Friday, January 29, 2010

Retiring sports talker about to take shots at local media


A few years back Nestor Aparicio bored us with The Moon, his on air autobiography intended to be an expression of his love for baseball but morphed into a name dropping marathon that took us on a journey through Aparicio’s rock band groupie days to his prowess with the fairer sex.

Even his own employees rolled their eyes over The Moon, something that affected listeners in much the same way that the night time tale Goodnight Moon affects toddlers before they drift off to Never, Never Land.

ZZZZZ...

Then we were treated to another self-indulgent effort, Free the Birds.

Nice publicity stunt but c’mon man, does anyone think that 1,000 people buying a nose bleed ticket to an Orioles’ game and then walking out in the middle of it could really persuade Peter Angelos to sell the team?

Well don't look now but Aparicio is on the rampage again and this time he’s taking aim at the local media. How convenient on the eve of another retirement for Aparicio.

Pretty soon Brett Favre will have nothing on him!

Anyway, if you are interested here’s the line-up next week for his blog which he describes as a mini-series:

Part 1 – “Baltimore’s sports media lineup” — We’ll identify the frauds in the media & some feelings will be hurt here…

Part 2 – Alexa – “Who is She?” The little retold lie about WNST having 10 listeners…

Part 3 – Content & Distribution – “Where do you get your Baltimore sports news & info and why?”

Part 4 – “Who are the biggest corporate whores in Baltimore sports media?” In other words: “Who is for sale, and who can you trust?”

Part 5 – “What is the future of Baltimore sports media?” What is catching your eyes & ears these days?

This should be an interesting “mini-series.” Everyone but WNST will be wrong of course and consequently the mini-series will hardly be a “reality show.” It will be more like Desperate Housewives.




I’m sure there will be plenty of discussion about Alexa and about how WNST is the best, etc, etc…And perhaps in the Alexa world WNST.net is doing just fine. I really don’t know and don’t care. Nor should potential sponsors.

Alexa doesn’t mean squat! It is an easily manipulated number and any search on the topic will yield analyst reviews of Alexa exposing Alexa as a fraud. She’s a dirty little girl.

Google Analytics is where it’s at in measuring a site's effectiveness and any potential sponsor should want an advertising venue like WNST to provide their reports on unique visitors. Then the price charged for those visitors should be benchmarked against industry averages and offerings by competitors.

I posted very similar comments on Nestor’s blog and signed my name to it but I doubt that they will ever be posted.

If the comments are posted, maybe just maybe WNST is going back to being the station with balls.

If not, well unfortunately they will remain the station we’ve grown accustomed to as of late.

And that is the station with PMS!

34 comments :

Tony Lombardi said...

Oh my bad and I'm not sure how I could have forgotten this...Casey Willett was unceremoniously dumped.

One of the most well-liked guys in the sports media and deservedly so, Casey who happens to feed more kids than I have fingers on my right hand and someone who worked tirelessly for WNST was kicked to the curb without warning or notice.

Casey Willett, please accept my apologies for this oversight.

Barry Mager said...

Hi TL,

I do remember you on NST back in the day when I used to listen. I’m glad you left that slim hole. They should have a “no professionals need apply” sign posted. I’m not commenting on personalities, just the horrific way they run the operation and the way I perceive they treat the people that work(ed) there.

Here's one for you, Free the Birds, that was my idea I sent to Nestor.I wouldn’t bore you with the long and short of it, but I did send him an e mail with the idea (although I didn’t call it free the birds) but thought his station could be used as a catalyst to pressure ownership to effect some changes. Six months after my e mail NST came out with free the birds. I e mailed Nestor saying I’m glad he considered my e mail, he said what e mail-“I get a lot of e mails” .I wasn’t asking for credit , just acknowledgement.

Unfortunately no way, no how. True story.

Keep up the great work Tony!

Spud said...

Tony why do you bother with this slapd(*k? Be glad he's going off the air and don't read his ungodly long blogs. they are almost as long as his questions when he has a guest.

Move on to something more interesting. C'mon man!

Just sayin!

Dig your stuff but forget this clown already.

Now how about a high 4 1/2?

Mr. Flip said...

