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State of Baltimore Sports Media

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How did Nestor wind up with a media credential in Pittsburgh after being banned by Ravens in Baltimore?

As many know, Bill Cole from Cole Roofing inspired large parts of this Baltimore Positive platform over the past decade. A meandering podcast conversation from Christmas to Qatar kept coming back to Nestor being pressed on how he wound up in the locker room in Pittsburgh doing his job for the first time this season after being locked out by Chad Steele and the Baltimore Ravens ownership.

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

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

Happy 5th Anniversary to my Free The Birds friends who want change for Baltimore baseball

I’ve been watching the Baltimore Orioles since 1973 and I’m not sure any of us could’ve predicted what this franchise was to become back in the late 1980’s when Camden Yards was built, our city was starved without football and the Colts had split town. It’s amazing now because most of the people in my company and many of you reading this under the age of 35 do not remember the Colts at all. Or a time when there was no purple. Or when there was no shiny stadia downtown that we all take for granted. I watched William Donald Schaefer fight for all of this. I watched John Steadman politic and report through all of this as a colleague and a kid at The News American. I watched the first shovel go in the ground downtown. I was at that magical game in 1988 when all of this civic planning was announced on the backend of an 0-21 start that invigorated the renaissance of not only the Orioles but this community as a whole. I wrote more than 75,000 words on this topic five years ago. You can read all of it here… I was there for all of

Five years ago we did Free The Birds rally and I’m still proud of it

There’s been plenty written about the Orioles demise and the AL East standings and the empty stands at Camden Yards speak for themselves as to what the Baltimore community feels the value of the baseball team is circa 2011. The stadium is empty most nights. Fans stuck with tickets can’t find anyone to take them for free. The city has tumbleweed blowing down Pratt Street most nights when the Orioles play. The fan base is so angry, so disenfranchised, so beaten down and/or disillusioned that they’re literally all but gone. It’s the Fall of 2011 — the most recent version of The Apocalypse for any lifelong Orioles baseball fan and baseball lover like me. With the tragic suicide of Mike Flanagan last month – and the subsequent tales of the trail of a broken baseball man who loved this city and the Baltimore Orioles more than words can express – the Orioles have clearly hit rock bottom. Or have they? Oh, I’ve now been hearing for well over a decade that “the Orioles have bottomed out.” Heck, Ken Rosenthal was writing that stuff 12 years ago when he was covering the Orioles for The Sun. I’m not sure any of

Part 3: People ask me all of the time: “How big is your stick?”

If you’re on this website, chances are you’ve been a WNST or Nestor or Drew or local Baltimore sports fan for quite some time. Sure, a few of you just heard about us recently on Twitter, but for the most part it feels like I know most of you. All 50,000-plus of you, who come to us in so many ways all had a “virgin experience” with WNST. But you’re all here now and my 42 years in Baltimore — 27 of them as a local journalist and almost 20 more as a local media and marketing entrepreneur – has you somewhere an arm’s reach away whether you’re my Facebook friend, Twitter follower, ex-girlfriend, a former sponsor, current sponsor, old friend from high school, you’re on our text service, you get our morning newspaper, you got a “Dump Trumpy” or a “Wacko 4 Flacco” sign from me  – I think you get the picture. I’ve always thought that the late, great Dick Schaap had the greatest line I ever heard about humanity and walking the earth: “I collect people.” There are a LOT of you. There really are. And I’ve shaken hands with thousands of you like a politician at

Part 2: What does WNST stand for & what journalistic value do we have in Baltimore in 2011 and beyond?

