Thursday, November 02, 2006

RADIO GAGA....CHANGES AT WNST

A friend of mine is a big Queen fan and we often have these good natured debates about Queen’s place in rock and roll history. For my money Queen is one of the best if not the best live rock and roll band of all time. But their studio work in my opinion is lacking for a band of their stature. Sure they have a few great songs but that’s the problem for me…there’s only a few.

The band is much more popular worldwide than they are here in the States. That’s not to say that they aren’t popular here – they’re just immensely more popular across the pond.

A perfect case in point is the song Radio Gaga. The song’s popularity in Europe is evidenced by the enthusiasm that crowds display during live performances of this Queen standard. But for me, the song is crap.

It should be called Radio CaCa and that is exactly how I refer to it to my diehard Queen fan friend.

Radio Caca…radio crap!

And the radio crap hit the fan over at WNST yesterday!

Terry Ford and Jeremy Conn much to their surprise were fired. Somewhere just before 9AM the entire morning crew was asked to leave the building and not long after their return, the profiles and email addresses of Ford and Conn were wiped from WNST’s database and website and severance checks awaited them. Only Drew Forrester was left standing.

Caca happens…or something like that.

I’ve learned personally that the radio business is a tough business. Programming changes can be blindingly quick, driven sometimes by a clash of egos, a dash of an ego or by a drop in ratings. Ratings equate to advertising demand and dollars. The lower the ratings the lower the demand and the lower the asking price for ad space. It’s a pretty straightforward business.

The knock on WNST’s morning show has been that they have at times pushed the edge of good taste. Their crotch humor, sometimes described as sophomoric turned off some folks.

Hey, to each his or her own. That’s why you have choices.

Those who are regular morning listeners at WNST know that the more comedic of the trio of Ford, Conn and Forrester are Ford and Conn. Pushing the buttons of listeners isn’t uncommon for morning drive time teams. WNST’s morning team from the outside looking in tried to combine that morning shock jock approach with sports. And if that’s your cup of tea, the Comcast Morning Show provided exactly that.

It isn’t uncommon to push the envelope of good taste in radio. The danger is that sometimes the discussion can go over the edge and when it does, radio like any business has to determine if the collateral damage is worth the headaches.

Apparently Nestor Aparicio ran out of Advil.

If you are a major league home run hitter a team might look the other way if it knows about the juice. If you are struggling you might become the sacrificial lamb.

Ford and Conn need their livelihoods for obvious reasons. We all do. Both are intelligent men who are very well versed in the wide world of sports. They will find a new home and life will go on for each following their temporary hiccup. As most of us do, they’ll learn from their apparent mistakes (we all make them) or they’ll find a more permanent home where their styles are more welcomed. Both are good guys and deserve to find their proper place. I wish them well.

As for Forrester, all the best to you Drew with your new sidekick Casey Willett and producer Adam Dembeck. I’m sure you will go through growing pains but at some point in the not too distant future, you will find your groove and provide what many of us look for in sports talk radio during the morning drive – LOCAL.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

18 comments :

Anonymous said...

Nester & Peteie A. have more in common than both would care to admit. I am just happy we don't have to pay for radio.

Sunday can't get here fast enough, and what ever happened to that Quaz guy?

Anonymous said...

I am a big Queen fan and you might have picked what I deem one of their weaker songs. But Radio Caca is what I would have used to describe the morning show at WNST.

Drew Forrester is the only one who knew what he was doing. The other two needed to find a place where their sophmoric humor would be tolerated, probably in a high school bathroom. The show will be better with Drew pulling the strings and not the other two goofballs.

I am sure that Nestor only made the move because someone BIG that pays for programming was offended and threatened to go elsewhere. Even though they were probably underpaid and served King Ass...I mean Aparicio, for several years they were told to leave and not let the door hit them in the rear. Classy Nestor, that's a great example of how not to treat loyal employees even if they are clones of you.