Ok some predictions on what Ricky Martin will say next week:

Rich Eisen is awful and he should have been given that NFLN job;

CBS and Bob Phillips are the Evil Empire and greed drives their behavior;

MASN is awful as are all of the Ravens programs they have and each would be better off if Nestor was hosting;

Tom Davis, Jim Hunter, and everyone who does Orioles baseball on the flagship are embarrassing homers;

Fox1370 is a DC station in Baltimore;

He'll pick on all of those who have left his po-dunk station or were fired from it;

The Sun will be smeared as will Press Box;

WBAL will be labeled as censored by the Ravens and he'll beat up everyone over there for preaching the party line;

Milton Kent will get destroyed for past transgressions;

Jerry Coleman will be sized up for the flamer that he is;

Viviano will be labeled out of town, middle of the road vanilla;

Yaffe will be called yappy;

Did I leave anything out?

Anita Marks said...

I'm glad I quit when I did!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA!

You gotta love the Jerry Coleman comment above from my man Mr. Flip.

Hey Frager is that you?

I'm sure Nestor's newest pub stunt will be effective on Monday for web traffic and maybe even Tuesday.

But by Wednesday who will want to read part III of the mini series? I mean, really who has 2 hours to sit and read each of his pity party blog entries.

Nestor I must admit was once pretty good and I even went on a bus trip with him back in a day. Well at least I went on a WNST bus. He was nowhere to be found. I think he took the plane.

Today oh WTF it's already been said here. We all know what he is.

Maybe he should make himself more useful and enter Dellarosa's midget wrestling contest next year.

T said...

Well consider this....I posted TL's first story to Nestors site to get Nestors side of the story and guess what??? He deleted it. Posted again....deleted again!

But he says he doesn't beleive in censorship....The guy is an @ss clown.

If Haynie leaves that station is poop. Rob Long is SO MUCH better than the two idiots in the morning....I even listened to Scott and , dare I say it, Anita instead of Nestor.

I wish this guy would just go away....

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if WNST is truly having financial problems and that is why Nestor is retiring from the airwaves, a second time. He probably has to go cold calling and try to recruit some advertising dollars to keep the place afloat.

In order to survive, his station has turned into many mini businesses lately, including a part time travel agency to various sporting events. He may say his business is "more than a radio station", but let him run the business without the "radio" part and you will see how far the "media" portion will go. The radio station is the engine that drives the website, the twitter, the facebook, the myspace, and all of the other *social networking* activities that goes on today. People still want stimulating talk radio and that is something, the social networking sites are unable to do.

As far as his upcoming blogs on WNST, it will probably be the National Inquirer of Sports Talk Radio. I hope he realizes that what goes around, comes around and I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to it! After listening to Bmore sports talk for an extended period, I have to agree with Nestor that most of them are pretty bad and seem to get kicks out of demeaning the fan base while refusing to criticize the pro teams.

Before going to college 4 years ago, I remember Jim Hunter bashing the Orioles ON AIR during a gameday radio broadcast! What happened?!?!?

Madison Avenue said...

A lot of this is simply opinion about a rather volatile and egotistical talk show host. And that's cool.

But if you want to talk about facts, businesses that advertise don't care about Alexa Rankings. Many in the business don't even know what the rankings represent.

Businesses care about what they are paying for every 1,000 impressions. That's it. So Tony is right about that. That is a fact and I should know. I sell advertising every day for both print and web.

So who counts the impressions? Tony is right again. The fact is the most reliable numbers are those provided by Google Analytics.

If a business was deciding between WNST.net and Ravens24x7.com, they would simply look at what is being charged measured against the Google numbers.

This isn't rocket science.

Now for opinion, it is my opinion that WNST leads with the Alexa Rankings because they really don't want to unveil the Google numbers measured against what they charge. Again, this is my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care about the people involved with this, and found this argument based on Google Analytics vs. Alexa. It is funny that everyone tries to dismiss Alexa as "fraudulent" without having any evidence that it is. The arguments against Alexa were that it valued visits from outside the US and that it measured over a 6 month span instead of a 1 month span. Also, the people who complained about Alexa were usually people with smaller websites and/or common bloggers, rarely did the arguments against Alexa come from someone who actually had a significantly measured site.

