Here’s why we made changes at…

August 29, 2014 | Nestor Aparicio

up – no matter what Arbitron or Jane Goldstrom or anyone thinks at any local agency that serves up its advertising buys with side dish of fiction.

The passion WNST has for Baltimore sports has been on display for 16 years and tens of thousands of people have interacted with our brand and have touched me and my wife over the last six months of her illness with incredible compassion, kindness and love.

We’re very, very grateful and find ourselves crying on a daily basis when we feel this immense and unconditional kindness that spending every minute battling cancer and being with other families fighting the same fight for our very existence together.

We’re walking the fire right now and we’re making some changes in our lives.

My personal passion has been borne out of an unending, lifelong, quest to learn things, grow and improve. I did a fire walk with Tony Robbins two weeks before the baseball strike of 1994 and my life has never been the same.

And I’ve learned to accept that not everyone understands my business, my life, my conviction, my beliefs or goals. And that’s OK. That will never change.

My mom always said: “You can’t please everyone.”

But many will pass fierce judgment on parts of my life and business that are so false as to be sad and laughable. That is, until someone comes up to me and recites the lies as “gospel.” And that’s even worse given how public we are forced to be in many respects because WNST depends on it.

But such is the path I’ve chosen by owning what many feel is a public trust, but what for me, is my livelihood and major investment in life.

If it were so easy to do – running an AM radio station in Baltimore in 2014 – someone else would’ve done it by now.

The truth? I’m the only one who has EVER done it. And even the criticism is truly praise when I consider how passionate many folks have become about my brand. I appreciate that you care about what we do.

Change is never easy. And every time I make an on-air personnel change at WNST, I get hammered by that person’s inner circle of friends, relatives, loved ones and listeners. I get jaw-dropping hatred spewed into the cybersphere and my entire world is subjected to picking a side.

Obviously, that stings beyond belief but it’s become the reality of my world if I want to hire people and give what were previously acquaintances, perfect strangers or listeners with a dream “a chance.” And I’ve given more people that opportunity than anyone in the history of Baltimore media.

That’s. A. Fact.

But I live in the real world. I have bills to pay. I run a business. I serve many masters, not limited to but including my loyal partnership and the sponsors who pay the bills. We need to get them business. Period. Otherwise, WNST starves.

In 1991, at 23, I voluntarily left The Sun with tears in my eyes because all I ever wanted to do was be a sportswriter. Steadman told me at my farewell party at Burke’s (a Baltimore newspaper beer goblet drinking tradition): “Senor, you’ll never regret this decision!”

And I quickly found that I loved doing radio and was good at it. I knew more about sports than anyone in the marketplace and my knowledge, passion and devotion to my craft and business and my business partners was what built my radio career.

When WBAL slammed door in my face and I started buying airtime to do sports talk on a big band radio station, I was forced to get my own sponsors so that I could feed my 8-year old son. I had never sold anything in my life that wasn’t a baseball card. But I did it. I learned sales. I learned marketing. I learned about life. I adjusted. I grew. I surrounded myself with people far smarter so I could reach higher.

In 1998, when WNST was available and I was getting thrown out of WLG because it had been purchased by the Mangione family and WCBM group to run a complete “big band” format on AM 1360, my current engineer found this little house on the end of the road in Towson and I invested every penny I had and tried to build a dream at AM 1570, which was a failed children’s radio station.

I wanted to give Baltimore a great sports radio station with local talent to listen to all day, every day. I’ve tried a variety of national programming (none of which have ever made WNST a nickel) and I was myself nationally syndicated from 1998 through 2001 on One on One Sports, which became Sporting News Radio. I hosted “Nasty Nationwide” on more than 400 stations across America from 2-6pm EST every day. I still get some mail from many folks who listened nationally and some who’ve purchased my books online.

In the end, I was fired via a brief telephone call from the CEO two nights before Christmas in Telluride from his ski cabin. He told me, “We’ll fly you into Chicago next