the financial agreement between those two.  That $168 million alone would be more than enough for MASN to generate nearly a $70 million profit according to the source.  Add in payments from Verizon, DirectTV and other cable carriers in the Mid-Atlantic and the sports network could be pocketing more than $100 million in annual profits.

So what’s the issue at hand?

Money.

The Nationals  - currently receiving $29 million – think their fair value is more like $100 million a year.

MASN doesn’t want to give it to them.  In fact, they’d rather just hand over $35 million annually to the DC franchise.

Wrapping this up and making it into a real barnburner is the added situation involving the Orioles and their rights fee.  When Peter Angelos (MASN) negotiated with Peter Angelos (Orioles), Peter made Peter agree to a clause that stipulates the Orioles will always receive the same amount of annual rights money as the Nationals receive from MASN.  Pretty tricky, huh?

Now, though, Peter doesn’t want to pay the Nationals $50 million or $75 million or $100 million because…yep…he’d also have to pay the Orioles the same amount.

It’s not quite as intriguing as “50 Shades of Grey” but it’s a helluva story.

MORE MONEY MEANS SPENDING MORE ON PLAYERS 

When the TV network originated back in 2006, it was done so almost purely to provide the Orioles with enough additional revenue to compete with big market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.  There’s the still-legendary story that Angelos handed to then-fledgling “Press Box” in which the owner claimed the only way to compete with the beasts of the AL East would be to spend with them for free agents using a RSN (Regional Sports Network) as the catalyst for such spending.

Interestingly enough, it’s the Nationals – not the Orioles – who have become players in the free agent market over the last few years.  Whether or not you like Jayson Werth as a player, one thing is for sure:  the Nationals weren’t afraid to put money on the table for him a few years ago.  They made a legitimate effort for Mark Teixeira in 2009 and reportedly made overtures to Prince Fielder before he signed on in Detroit.

That Washington is in first place right now isn’t really part of this story.  That the Nationals aren’t afraid to spend money – lots of it – on baseball players most certainly is, though.

Therein lies another reason that MASN (Angelos) doesn’t want to inflate the rights fee paid out to the Nationals.  He knows the Nats will spend it on players.  He knows, in stark contrast to what his club has done since MASN hit the scene in 2006, the Nationals will improve their team with his money.

And if Washington spends their (just for for argument sake) $70 million on players and ups their annual payroll to the $125 million or so mark, what will the Orioles do with the $70 million THEY receive from MASN?  Will they spend that extra money (roughly $45 million more than they receive right now) on players, too?

(Please see next page) 

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MASN’s Mel Antonen says position makes it harder for Wieters to break slump

Posted on 31 May 2012 by WNST Audio

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 67 (Friday 8pm from Ontario, Canada live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ismayl Sillakh vs. Denis Grachev (Friday 10pm from Austin, TX live on ESPN2), Thomas Oosthuizen vs. Marcus Johnson (Friday 11pm from Miami, OK live on Showtime), Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson (Saturday 10:15pm from Atlantic City live on HBO), Vyacheslav Senchenko vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Sunday 1pm from Donetsk, Ukraine live on Pay-Per-View); Tennis: ATP Tour Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (Thursday 7:30am Friday 6:30am Sunday 10am from Barcelona live on Tennis Channel), WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Saturday 8am & 12pm Sunday 12:30pm from Stuttgart, Germany live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Lacrosse: Georgetown @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex College Park)

10. Rammstein (Wednesday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Sunday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Shinedown (Wednesday 6pm Rams Head Live), All-American Rejects (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Bob Schneider (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Pat McGee Band (Friday & Saturday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Punch Brothers (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Creed (Tuesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Kottonmouth Kings (Wednesday 6:30pm Sonar); Chuck Berry (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Mac Miller (Thursday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Nellie McKay (Thursday 6:30pm Birchmere); Candlebox (Monday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Sweetlife Festival feat. Kid Cudi, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fun. (Saturday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Death Cab For Cutie (Monday 8pm Strathmore); Nickelback/Bush/Seether (Monday 6pm Verizon Center); Jack White “Blunderbuss” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

TSO didn’t post in Charm City this Christmas, and you know someone who was bitter. I’d be willing to go see them Sunday night though, their Beethoven stuff is also awesome…

Does anyone just want to GIVE me tickets to the Punch Brothers show Friday night? Most of you haven’t given me a birthday present in years.

Enjoy skateboarding? Hip-hop? Marijuana? Here’s Kid Cudi…

Jack White is sorta becoming that “I don’t care what he does I’m just going to like it” man for the 21st century. Are we still in the 21st century?

9. The Raven” and “The Five-Year Engagement” out in theaters (Friday); Contraband” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Tom Brokaw (Tuesday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Sugarloaf Crafts Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I’d love to dissect Jason Segel’s new flick (I think it actually looks good) or try to figure out what the hell they do at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, but I don’t know where else in T10BD I’d be able to post this picture of a frog sitting on a bench like a human…

We all agree this is the greatest picture of all time, right?

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