Saying Google Analytics is more important than Alexa ranking is like saying the AP college basketball poll is more important than the coaches poll. They are both imperfect tools, but both seem to do a very good job of figuring out whether or not people are visiting your website.

Usually, the people who say "Google Analytics are more important and Alexa is a fraud" are the people who have slightly better numbers using Google Analytics. The people who say "Alexa is the only real way to determine traffic" are the people who have slightly better numbers using Alexa than they do GA.

But if someone has a pretty good ranking with one, my guess is that they'll have a pretty good ranking with the other.

Unlike things like TV and radio ratings, the web rankings are not NEARLY as easily manipulated as some users try to claim.

He didn't like Johnny U said...

I once sent Nestor an email trying to get him to drum up support for Johnny Unitas. After an SI article by Frank Deford came out describing how Unitas could barely button his shirt, tie his shoes, sign an autograph because of an injury he sustained while playing.

The injury didn't really affect Johnny until after the statute of limitations on his NFL disability insurance had expired. Yet the NFL would do nothing to help or compensate him.

I wanted Nestor to rally the masses and get behind Johnny.

Nestor replied that Johnny was never nice to him and he can go fight his own battles.

Right then I was done with Nestor. He can go out and stage a silly protest that had a predictably meaningless outcome (Free the Birds)and summarily diss Baltimore's biggest icon.

F Nestor! I will never support anything he does. Not his bus trips, his website, his live events, nothing. I even give a second thought to supporting the sponsors that keep him solvent. If it doesn't benefit that little narcissist, he doesn't care about it.

Ron Bordelli said...

Tony, please take this in the helpful manner in which it's intended to be received.

I've been a lurker here and occasional contributor but for the most part I've just been someone who has admired your passion for Ravens football. I even shared a beer with you at M&T Bank prior to the Bengals home game a couple of years ago.

I have to say that it's very disappointing to see you stoop to the level of attacking anyone, even Nestor Aparicio, because in my mind you were always the guy who was above that kind of stuff. But I've noticed over the last year or so that you've made at least 3 or 4 of these kind of blogs or commentaries about Nestor and his station. Last year I was the person who sent you an e-mail about making fun of Nestor's missing finger. To stoop to that level Tony, to make fun of someone because of a physical handicap, that's a shocking character flaw in you that I'm surprised to see, honestly.

I visit your site to read about football and the Ravens, not to see you attack Nestor Aparicio. If he's done you wrong, so be it, but all you're doing by writing this kind of stuff is lumping yourself in with people like him and I know that's not what you want.

You're better than this, Tony. Although lately, you haven't been.

Anonymous said...

Tony, sometimes you should let sleeping dogs lie. Just sayin'

Jergs said...

I'll be very interested in seeing where this grand 5-part expose goes over the next week.

The message is a good one, that Baltimore's sports media and media coverage is lacking in some way.

However it isn't about the message, it's about the messenger and that's why maybe my expectations will be tempered a bit. After reading his introduction I noticed, as per usual, lots of "I" and "Me" statements littered about the post. It's as if he took his media partner, Brian Billick's words to heart about being qualified. See guys how qualified I am and therefore how stupid all of you are. Contempt for your listeners is never a good thing.

But maybe he realized that the best move for his company was for him to go off air, since as an on-air personality he is almost unlistenable after a few minutes. He name drops constantly, talks down to his listeners, and often speaks over those that bravely call in. Only Bob Haynie stands alone as a competent, knowledgeable guide who understands the Baltimore Sports scene. But he's on a time that few people can hear him. It would have made much more sense to move him to afternoon drive where his talents can be showcased. Instead the replacement show for Nestor won't be any more promising with Rex and Ray. Both seem like nice guys with an easier personality to digest but from the few test runs I've listened to they won't bring much to the table.

I listened to snippets of Nestor's "last show" (though I doubt that) and when a caller complimented how good Haynie was (and therefore better than him) Aparicio could only sneer about how Bob wouldn't have gotten a job on any other station and therefore he was responsible for his success. While there may be truth to that the way he said it came off petty and jealous.

