Here’s why we made changes at WNST.net…

August 29, 2014 | Nestor Aparicio

Here’s why we made changes at WNST.net…

This past Tuesday began a new chapter in my life and my media career. I’m glad you’re reading this and hope you plan to join us and stay engaged in the next phase of WNST’s evolution as my personal Baltimore radio and sports journalism brand expands and goes “old school.”

I’m very proud to own a local business that connects other local businesses and that serves my hometown and Baltimore sports fans all over the world. And I’m eternally grateful that you’ve supported me over the past 16 years.

As you might have heard at 5 p.m. on WNST.net & AM 1570, I’m going back to the basics here at the radio station but continuing to evolve with the best ongoing civic conversation about sports ever created in Baltimore. I’m now in my 31st year of “talking sports” with the community I love and I’m very appreciative to have a chance to take you along on my next journey.

Upon announcing earlier this week that we’ll be changing our WNST radio format I thought it would be better to expound upon some of the reasoning and spirit of my decision because I’ve seen the internet chat rooms and the scuttlebutt from my wife’s bedside at Johns Hopkins Kimmer Cancer Center this week and, quite frankly, I haven’t read anything that is even remotely close to accurate. And, somehow, even when I write the truth while my wife spends her 55th night in a hospital room over the past 167 days, it somehow gets twisted into something that paints me as a villain.

First, let me restate that over the past six months my wife has been battling leukemia and the side effects of a bone marrow transplant where an anonymous donor from Germany saved her life.

Do yourself a favor and read his letter to her here.

My family and our personal happiness and the prosperity of WNST – my life’s work and my sole investment on earth – is paramount for my survival amongst a ruthless bunch of corporate monoliths in the media space in Baltimore.

My love/hate relationship inside the media circle – and all of the fallout of awfulness and polarization – comes with the disappointment in the way I’ve seen the industry (and large parts of the implied integrity of the inner circle) deteriorate over the past 30 years.

All I ever wanted to do with my life was write or talk about Baltimore sports. That’s why WNST exists. I wrote nearly 4,000 words last week trying to explain why I do what I do and that still didn’t suffice for some of the nastier folks who are looking for some deep, dark secret about my intentions for my own well being and prosperity.

Somehow, saying that you’re “looking for happiness” is now subject to scrutiny and outrage? That’s insane, but then again, nothing shocks me anymore.

This all started with me wanting to get a press pass in Dundalk in 1984 and working at The News American and The Evening Sun before venturing solo into an already dinosaur AM radio business model in 1991 and a world where the political machinations and advertising world are so perversely incestuous, it’s as much of a miracle that WNST exists after 16 years as it is that my wife’s life was saved by an anonymous 21-year old donor in Germany.

I covered the long odds for our survival in last Friday’s blog.

WNST exists because of the local businesses and their owners who have supported me and my endeavors, events and spirit. It exists because my audience has

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42 Comments For This Post

  1. Ken Says:

    So it sounds like you’ve had a midlife crisis or an epiphany or whatever it is guys our age have when they look around and realize we’re not happy. I’m the same age as you, by the way. The overall vibe of the article I’m getting is that you fired everyone because they’re not you and since no one else is up to your standards, you’re going to do everything now yourself. That’s a recipe for burnout if I’ve ever heard one. Just a piece of advice: you can’t go back to 1998. None of us can. Even if we could, we’d likely find that it isn’t the same as we remember it. I don’t know if I’ll be listening when the station comes back next week. It’s still not clear to me what I’d be hearing if I did tune in. To be honest, I listened to WNST because I liked the people who are now no longer there. If it’s going to be all Nestor all the time, then I’m not likely going to stick around.

  2. Megan B Says:

    Nestor don’t listen to the haters. You know your stuff and have always been entertaining. I will listen. Keep up the good work and give Jen a hug for me.

  3. andy Says:

    Its yours … do as you wish… I just wish you would have given Drew and Glenn the opportunity for farewell shows… I listened to wnst because of them… I honesty thought your show was Ok but your negative vibe turns me off… they were my bright spot of the day… as your wife entered the hospital for cancer so did my mother… for the second time… first breast cancer when I was 13 years old.. she beat that… then in January this year for MDS… very similar to leukaemia… caused by the kemo she had when see was younger… blood cancer… a cruel end to a wonderful woman… she spent 6 months in university… I lost her July second… I spoke to her offer of you wife’s struggle and tired to keep my mother positive… as your are your wife… I wish you and her the best Nestor… I just miss the wnst I enjoyed… good luck brother

  4. Jim Says:

    Best of luck on the new venture Brother. I’ll be tuned in Tuesday!

  5. Bmorebobrob Says:

    Any idea what the new format actually is? The blog was not very clear other than philosophy.