It’s impossible to address anything that has happened at WNST in our 13 years of existence without talking about the deterioration of the Orioles, the orange fan base and the interest and passion surrounding baseball in our community. And conversely, what would we be – as a company or as a sports town – without the emergence and consistent excellence of the Baltimore Ravens? We launched WNST-AM 1570 in the summer of 1998, when the Ravens were “the other team” in Baltimore. In our entire existence as an entity, the Orioles have yet to play a meaningful summer baseball game. Not one game! To think that hasn’t done incredible damage to our community and my business would be to just not understand the premise of what we’ve always tried to do – create enthusiasm and support and interest and passion for Baltimore sports. Our perceived “war” with the Orioles is legendary and we’re proud of everything we’ve ever said or done in regard to protesting 14 years of losing, insolence and lack of civic courtesy shown by Peter G. Angelos and his ownership group. And every time they continue to do stupid things as an organization – and they do

For those of you who love WNST, please read this and pass it on to a friend who loves Baltimore sports

Thirteen years ago this week, when I was still in my 20’s, I drove down Hart Road here in Towson for the first time with a cult following on a sports talk radio show from an AM big band radio station with a bunch of local listeners and a handful of small local business owners (largely bars and restaurants) who promoted their dreams via my dream to build the kind of company and Baltimore sports radio station my Pop would be proud of if he had lived long enough to hear it come to life. Three months later, on August 1, 1998 we launched WNST-AM 1570 – “The Station With Balls.” The Baltimore Sun wrote a front-page piece that predicted our demise and quoted the general manager of WBAL-AM 1090 as giving us long odds to survive. So before I ambitiously and enthusiastically begin updating all of you on our cool progress, growth and ambitious next chapter circa 2011 here at WNST, I want to simply say: THANKS! Thanks for all of the nice gestures over these years as a community. From the crazy events, road trips, charity gatherings and parties to the conversations on the radio, to the kind

Baltimore loses its No. 1 fan with passing of William Donald Schaefer

There will be a lot written and said about the honorable William Donald Schaefer today in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland. I can honestly say that I knew the man a little and as a kid who grew up watching him shape the landscape of my beloved hometown and later knew him in the “real” world, what you saw was what you got: he loved Baltimore and he loved Maryland and he literally put the “public” in a phrase that has now become trite: public servant. Schaefer served us all, especially those of us who love sports. I’m not sure Schaefer could recite the statistics of the 1958 Colts or the 1966 Orioles, but he could recite the statistics for what the economic impact and loss of the Colts did in 1984 and the value of the Orioles playing baseball in downtown Baltimore in 1992 and beyond. Every time I see a crowd like the pathetic one last night at Camden Yards, I think of what Schaefer would really think of the travesty the Orioles have become in terms of economic impact to stimulate the downtown business district. There’s no way he would’ve been Mayor and watched this

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

Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? And been accused by someone who is a direct competitor who is attempting to wreck your business and your reputation with a loud and frivolous lawsuit? And have it play out publicly all over the internet and local media? Well, on Tuesday afternoon I became the accused and now under the microscope of live social media, many of you have made it here to my blog to read “what Nestor thinks” about this crazy attack on the integrity and reputation of WNST.net, a company I’ve spent 27 years of my life building to serve Baltimore sports fans just like you and me with quality information, analysis and community spirit and engagement. In case you haven’t heard, WNST.net is under attack, getting served what we deem to be a baseless lawsuit in Baltimore City Circuit Court regarding Jennifer Royle, an employee of my two main competitors over the last year. Her allegations are so outrageous that my mind can’t get around how these baseless accusations could ever enter a court of law but such is the state of the American judicial system. “Anybody can sue anybody for anything” is more than

Confessions of a lifetime of hatred for Pittsburgh from a real Baltimore sports fan

It’s a big, emotional week of football in Baltimore and the reason it’s so significant is because of our civic desire to have another purple parade at the Inner Harbor and the sheer nausea we all feel in the pits of our bellies about the fact that at 8 p.m. on Saturday night this could be the worse loss of our lives all over again. Just like all of our January losses to the likes of Indianapolis and Pittsburgh and Cleveland and New York. Or, it can potentially extinguish the 40 years of domination from the city of Pittsburgh, but specifically the Steelers and their arrogant, obnoxious fan base here in the region. This is an epic throwdown between two cities that don’t like each other but a rivalry that is so embarrassingly lopsided that it makes the Roadrunner look like a winner. I’m up to my eyeballs in rattlesnakes throwing parties, organizing bus trips and running WNST.net – 12 hours of radio, the daily newspaper, text service plus all of our social media endeavors on Facebook and Twitter that truly is Baltimore’s best and most comprehensive sports coverage in the world. And for those of you who know me,