Most fans want intelligent discussion about the teams that we love from a host who informs you and provides a forum for good conversation. It doesn't seem that hard but as we know the bad hosts greatly outnumber the good ones in this town. If anything I hope that this essay at least makes people interested in trying to change things, though that's unlikely.

Tony Lombardi said...

Hey Ron,

Thanks for the note and the concern. I get what you are saying and in part I agree. Some things are better left unsaid and for now I'll just say there's a reason for the venom and leave it at that. If I have the pleasure of having another beer with you next season, perhaps I'll elaborate provided we aren't both bored with the topic by then.

I'll add something here that I posted on our message board after one poster thought that I had an ax to grind with Nestor.

It goes like this...

I can see where someone might say [I have an as to grind] and if pinned down, I guess I would say there's some resentment. When you get dumped in life, that happens right?

But that said, I think for me the most frustrating thing with WNST is that they used to be very good. They used to be a nice fit for the city. In Baltimore we've always appreciated the underdog and WNST used to be the little radio station that could.

They worked hard to bring us sports coverage around the clock...they were not only broadcasters but fans too so they really got it. Yet somewhere along the line the little radio station got off track and I think the derailment is really all on Nestor and his inability to get out of the way of his monumental ego.

Tony Lombardi said...

Oh and for the record I haven't said or written anything about fingers or physical deficiencies as it relates to this subject.

scotthoffman1977 said...

I couldn't agree more Tony. Nestor's a strange guy...I'm not sure what compels him to view himself as the voice of authority regarding the local sports media. The last two times he reached out to me it was to demand an answer as to whether I was "with him or against him" as though covering local sports is some kind of warzone. He's assured me that we at the Orioles Hangout are in the pocket of Peter Angelos and thereby subject to censorship. "It's why you guys can't be honest and criticize the O's." He's free to draw conclusions, but he has no idea what our relationship is like with the Orioles. As far as criticizing the O's...you can't cover a team mired in 12 years of losing without being critical. From their PR blunders to their poor personnel decisions, we've called it like we see it. I guess because we also write about the good things associated with the Orioles (like rebuilding the farm system and beefing up the promotion schedule for instance) that makes us shills.

I'm not deluded enough to think everything is perfect in the local sports media, but I hardly think anything good can come from an expose that entails uncovering who the "biggest corporate whores" are in local sports media. That is unless you're Nestor Aparicio. It's a lame attempt to draw attention to himself.

I love what you guys do here, by the way...it's the first place I come for in-depth Ravens coverage. Keep up the great work!

Scott Hoffman, Managing Editor
www.OriolesHangout.com

Harryos29 said...

Harry oS 29
...wow... and I thought that I left the PEOPLES MAGAZINE in the RACK at the grocery store ...after reading what life was going to be like for Jennifer Anisten after age 40?
...Nothing like a bit of Controversy to get people to read what you wrote. (I'm here ain't I ?)
..Having read each and every BLOG here today.. I can honestly say "I GET IT". WNST used to have a Button reserved on the RADIO in my CAR. This is no longer the case; I listen to Rob Long on AM 1370 most days.
...As for ANITA_H leaving Baltimore, I can see the Stations Ratings for the drive time hours going down hill fast. I love Scott (he and I are roughly the same age)..but I think he is lost without our little SPICE-GIRL from MIAMI sitting across from him.

I am the Greatest of All Time said...

I just read Part I of the mini-series and I now need to shower again. I have never in my life read something from someone so self-absorbed. I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't fiction. UNBELIEVABLE!

Muhammed Ali move over!

Anonymous said...

Tony I don't think that even you could have predicted the unbelievable ego of this cat Nestor. Have you read his blog? Should have been called a bloooooooooooooooog.

You must have read it. I'm surprised you haven't commented already. What up?

Tony Lombardi said...

Anon 3,

I did skim through the blog. Reading it would have taken an hour. Believe it or not, I'm just going to leave it alone.

Perhaps some of you think I should comment after starting this particular blog of mine. I get that.

But after skimming through that blog of his I couldn't help but to think of the scene in Liar, Liar when Jim Carrey beats himself up in the men's room.

When asked what he was doing, Carrey replied, "I'm kicking my ass!"

No need for me to add anything else.