  6. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    I’ll miss the Art Modell interview that seems to run over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and, well, yeah, kind of like this comment…

  7. Bmorebobrob Says:

    I have it timed perfectly so that on my ride to work, at exactly 6:46, I hear the story about Art working in the rail yard in Kansas.

  8. John Carver Says:

    I would have gone with less Nestor. Or no Nestor.

  9. Donta Says:

    Seems like Nestor will be the only on air host at the station and if it works for him cool

  10. bill Says:

    I am 47 and childhood friend of nestor. I do not always agree with his opinions or the way he handles his busines and the constant berating of Peter Angelos. But you know what, he is doing what he loves and getting paid for it…. THE AMERICAN DREAM. it took me a while to realize less is more sometimes.. I wish him well. Everyone has a choice. listen our not to listen. I enjoy the fact that he screens his calls pretty well and basically ditches the less informed. That is one thing that always makes me change the channel when you get a less informed listener just as I change the channel when he gets on the Peter bashing brigade.. but like I said. He is living the dream and getting paid.. I wish anyone well that has the guts and hard work ethic that he has.. So I will wait and see the new WNST and then form my own opinion…

  11. Mary-Frances Alcoser Says:

    Good luck in this next chapter, you will be great!

  12. Bmorebobrob Says:

    With no one else on the radio, he only needs a few sponsors in order to survive. Like I said before, by getting rid of his staff, he probably saved a couple hundred thousand in salary.

  13. RedCommander Says:

    I’m with you Nestor. I’ll be there on Tuesday…

  14. Joe Says:

    Hahaha can’t get through one page without hearing about your press pass.

  15. JWP28 Says:

    First of all, as a husband, I pray for you, Nestor, in what you’re going through personally. I wish you and your family the best in your tough journey. I admire someone who values integrity over snatching up the quick buck, so best of luck with your new vision. And if you need a radio veteran around the office, I’m available to ride with you!
    John

  16. Jay Says:

    Just when you think Nestor couldn’t get more self-absorbed, egocentric, or just awful, he takes it to the next level. You need help, man. I am not being funny – therapy is in your future, no doubt.

  17. Chuck Says:

    This douche knows nothing but first person pronouns.

    Someone should start a walkout of this two bit clown’s show.

    BBD; Bring Back Drew!

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Nestor- I cannot leave my name, as I am a well known advertiser in Baltimore. Let me tell you how moved I am reading your article and feeling your feelings. I can only imagine, with the heaviest of hearts, what you, your wife and your family are going through. But I do know from personal experience, that the positive of all the time you have had on your hands is the just that…the time. That time has led you to finding something that most of us want and need dearly..clarity. Clarity is very very underrated in our society. I am envious of that clarity which you both have now and share with us. And I commend you for having the guts to follow through with what really matters to you. What is in your heart, your blood, your mind and your soul. Follow your heart and mind. Trust yourself and be proud of yourself. I am proud to know you and am inspired beyond words by what I read. And don’t be so negative. The negative stuff you hear is from the few not the many. Be a talk show host. Be a business owner. Be a son. Be a husband. But most importantly, be you. May God bless your wife, your family and your business. I will be tuning in.

  19. Mike D. Says:

    Amen, Nestor! You’ll crush it! Life is too short. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

  20. gerrydodsworth Says:

    If I had accomplished what Nestor has done for sports radio in our community I would sound off.For the record name one radio sports personality who has discovered and developed more on air talent in Baltimore then Nestor. Sure he has a legion of critics and detractors,but isn’t this commonplace amongst all leaders?

  21. Bmorebobrob Says:

    I read on DCRTV that Drew, Glenn, Rob Long, Jeremy, Weinman, Haynie, Spiro, Swami, and Terry Ford are starting their own station called XNST.

  22. Gil From Perry Hall Says:

    It seems to me that all this angst could have been avoided with a lot less verbiage, such as;

    Being a small communications business I require my employees to be multifaceted. One of those facets includes the continual acquisition and maintenance of sponsorship unlike the larger media outlets that have departments dedicated to such acquisition and retention. My review of WNST ‘s business posture concluded that changes are necessary to ensure continued profitablity. It is with a heavy heart that I am letting go of fantastic on-air talents and dedicated behind the scenes employees that have contributed to many successes at the station over the years… then for their many years of service to WNST and the community you could have extolled their virtues and reminisced about the good times shared with them.

    Instead you choose to expound upon your beginnings which are strikingly close to “It all started on a 5,000-watt radio station in Fresno…” which for the uninformed is the stock speech for the bombastic buffoon character, Ted Baxter, on the Mary Tyler Moore show. And,

    you make what I infer to be backhanded slaps to the released employees. Please note I infer what you may not necessarily imply or intend. I am just letting you know what I perceive.