As purple Festivus season is upon us, alas the real Grinch continues to be Peter G. Angelos

It’s been 51 months now since the initial “Free The Birds” campaign that we launched at WNST.net in “Year Nine of The Black Cat” and motivated more than 2,000 other brave souls who said “enough is enough” to Peter Angelos and the losing and nasty ways of the Baltimore Orioles. The holiday results are in yet again for another sad orange offseason and I’m feeling pretty confident — as is Las Vegas — that the Baltimore Orioles will not be a playoff team in 2011. And the real reason the team won’t win this year is the same as last year and the year before that: they won’t (or can’t) spend all of the millions of dollars they have managed to extract from this community via their incredibly wealthy and lean “regional sports network” called MASN. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars in direct profit that was allegedly to be spent on improving the baseball team for the community to enjoy. But instead of the $150 million payrolls that were promised to “compete with the likes of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox,” that previously earmarked U.S. money donated by Middle Atlantic cable subscribers is in

Live from New York: Sports Media & Technology coming to life…

I’m live in New York at the Sports Business Journal Sports Media & Technology Conference. You can follow all of the correspondence from this event on Twitter at #sbjsmt. For those of you who hate reading about sports “business” or anything more than the latest drama regarding the Ravens’ secondary, this will bore you. But for those of you who REALLY follow WNST and are sophisticated about my personal growth as a new media zealot (and hopefully, one day, a guru) this will be compelling information. Needless to say, I love to learn and I love sports and I love sports media and I love technology. So this is right up my alley. I’ll be breaking my observations up into segments from the panels of the day. You can see the various panels and topics here… I’ll be blogging all day and adding to this piece and I hope you enjoy some of the conversations and observations. ********* Big screen vs. small screen and where is cable TV headed? We’re all paying for cable TV becaue that’s what we’ve always done.
But what will that look like in three years? Or five years? We’ve all seen and felt the myriad of

State of Baltimore Sports Media Fall 2010 Update: WNST.net continues to grow beyond radio and into web dominance

One of the few joyful benefits of being the “independent” voice in Baltimore sports is that we never have to kiss anyone’s derriere or ask for permission to speak the truth or make our point. We’re afforded the rarest commodity in American media today – “free speech” – and most days that ain’t even close to being free. And now that our newest product, “The WNST Morning Newspaper” powered by Blue Sky Factory and presented by Toyota, is reaching nearly 15,000 of you every morning I thought I’d take a little time during the bye week to update everyone who cares about us here at WNST.net with a “state of the local media” report. With another successful Ravens season reaching the halfway point – and I stand on the side of the room that is delighted with 5-2 for Halloween — it’s always a good time to take stock in where we are as a company and where we’re heading in the future as Baltimore’s measurable sports media leader on the web and in mobile at WNST.net. We’re not doing a lengthy survey this time around with a “State of Baltimore Sports Media” update, but I do want to thank

Let the search for Baltimore’s next sports media star begin now…

With WNST.net about to enter its 13th year of existence the changes we’ve made here are pretty apparent. As has been my mantra for more than three years, WNST – the “radio station” – has evolved into a thriving web company with tremendous reach and accessibility to Baltimore sports fans in a myriad of ways. We’re growing at WNST.net this summer and building a better user experience for the people who love Baltimore sports the most – you, the very person reading this blog and utilizing WNST.net for all of your local and national sports information. From our radio station’s original reach and the distribution of sports information on this website and the level playing field we enjoy on the web and with mobile information, we’ve managed to grow the company to become the No. 1 most-visited website in the marketplace for Baltimore radio and No. 4 overall, only behind BaltimoreSun.com, WBALTV.com & WJZ.com for daily traffic and influence (according to www.alexa.com). We now have more than 10,000 people every morning getting our all-new WNST Morning Newspaper. We have 5,600 people every day on our WNST Text Service. And our web numbers grow every single day in social media with

