An indictment of local journalism: Here’s our side of baseless Royle v. WNST lawsuit

March 30, 2011 | Nestor Aparicio

in social media and in Owings Mills. We literally have hundreds and hundreds of public pronouncements made by Miss Royle via social media that quite frankly would make any WNST.net employee an “ex” employee. (And yes, I do the hiring and firing here at WNST.)

Miss Royle’s feelings have been hurt by thousands of people in Baltimore and she is quite a fighter, based on what we read from her public work. Her blog reiterates that on a daily basis as she calls fans “jerks,” “Baltimorons” and the like. You can check it out for yourself. It’s quite public, just like this blog.

Apparently, she’s only decided to sue us here at WNST.net.

Perhaps it’s because we’re a direct competitor, perhaps it’s because she feels like she’ll get her name in the local newspaper and she’ll eventually extract some money out of us. (Win or lose, the attorney fees and my time spent dealing with this nonsense will certainly be draining my piggy bank so I’m a loser beginning today no matter the outcome of this frivolous case.)

Or maybe Royle has decided to sue us because we’re the most visible, credible local people who have been critical of her work, her out-of-town interests in sports teams and athletes and her clear lack of Baltimore sports expertise as a journalist.

But to think we’ve spread any sort of rumors, gossip or innuendo about her couldn’t be more false.

On behalf of my awesome employees and our families who are fed from the reputation and reach of WNST.net, I’m offended and angered and I will vigorously, honestly and openly fight these outlandish allegations.

I feel like I’m being sued in some sort of effort to embarrass us by a women whose two primary employers were in a partnership that locked me and members of my company out of access to one of our primary sources of business – covering the Baltimore Orioles, which I did for 21 years before my press pass was revoked in 2007 — as independent journalists.

Funny how no one at the Baltimore Business Journal has called me about that but my phone began ringing off the hook yesterday as the “real” media starts to circle the carcass at WNST.net now that a female employee of my competitor is suing me without a shred of evidence to provide to support any of the claims?

What an indictment of American society and the legal system if somehow my business were to be taken down and my livelihood taken away on a series of vitriolic lies by an employee of CBS Radio and Peter Angelos’ MASN who writes outlandish things on the internet on a daily basis. Yesterday, she spent the day retweeting “WNST Sux” and opined that “brothers” (I’m assuming she means African American men, not the local roofing and home services company) like her body parts.

Sadly, this is what America has come to circa 2011.

These are the people who represent CBS Radio locally…

Yes, I’m being sued for $800,000 by an employee of a gigantic company that tries to put me out of business every day and there’s not a shred of evidence that anything I’m being sued for saying, writing or exposing even exists.

I’m not sure how one goes about proving that they DIDN’T say or write something?

According to most of my partners, this is nothing new. This is what it’s like to own a public business with a public voice and to have credible and visibly successful partners and the biggest social media footprint in the marketplace.

I’ve been told “the taller the tree grows the more people who will come to chop it down.”

So be it. This is the garbage these journalists report on in the daily news each day — frivolous lawsuits in an effort to extract money from someone in lieu of paying attorney fees in the tens of thousands (if not millions). This whole NFL fiasco is all about lawsuits for cash. That’s the world we live in circa 2011 in America.

But, for me to clam up and say “wait until I get to the courtroom and I’ll prove my innocence” won’t do me any good if my good name – one that I’ve spent 42 years of my life in this community building from Colgate Elementary to Dundalk High to Dundalk Community College to the University of Baltimore, from The News American to The Sun to Sporting News radio and along various radio stations before WNST came along in 1998 – is run through the mud in my hometown.

I’m not going to stand accused of these horrible lies and not defend myself and company and my employees, especially given the way the cards have fallen for me and my company and the lies that have been proliferated about me by jealous colleagues and angry ex-employees, who ultimately, have a microphone, camera or a keyboard of their own to pass their own judgment within their circle of influence.

One thing about WNST.net – our record speaks for itself. From what we’ve done in the community to the way we break and report news and continue to evolve in the era of the internet with a level, live playing field via mobile devices, where we’re really expanding our company in 2011 – it’s all on the record and has been since I was a teenager.

I’m very, very, very proud of what we’ve built with the community here at WNST.net and not a day goes by without some stranger on the street approaching me with a kind word about how much they love our company and what we do.

I’ve tried to raise the bar for Baltimore sports journalism at every turn since WNST-AM 1570 began in 1998. Reporting the truth with integrity, accountability and facts. And we’ll certainly continuing doing that.

And for the record, I’ve never even met Jennifer Royle. I have never had a conversation with her. The first and only time I ever “met” her

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