    I like Luke Johes. I think his analysis (especially football) is sober and thoughtful. I will seek to hear (and read) his contribution to the discussions. Other than him, I am now in a “show me” posture with repect to your media offerings because your continued self centered blogs and broadcasts are a tunr off for me.

    Continued best wishes for your wife’s recovery.

    Regards,
    Gil From Perry Hall

    P.S. I was corrected by a former listener and former friend/supporter of the station about an error in my previous submittal. I noted that your airwaves carried the snydicated show of Anita Marks as irony to the lawsuit filed and lost. He reminded me that it was Jenn Royal that brought the suit. I regret this error on my part. It is especially regrettable since I read the entire suit as posted by you and agreed that it was without merit. I confused my recollection of your station’s disdain with Marks for that of Jenn Royal.

  23. Bmorebobrob Says:

    Gil:

    This is spot on. He could have turned this into a positive. People in America can empathize when a business takes a downturn since the poor economy has impacted everyone in some way or another. Instead, he decided to focus on himself which alienated a large number of people. Judging by what I have read on this site as well as on Facebook, Nestor has become the Howard Cossell of Bmore-people either love or hate him.

    Like yourself, I will give it a try and see what happens.

  24. Robert Says:

    I just tuned into the new format moments ago. There is really only one reason (two-fold) that I spend time tuned into sports talk radio, or any type of talk radio for that matter. I want to hear the show host’s opinions on the topic du jour and likewise the opinions of my fellow hoi polloi. While I’m confident I’ll get the former with this new format, I’m doubtful of getting any of the latter.

    “Where id was, there ego shall be.” – Sigmund Freud

    Cheers.

  25. Ken Says:

    I tuned in briefly, much like you would slow down at the scene of an accident and the station did not disappoint. I heard nothing but silence from 8:19-8:29, then commercials from 8:29-8:34, back to silence until 8:42. If this is the new format, I can see why everyone was let go.

  26. mortstiff Says:

    Nestor’s new Morning Sunrise – Hear Nestor endlessly insert himself into every interview, recap, anecdote, example, and, yes, even in the commercials! Nestor recommends products, restaurants, services because he uses them himself, and has been for many years, and because everything is about Nestor and Nestor’s life in Dundalk!!! Hear Nestor’s utterly obnoxious and grating radio voice. Hear Nestor keep interrupting interviewees as he strives to make himself the focus of the interview. Hear Nestor respond to Steve Smith’s comments about his trip to Africa by saying how Africa is on his wife’s bucket list, as if that is relevant to his interviewee’s background and experience as a Raven. The only reason I heard this crap is because I was hoping there would be a listenable replacement for the Drew & Luke morning show. What a shock to find that this unbearable narcissist inserted himself in that slot (adding insult to injury?). Last time – I’d rather listen to my toilet flushing than waste another second on this loser.

  27. BK Says:

    Tuned in this morning for about 10 minutes. Was awful radio that was very tough to listen to. Last time I ever tune in again. Pretty much had made the switch already anyway, but definitely making the permanent switch to 105.7. Listening to Rob now while at work (on the web, so they have social media as well, lol). All they do is talk about local sports IMO, so I still don’t get the ‘Leader in local sports talk’ moniker of WNST and bashing of other stations. Sorry, I don’t care about Towson JV lacrosse. I want Orioles and Ravens 90% of the time with a little of Towson and MD main stream NCAA sports. I had enough Washington Capitals shoved down my throat to debunk the whole ‘Never stop talking Baltimore Sports’ myth at WNST as well.

    Poor Rob having to deal with Vinny every day though, but at least Rob makes it worth listening to. Now if Glenn Clark would just replace the ‘Ed Norrris Show’ in the mornings at 105.7, we would be set!

  28. Bmorebobrob Says:

    I have been listening for most of the day. Pretty much Nestor being Nestor (name dropping, self promotion) but not awful. I am not sure how long he can keep this going. Since it is the first day, he got plenty of guests but what happens after this? During this time of the year, there is plenty to talk about with Orioles and Ravens but what happens after football, during the spring and summer? Will he run the Art Modell interview from the end of the Super Bowl until the start of baseball season? Cynically speaking, I assume he signed up a lot of sponsors before the format change since football season is the peak of radio ad time. With the lower payroll, he will pocket a ton of money now and worry about the rest later. He talks about Mad Dog Radio but Russo has other hosts and does a solo show in the afternoon.

  29. Natalie Davis Says:

    Nestor, wishing you love and luck (and BMorePositivity for your dream girl). I know quite well the challenge you’ve taken on, doing something similar in Nashville, and wish you nothing but success!

  30. Matt Says:

    Agree completely with BK. As owner, you have every right to run your business as you see fit. But I won’t be listening anymore, after being a loyal listener for the last four years. I can’t stand to listen to you talk about how you’ve been wronged by the Orioles, how Angelos has wronged the Orioles and Baltimore, how you have to always be the David vs. Goliath, and especially can’t listen to how you talk over your guests rather than interview them. We know your story, we don’t need to re-hear it every ten minutes.