Nestor is doing just fine on his own.

Nestor said...

Tony, speaking of "kicking ass", maybe it's about time you published WNST's web-numbers against your web numbers.

I could do it right here, right now, but I'll take more pleasure in seeing if you have the balls to do it yourself.

I'm guessing "no".

Thanks for mentioning "kicking ass".

Nestor

Tony Lombardi said...

This is getting interesting...

Ok, if this really is Nestor, please send me an email from your nestor@wnst.net or nasty@wnst.net, whichever it is and say "Please send your google analytics website stats."

I will be happy to meet you to exchange the stats provided you give yours, printed directly from Google Analytics. I am interested in only the Google Analytics numbers because those are the ones advertising industry execs are most interested in.

I will then scan both into a document to be displayed on our site along with the pricing per thousand impressions that you charge for your ads and I'll do the same.

This could be an exercise that benefits sponsors and prospective sponsors and then we will have collaborated on a public service.

Deal?

I'll be looking for that email at TL@profootball24x7.com.

Alan said...

Tony, my friend, you are going to lose this one. A word to the wise, back out now and save yourself a humbling experience.

I have access to the GA numbers and you don't want them published. WNST.net is crushing 24x7. If it were a football game, it would be 35-10 and you're on the bad end.

In all fairness, you're better off using the Alexa numbers, which show great growth for you over the last six months or so. WNST.net is still on top there too, but your margin with Alexa is much closer than Google Analytics.

All of this info is public knowledge, as you well know. Not sure why you're picking this fight. Like Nestor or not (and I'm not a fan) his site is running much, much more traffic than your site.

Steve Hasler said...

Anonymous Said...

"The arguments against Alexa were that it valued visits from outside the US and that it measured over a 6 month span instead of a 1 month span. Also, the people who complained about Alexa were usually people with smaller websites and/or common bloggers, rarely did the arguments against Alexa come from someone who actually had a significantly measured site."

Anonymous, you've missed the main compaint against Alexa. The main reason it is not at all reliable as a traffic measurement tool is that it relies on a special browser plug-in. If you are not using a Windows-based browser with the Alexa toolbar downloaded and installed, you are not being counted.

Does anyone here have the Alexa Toolbar installed?

I didn't think so.

It's popular in Korea, for instance, which is where the comment about counting foreign traffic comes into play.

Yes, Alexa does provide some measurement. But there are so very, very few people being counted that it really is only valid for the top 1000 websites in the world. Which goes to your second point about "significantly measured sites" as long as everyone understands that very, very few sites rise to that standard of "significant." Certainly not WNST.NET, regardless of what Nestor claims.

Using Alexa to measure who is visiting various sites is like comparing stadium attendance by only counting people wearing yellow. It's like ranking radio station popularity by counting bumper stickers. It's not a valid sample size.

Google measures everyone.

Tony Lombardi said...

Alan,

Please feel free to post WNST's and 24x7's Google Analytic Numbers. I can't verify or access theirs but I can ours. I'd be very interested to see what you come up with but keep in mind that we pull from Ravens24x7.com, Profootball24x7.com and several blog domains.

That aside I have never claimed that we have greater traffic than WNST. My point all along is that GA is the standard of measure that ad buyers and businesses adhere to. I think Steve Hasler explains that extremely well above.

One ad medium could be comparable to the billboard on O'Donnell Street and another might be the one on I-95. Either way the key for a sponsor is knowing:

1. How much am I spending for 1,000 pairs of eyeballs?

2. Is there a specific niche that either ad medium hones in on?

While the billboard on O'Donnell isn't seen by as many people as the one on I-95, it might be a more favorably priced billboard per 1,000. It could offer even more value if that O'Donnell Street billboard is promoting a pub in Canton.

Similarly while a site that covers one sport might be viewed by fewer visitors in total, they could do a better job of delivering the eyeballs of desirable Ravens' fans at a more efficient price; they might present the information and the sponsors' banner ads more attractively and the navigation to the ads might be more user friendly.

ALL of this is important in this economy...really any economy.

So in my opinion Alexa doesn't allow prospective sponsors to make informed decisions. In a way, it's a smoke screen.

Simon Cowell said...