Let’s check back in on the “State of Baltimore Sports Media” with Orioles sitting at 2-14 on NFL Draft Day

So this media situation is exactly what I tried to warn everyone about back in February. I spent a week with my “State of Baltimore Sports Media” blogs attempting to take 27 years of my knowledge as a kid from Dundalk who loved sports and journalism and has spent a lifetime trying to build a better platform for integrity and honesty in an effort to enlighten folks about why we think WNST.net is a great way to communicate in 2010. The Orioles are 2-14. It’s almost unthinkable — unimaginable given the “enthusiasm” that was sold by the corporate suits over at CBS Radio and the MASN “partners” of a 13-year running sham known as Peter G. Angelos’ Orioles. Don’t worry, the rest of the local media that takes checks from King Peter and the crew aren’t off the hook here, either, for hiding the truth and burying the story about last week’s Ripken blowup. The Orioles are 2-14 and there’s not a negative word – not anywhere. There’s no call for the manager’s head. The owner – completely unaccountable and in hiding longer than the guy in the cave in the Middle East – never answers questions. The Ripken story

Finale: Part 5 – What is the future of sports media in Baltimore?

“I will never, EVER “text” with you!” I screamed into my cell phone to my beloved son, Barry, during the summer of 2006 when he filled up my text inbox with messages that I had no idea how to access. “If you don’t call me on the phone, you won’t find me!” What’s that axiom? “It’s what you learn after you know everything that really counts!” Yet again, more words wasted and crow swallowed. It was just another humbling, woefully wrong prediction for my own actions and a future gone awry as I continue to grow in years and wisdom in my 40’s. If there’s one pearl of wisdom I’ve learned the hard way it’s this: the learning NEVER stops and the world never stops changing. I’ve committed myself to be a student of life and it’s what gets me out of bed and keeps me alive and vibrant during these tough times. The entrepreneur in me just got back from eight days in Fort Lauderdale at the Super Bowl watching all of the “big boys” do what they do – television, radio, newspapers, web entities, etc. It’s gone from old days of “Radio Row” to a hodgepodge of different

My last day on air at AM 1570: Goodbye to radio, hello to the brave world of the web!

As you probably know, beginning on Monday, we’re going to begin a week-long series on the state of Baltimore sports journalism. And where this is all going? And how this radio, print, television & “new media thing” really works. “A WNST Expose’ on Sports Journalism in Baltimore: Is this Medium Well Done?” will be an eye-opening look at the inner-workings of sports media here in the town that I’ve loved since 1968 told by a true insider – me! It’s more of a mini-series than a blog. It’s designed to separate facts from fiction of media past, present and future. It’s taken me about 26 years of living it and now that WNST.net is the No. 1 most-visited sports website in the region, I think it’s time that I’ve said a few things that need to be said about the state of this business and how much “times have changed.” It’ll be the true story of life in the 2010 world of Baltimore sports media that Ray Frager — a former boss and media “critic” of mine at The Baltimore Sun who publicly hated, doubted and discarded my show and my brand and my expertise, information and business for more

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How did Nestor wind up with a media credential in Pittsburgh after being banned by Ravens in Baltimore?

As many know, Bill Cole from Cole Roofing inspired large parts of this Baltimore Positive platform over the past decade. A meandering podcast conversation from Christmas to Qatar kept coming back to Nestor being pressed on how he wound up in the locker room in Pittsburgh doing his job for the first time this season after being locked out by Chad Steele and the Baltimore Ravens ownership.

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