You reap what you sow. I only wonder when Peter Angelos will get tired of your whining and exert enough power to bring you down.

Anonymous said...

Those guys were jerks. Goodbye and good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Terry Ford should have harnessed his knowledge of sports and could have done an excellent job. He just didn't get it. His constant bereating of athletes left me pounding the radio. Any time someone messed up they were "horrible". He would never apologize after the fact. He said terrible things about Melvin Mora while he was learning 3rd base. But after Mora turned out to be a good 3rd baseman, he acted like he never said anything bad about him. He always reacted in the negative toward EVERYBODY. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

Anonymous said...

Terry was the catalyst for the morning show despite of his inappropriate comments sometimes. Drew can’t handle the show by himself. In the past, when Terry was on vacation, the show was lifeless. In contrast, the show was OK when Drew was on his golfing trip. It is a sad day for those of us have to spend a lot of time on the road driving to work. What can we do now? Listen to Mike&Mike on how great the Yankees, the Bears, the Lakers are? Nestor, you just let go two of the best people, and you still have the sincerity to tell us (through the Sun) you are rewarding those who “excelled”. Pretending to be “big Corp” by firing people and surprising your listens will not make your station big time. It has been twice in five years, first Spiro, now Terry. When will it be the time for Drew? Why don’t you just get up early and do it yourself?

Anonymous said...

A big mistake at WNST with the recent firings. Nestor cut the two most entertaining hosts loose. Sports radio should be informative and funny which Terry Ford nailed.

Also Nestor, I have many freinds who I've known for years who make you look like a pauper. The interesting thing is I've never ever heard them mention their vast wealth once. Every time I hear you speak you feel the urge to boast about your money. Hopefully, you know that in the grand scheme your financial situation is above average at best and bragging about it is really pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I really miss Terry Ford working with Drew Forrester. I thought the two of them working together in the morning were like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, great together and not so great by themselves. I miss the playing of taps in the morning and Terry making fun of the Ravens, the Orioles or whoever. Terry brought out the best in Drew and Drew brought out the best in Terry.

Jeremy Conn was a wonderful young talent and I enjoyed his show in the evenings. He may have been a Colt fan, but he was a Ravens fan too. He was very objective in his comments and he respected his callers. I would rather listen to him than some stupid national show.

Maybe it's too early for a verdict, but I don't like the direction of these new programming changes at WNST. Bob Haynie and Rob Long are the only ones I can tolerate now. The morning show is too dry, too strained, and boring. I find myself channel surfing back and forth between 1300 trying to get my morning fix of Ravens talk. I am not interested in Bruce Springstein or other musical artists. If I want music, I'll listen to the BAY.

Right now the best Ravens talk is on Gametime. It is such a good compliment to Profootball 24x7. I pray it never ends.

Anonymous said...

What a mess! For some reason I feel terrible for those two guys considering the nature of there firings. Although, at times there on air talk was risque it didn't have to happen in the classless way that it did. This owner makes me ashamed that he represents Baltimore and our long tradition of the likes of Chuck, Vince, Johnny and Brooks. Please, someone come forth and have a station that we can be proud of and really call our own with leadership that our long worthy tradition deserves. How this owner has survived with such negative Karma for so long is beyond me. He throws many people under the bus and his turn is coming sooner or later. Terry and Jeremy, Good Luck and keep your chin up.

Anonymous said...

Nestor has always talked out of both sides of his mouth. "Loyalty" is a word that he loves to use, but never can exercise. The hope that i have is that Catholic radio buys the station back. Remember Spiro and Swami.....

Anonymous said...

Terry and Drew had terrific chemistry on the Morning Show. I always had at least one good laugh on my drive in. Jeremy was a good foil and knew his stuff. If Nestor wanted to make cuts he should have started with his insufferable and self-indulgent Moons.

Tony Lombardi said...