  31. Ken Says:

    I don’t get this new format. When are you actually live on the air, or is everything now pre-recorded and replayed throughout the week? Why is it I heard the same Don Moller interview and Buck Showalter press conference this morning that I heard yesterday on my drive home from work? Is there any interaction with listeners at all anymore? I haven’t heard any, but then I have only listened on my morning and evening drives, I don’t know what is on the rest of the day. I’m trying to give it a chance, but so far I haven’t really heard anything to make me want to keep listening.

  32. Bmorebobrob Says:

    It is a total train wreck. He was on the air live today from 6 to 8:30, roughly, and then went to the Showalter, Marvin Lewis and Moller interviews from yesterday. Then back live from 10:30 to 11;30, followed by another re-air It is all over the place. I am not sure why he cannot have a 3-4 hour show that is replayed throughout the day. I would assume no callers since he knows he will get blasted over the firings. Here is a strange twist: the new format has NOT included any Angelos or Oriole diatribes.

  33. jay Says:

    I guess Nestor used the money he saved by firing his friends to pay “Anonymous” to write a ridiculous comment about ‘clarity’ and other BS “I’m with you” comments. One guy doing a few random hours of radio is not a radio station. I know some of your ex employees who insist that you are lazy and have no clue how you are still in business. I think we know why you fired them – you can’t afford them anymore! It’s only a matter of time before you fade into obscurity where you belong. I have never had less respect for a human in my life, christ…

  34. Bmorebobrob Says:

    He should just do a straight 3 hour podcast and keep the web site. He could have sponsors for both. The station is a total joke right now. It sounds like a guy working out of his basement who invites a few friends over to talk about old times. He takes a nap for an hour; maybe goes to the can; gets something to eat. In the meantime, he plays some old interviews and then comes back on the air.

    I have to hand it to Nestor in how he has always survived. If you look at most of his sponsors, they are small, local businesses, mostly bars. Unlike a large corp, a local bar is not going to ask about his target audience, his demographics or his ratings. Nestor probably pops into the bar, drops a few big names, like Billick, and the owners figure, “why not advertise.” They have no idea what they are getting for their money.

    If the station collapses, I bet Nestor reinvents himself as some sort of internet marketing guru. (i.e-how to increase your web presence, use of social media, etc. . .) The media is out since he has burned almost every conceivable bridge.

  35. Ken Says:

    Well, I gave it a shot but I’m sick of hearing the same things played over and over. I tuned in this morning and heard the John Eisenberg interview that I heard yesterday.

    I’m done. If I can’t tune in and hear live, current, and new information then there is no point in tuning in. I don’t need to hear discussions mentioning “last night’s game”, which in reality is now a game that was played several days ago.

    So Nestor, to use words you should be very familiar with: I’m not happy. This isn’t working, so we’re parting ways.

  36. Bmorebobrob Says:

    After a few days of giving it a try, I am done too. I heard the same thing this morning as well so I took the NST pre set off and put on 980 ESPN Radio for Mike and Mike. On the way home yesterday, I literally heard nothing but ads from 4;30 to 5;15 and every 5 minutes someone would come on saying, “You are listening to Nasty at Night” and then the commericals would start again.

  37. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    The new TMZ video showing Mr. Rice knocking out his fiance has been out there for several hours. Still nothing about it on the New WNST?

  38. BK Says:

    BTW – One of WNST’s advertisers just started advertising on 105.7, Box Hill Pizzeria. Just heard they brought out some of the staff at 105.7 (just like they used to with WNST staff) to the restaurant and are now advertising with them. Looks like the major sponsors are starting to jump ship. Cue the fat lady……

  39. Bmorebobrob Says:

    Drew has also has a bunch of advertisers with him on his “Morning Dish.” Nestor actually had to come back on the air after the Ravens let Rice go. Listening to him, you would have thought he was doing a telethon.

  40. Frank Says:

    Sorry Nestor – I’m out also, just too much repeated material – and nothing timely at all in regards to the entire Rice fiasco.

    I dont think the “new” format will work – but good luck.

    Also – I wish a sincere “get well soon” to your wife.

  41. Herc Says:

    it’s terrible radio and the blogging has almost disappeared as well. I’m afraid I’m out as well. I’d rather listen to Sirius if I’m going to listen to national and repeats all day long….

  42. Bmorebobrob Says:

    Can you imagine if you were a sponsor who purchased ad time in August before the format change and this is what you got for your money? i would be so pissed. I am sure getting out of the contract is difficult and costly from a legal perspective. I cannot imagine any existing sponsor wanting to continue their presence on NST. Man, it takes a lot of balls to do this.

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