Orioles deny WNST press credentials for 2007 season



April 8, 2007                                                                                                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Towson-based Sports Media organization and radio station is considering legal action

Baltimore — WNST-AM 1570, a 5,000-watt sports-talk radio station in Baltimore — and a staple in Baltimore sports media — is being denied credentials for the upcoming 2007 Orioles season by the team’s ownership and media relations department.

Station owner “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio has repeatedly made attempts to procure press credentials from the team and has continued to be rebuffed.

Aparicio and his staff have covered Baltimore Orioles’ baseball since Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992.

“It’s just amazing that every single year, when you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Aparicio said in a blog on his website, www.wnst.net. “Are they honestly trying to say that we’re not a legitimate media entity, after we’ve covered every major sporting event in this country for 15 years? Is it a personal attack? Is it an attempt to punish us for being honest in our assessment of the Orioles franchise? I really don’t know. But one of our chief complaints as an organization and as fans — and every employee in my company grew up an Orioles fan — has been the lack of professionalism and accountability from Peter Angelos and his franchise. This is a prime example.

“Their first home game is hours away and the only communication we’ve received from the Orioles is that our credential application is ‘being reviewed.’ ”

Aparicio and his staff led more than 2,000 fans into and out of Oriole Park at Camden Yards last September 21st, a “Free The Birds” protest rally designed to bring to light the plight of Orioles fans everywhere and the economic damage being done to the downtown area around the ballpark, which has suffered along with the Orioles’ decade-long fall from grace.

“I would hate to think that Mr. Angelos would want to suppress free speech or punish true Orioles fans like myself and my staff at WNST,” Aparicio said. “I have loved the Orioles for 38 years and I have 23 years of being honest and accountable in the media. My track record speaks for itself. To deny WNST or any specific person on our staff a press credential is wrong. To repress free speech is wrong.”

“We are strongly considering legal action.”

WNST Sports Media consists of www.wnst.net and AM-1570, Baltimore’s first all-sports radio station, which was founded in 1998.