As some of you may know Drew is a guest columnist on this site from time to time. I find his work to be thoughtful and passionate. I expect his new show to be more of the same.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Terry Ford on a few occasions. I can tell you that he's an engaging person and a great addition to any conversation. His style may have offended some of you but there's no denying his sports knowledge. I"m sure he'll find his way.

Jeremy is another with a bright mind for sports. Perhaps he drifted down the wrong broadcasting lane at times but with the proper mentoring and his openness to accept such mentoring he has the potential to be very good.

That said with this situation and in each of our lives we all walk through doors...some are welcomed some are not yet beyond each door is a new adventure. What you make of it is up to you. Here's to Drew,Terry and Jeremy making the best of these life altering changes in their respective worlds.

Tony Lombardi said...

Jeremy will be starting with WJFK soon. He'll be brought along by producer Dave Gegorek and work the Anita Marks show. Good luck to Jeremy. I'm sure I'll see you around "campus."

Next up....Terry Ford. Good luck Terry.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, we are not blessed with a lot of Sports radio talent in this town. Terry was an idiot in that his jokes were worse than sophmoric, they were infantile and low brow. Drew isn't much better, sorry. Heck, even Anita Marks, needs some help. She said we won't see how good Jamal is until we give him his fullback, and let him run out of the I-formation???? What games has she been watching?

But back to it, Nestor A. is an unstable little man, who makes decisions based on his Napoleon complex and his inability to seperate feelings from business. He has burned more bridges than most people can in 3 lifetimes. It is only a matter of time before WNST is dead air.

Chuck said...

Well Nestor, your morning ratings have taken another hit, 'cuz you just lost me as a listener. Terry was the reason I listened in the morning and now that he's gone, there's no reason to tune in. Sophmoric and childish? Absolutely! But he was just as knowledgable a sports person and exteremely entertaining. I hope Terry lands on his feet in the Baltimore market, 'cuz this town needs a talent like him.

Anonymous said...

Terry and Jeremy were too "sophmoric" in their use of humor? Please, stop taking yourself too seriously. Besides, what are your other options? The bellowing idiot 'Bulldog' and his wimpy, politically correct television counterpart?

Jeremy Cohn was second only to the great Bob Haynie. Jeremy's knowledge of sports was apparent and he did a good job of not making gross assumptions. I wish Jeremy the best of luck and hope that one day he has the last laugh.

As for Terry Ford, he knows 10 times more about Baltimore sports than Drew Forrestor...hey Drew, why don't you head over to that tavern along side of the light rail station and talk about the soccer business with Bob from Parkville...maybe he cares.

And Nestor, I am thinking about starting a 'Free WNST' campaign...I bet more Baltimore sports fans would show up to that, than your self serving rally!

Hugh G Rection said...

Terry and Drew had gret chemistry, and were the best thing on the radio. Again, those of us who "get it" are punished because of those who "don't get it." Now, the WNST morning show sounds exactly like every other boring sports show on the radio. I liked the edge and the humor. Hey, let's be honest -- It's GUY HUMOR. But then again, it's a GUY show. If you are some bubble headed soccer mom who was offended by Terry, then tune to the Smooth Jazz Mazak station! Either that, of just freakin' LOOSEN UP. Lemme have a laugh in the morning, okay?

The move sucked. BOOOOO to Nestor. BOOOOOOOO!!!

Anonymous said...

Nester is a fairly pretentious bloke. He, as is is choice, enjoys spouting off about how ell he does now and how much of a benefactor he is for his employees. Without the employees, he would still be creeping around in Dundalk fighting dirty with baseball bats. Hey more power to him for doing well. To each his own. We've all been around "that" guy who can't get enoough of hearing his own voice talk about how much he makes and how successful he his. This choice is Nester's to keep up this practice but it's everyone else's choice within earshot to decide within 30 seconds that he's obnoxious.

Anonymous said...

terry ford left because he wouldn't conform to the rules and kiss the team's asses

he was offered a contract and turned it down