Saturday, September 19, 2009

Meet the Donald Trump of Baltimore

Some have called him loud, some say he’s arrogant while others might say abrasive.

And now we can add yet another to the rather extensive list of descriptive terms defining a local sports talk host/entrepreneur – the Donald Trump of Baltimore.

I kid you not, this is how Nestor Aparicio, the media pioneer of WNST (his words, not mine) describes himself.

Aparicio skirted his abysmal radio ratings in a recent interview with Press Box by saying he doesn’t care about ratings. The response was akin to an adolescent boy who gets dumped by a girl and then claims he never liked her anyway despite the teary red eyes that suggest otherwise.

Why does Aparicio say he doesn’t care?

Well the majority owner of WNST believes the future of broadcasting is in the web according to the Press Box interview and at this very moment the world according to Nestor is moving towards cars equipped with internet radio access.

And while I don’t necessarily disagree the flaw in Aparicio’s thinking is at least two-fold:

1. He apparently believes his ratings deficiencies are solely tied to the inadequacies of the WNST signal; and

2. His isn’t the only web company/radio station in town that has or will have internet broadcasting capability. In fact, any radio station can stream their broadcasting to the web – and most do!

Ultimately content is king and what Mr. Donald Trump Baltimore fails to consider is that other web companies not currently heard on the radio will enter the mix of consumer listening options once the average car does receive and project the internet feed. When that becomes a staple of Americana the technology will change the playing field markedly.

Aparicio’s chest pounding aside, at the end of the day it isn’t just the mechanism through which information is delivered – it’s the quality of the information. WNST’s ratings have fallen off because the quality of the programming has dropped precipitously due to the station’s Paul Bunyan-like ax to grind with the Orioles and the steady parade of talent that has walked out the door never to return.

Who could blame them?

Forgetting his cry-me-a-river blathering for a moment, Aparicio wants to champion himself as a free voice unencumbered by the responsibilities tied to being the flagship of a major league team.

“The stench of censorship is alive and well in Baltimore,” Aparicio said in the Press Box interview with Dave Hughes. “If I had the Orioles rights, I couldn’t do that.”

Of course that’s an easy position to assume if you’re Aparicio considering that WNST’s chances of landing the Orioles are far less likely than a Jackson 5 reunion with Michael.

The danger in all of this for WNST (a station which by the way I once highly touted for its grit and determination) is that they bank on the auto internet technology before consumers are ready to embrace it. It took quite a while before digital television was accepted and satellite radio wasn’t exactly an overnight success. Just ask former XM stockholders.

Perhaps WNST should do us all a favor and go back to what they used to do best. Clearly the local sports talk market despite its power boost by 105.7 The Fan is hardly abundant in thoughtful, entertaining radio.

Abandoning traditional radio too quickly before internet radio is a standard option in automobiles and then admitting it on the airwaves could make loyal WNST sponsors squirm.

And unfortunately for WNST those sponsors just might turn the tables and point their fingers at Mr. Donald Trump Baltimore and say, “YOU’RE FIRED!”


Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 Sept 19th
Some people have a Napolianic complex and he is a prime example of that! He has lost all of his talent to other stations in the area. I wonder why?
Nestor Aside..
.Prediction for Sunday..Ravens 23 Bolts 20 !!!

ToddH said...

I used to listen to NST when I lived in B-more a few years ago. Nestor is PAINFUL to listen to. Content is banal and his delivery is exhaustive on the ears. Every single sentence has the same over-hyped tone and over-emphasized ending. Every single sentence! Almost sounds like someone doing a bad impression of a bad broadcaster - it's that bad. Especially his gawd-awful commercial spots. Came off as a generally self absorbed kind of a guy that had a self-perception of being bigger and "nastier" than he really was - or than anyone cared about. No wonder ratings have been terrible.

Go Ravens! Ray is a stud!

Anonymous said...

The website isn't that good anymore and other stations with deep pockets can develop a website that is equally as good if not better. The proof is in the pudding and it all gets back to the talent level on the shows. They are down to one broadcaster that is decent and that is Bob Haynie.

Like a fart in the wind said...

You know it's sad really. In many ways Nestor was a pioneer and he helped usher in all sports talk radio stations. But somewhere along the line he got lost and now WNST is like a rudderless boat. Today his whining offers nothing to listeners and subsequently his sponsors suffer.

He is no longer relevant.