A personal note for all friends, fans and supporters re: changes at WNST

August 22, 2014 | Nestor Aparicio

support our company, my comeback on the radio and added support to my family during a difficult time considering my wife’s illness: Jerry’s Auto Group, Creative Deck Designs, Roofing By Elite, Squire’s, Bella Napoli, Chesapeake Physical & Aquatic Therapy, Al’s Seafood, Duclaw Brewing, Stevenson University, Kelly, Padonia Ale House, High Topps, First Mariner Bank, Continental Title, Wendy’s, Bel Air Honda and Blue Rock Productions.

All of these businesses wanted to be a part of my new show – and many had been telling me for years to “get back on the radio” – and every one of them pitched in for the bone marrow registry donor events for There Goes My Hero that we’ve been holding since my wife was stricken with leukemia in March. And it’s our hope and belief that they’ll all continue as partners with my radio show moving forward into 2015 and beyond as WNST goes in a new and exciting direction.

Because I built a studio in my downtown home overlooking Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor, I’ve only missed one show since the beginning of Jenn’s cancer diagnosis and through the past six months of her #JennStrong bone marrow transplant and recovery. She has been at the hospital more than 140 out of the last 160 days and she spent 51 nights on the fifth floor as a very sick and weak patient fighting every awful side effect of chemotherapy you can imagine.

It has been a privilege to be her caregiver virtually every hour of every day since she came home from the hospital in late April while doing a radio show from the next room.

So why attempt a radio comeback in the middle of my wife’s illness?

On our bucket list 10th anniversary trip last July in Tahiti, I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to a healthy, vivacious Jenn looking at the gorgeous mountains of Moorea and at 45 years old and heading into the second half of my life, I wondered to myself, “What really makes me happy? What am I really on this Earth to do? What can I do that not only brings me great pride and joy, but that also makes a positive impact on our community and our society in general? Where can I bring value to others that reflects the glow of that happiness and fulfillment?”

I am not the first man to pursue happiness. But this was a tipping point opportunity for me to evaluate my life and what my second act would be after “Nasty Nestor” and the creation of WNST.

It was at that point that I started to contemplate coming back on the air full-time and diving back into being a fully functioning media personality instead of a guy aimlessly searching to replace myself, and my personal radio success from 1991 through 2005, when I went from squatting for two hours a day doing sports radio for free, to buying four hours a day at a big band AM radio station, to leasing a radio station, to owning a radio station and then being nationally syndicated and heard in every state in America every afternoon on “Nasty Nationwide” from 1998 to 2001.

In 2005, after 14 years of doing sports radio every day – tired and bored and wanting to lead and make my company great by finding equally passionate and dedicated sports journalism students – I retired from hosting daily radio on my own terms.

Now, in 2013, as a very active C.E.O. in Baltimore, I knew it was impossible to lead from behind.

I also knew that I wasn’t going to come back as “Nasty Nestor.”

Make no mistake about it, without the character and fun of “Nasty Nestor” in the 1990s, I wouldn’t be here today and I wouldn’t have been in position to make so many of these Baltimore sports memories possible for our extended community of friends, sponsors, fans and supporters. “Nasty Nestor” made me who I am today, and made WNST into the multi-dimensional sports media outlet that it is now and will continue to be from anywhere in the world on mobile devices.

We’ve come a long way from the days when naysayers and petty competitors would complain about the strength of our AM radio signal.

Like its owner, WNST has always been an underdog. As many of you have heard me say countless times in the past, WNST isn’t afforded the 5-star Arbitron rating that allows my corporate competitors like CBS Radio and Clear Channel and Hearst to have, literally, tens of millions of dollars funneled to them by a marketing monopoly and by out of state advertising agencies that look in a book of fiction and lies and conclude that WNST has “zero” listeners.

Putting every nickel I had into the deal and bringing partners and friends along the way, I followed a dream and bought a radio station for $1 million in 2000.  If I had wanted to buy WBAL, it would’ve cost $50 million.

And, now in 2014, there’s very little doubt that our brand is pound-for-pound, larger and more effective – given our amazing reach in social media and the ability to come to you in ways and at times when you’re not in your car stuck in traffic. We’re in your phone, in your timeline, in your conversation and a part of your life.

We’re very proud of that and never take that access and that responsibility for granted. Any of the 9,000 of you who are on our WNST Text service experience the integrity and excellence that powers us. If you receive our WNST Morning Newspaper at 8:30 every morning, you know our commitment to Baltimore sports fans.

You can join the text service on the front page of WNST.net.

You can receive our free daily newspaper here.

And make no mistake about it, we have never had a level playing field or been given our fair share of the advertising money in the marketplace. We’ve always had to scrape and claw for every sponsor and prove to them that advertising at WNST works for their business.

And 16 years later, there should be little doubt as to our effectiveness, reach and power for local business.

Literally, all of you reading this blog, and all of you that tune into WNST on your drive home from work, or better yet, while you’re at work, and all of you who show up to our live events – you DO NOT EXIST in the eyes of those that make the decisions as to where the Baltimore portion of GEICO or Chick-fil-A or Subway or Mr. Tire multi-million dollar advertising budget is going to go. And then there are local agencies who literally laugh in my face at meetings year after year, tell me I have no audience and have never had one, and then funnel their “local” money to the big national companies who don’t know jack about Baltimore and don’t even employ disc jockeys. The woman who does the advertising buying for the likes of Old Bay, Ocean City, Smyth Jewelers and Wockenfuss Candy has cursed at me and “banned” me from her agency for simply saying her name on the radio. (I thought it was kind of hilarious getting cursed at in my car while driving to my wife’s hospital bed because this lady has sworn for 21 years that no one listens to my radio show.)

Yet, you – our audience and loyal supporters – have always been with us and the local businesses in our community have truly understood