For sh*@ts and giggles I cut and pasted Nester's blog into a new word file just to see how long it was.

With a font size of 11 Part 1 was 16 pages! SIXTEEN!! I need to take a half day off just to read this.

I went back and deleted the use of "I" and "me" and it dropped to a more manageable 1 1/2 pages. I think I could eat alphabet cereal this morning and crap out a more enjoyable read.

Hunting Hyenas said...

Nestor might be the only person who could go to a highly secluded romantic tropical island by himself and fall in love. I have to wonder if he's a hermaphrodite. He sure does have a high opinion of himself.

I think this whole "mini-series" is an act of desperation to save a dying brand -- WNST.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and about the survey that WNST is pleading with everyone to take: the name of the website where it's based - www.surveymonkey.com. That about sums it up.

Anonymous said...

For what it’s worth I never did receive that email from “Nestor” (see above) so someone’s bluff has been called or more likely “Nestor” is an imposter. Not that it really matters…

I did skim Part II of Nestor Aparicio’s mini-series. This one was about all the numbers that support WNST’s claim that they are the most visited sports website in the area.

It’s interesting that he brings up that dirty little girl Alexa again and in the same blog completely dismisses Arbitron as a relevant and accurate measurement for radio listeners.

While I would agree with Aparicio’s point that Arbitron does have its deficiencies in tracking what people listen to, Alexa has similar flaws. Both in essence “under-count” what people are really doing because both require devices to count a browser’s or a listener’s activity.

Aparicio is also right when he says that Google Analytics measures accurately.

But then he goes on to make this statement:

“The newest measurement system – real clicks, real traffic, real Google Analytics – have proven over the last year that WNST.net is the new market leader in covering real time sports in Baltimore.”

Then he adds, “As of Feb. 1, 2010, we’re winning. By a lot…

“On a completely level playing field and method of distribution, you can see it for yourself.”

Can you really see it?

Unless every sports-related website in town has given Nestor access to their Google Analytics reports (which by the way is extremely unlikely) then he has no way of substantiating his claim.

Is his “level playing field” Alexa? Those web metrics possess flaws very similar to those of Arbitron, a standard of measure he summarily dismisses?

My intent here believe it or not isn’t to bash Aparicio. I’m more concerned that his confusion will spread to less informed businesses making it more difficult for them to define value.

These businesses are looking to spread around their vital and depleting discretionary advertising dollars. Our role as a provider of advertising services is to help them seek and find value for their businesses.

So let’s create that level playing field Nestor. Let’s allow businesses to measure unique visitor statistics as provided by a source we both agree is the most reliable standard – Google Analytics. Let them see those results provided directly from Google and then measure them against the costs to advertise on the many available local sports web venues.

Then we will have that level playing field.

Then businesses will be able to make informed decisions.

Aparicio and WNST have spent an inordinate amount of time claiming that they seek and deliver the truth.

Prove it and deliver some Truth in Advertising.

http://www.business.gov/business-law/advertising-law/truth-in-advertising/

Anonymous said...

Tony, wasn't it two days ago and then yesterday that you promised your readers you were "dropping" the WNST debate?

I'm nearly certain I saw you write that.

What's happening to you? Football season ends and you suddenly take on this new personality where you've become the media watchdog in town? It's bringing you down.

So are you giving up the WNST fight (again) or going to post something else tomorrow to try and agitate Aparacio?

Someone wrote in an earlier comment that you've lowered yourself to his level and that's entirely correct.

Too bad, you have a good thing here when you stick to writing about football or the Ravens.

Tony Lombardi said...

Anonymous,

I did say that and I plan on fulfilling the promise. But you have to understand that advertising is a big part of our business and I want sponsors and potential sponsors who follow this blog and visit our site aren't confused by the message.

I operate a small business and I am very aware of the strain that this economy has placed upon cash flow. I just don't want those good folks to invest those dollars before they understand what they are investing in first.

That's all.

Now, back to football...

J Coleman said...

Interesting blog and far more entertaining and educational than the crap that WNST tries to pawn off as journalism. I used to think that the WNST initials represented W-NASTY as in Nestor Aparicio. Now I just think in means W-NARCISSIST.