Thursday, July 13, 2006

Baltimore Radio

Jim Williams: There’s a little station that can in ‘Charm City’
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Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 13, 2006 5:00 AM (8 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 4,418 articles

BALTIMORE - There is a battle going on in Baltimore for the all-sports audience and, according to the latest edition of Radio and Records, WJFK-AM is holding a slight lead over WTEM-AM (Washington) and WNST-AM.

All three are fighting for the ears of Baltimore sports fans and it is a true day-to-day war.

The little local who is battling among the broadcast giants is WNST-AM 1570.

I must say that these guys do a great job of covering Baltimore sports and they do it with real “Charm City” style.

I spoke to the station owner Nestor Aparicio and, besides his wife, he has three big passions in life.

First, he loves his hometown of Baltimore, second he loves sports, and third he loves the people who work for him at WNST, the station he bought in 1999. It also was the first all-sports radio station in the area.

The station reflects Aparicio’s passion, it is a real Baltimore station, and about 90 percent of the on-air personalities are from the area. The majority of them started at the station as an intern or a part-time person, then worked their way up the ranks.

Terry Ford and Drew Forrester handle the morning drive from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m Monday through Friday. They keep things moving and are respectful to the callers and at the same time they are free and open with their opinions.

Bob Haynie has been with the station from day one. He is smooth, knowledgeable and he holds down the 10 a.m to 2 p.m shift. Haynie loves talking Orioles and Ravens with a sense of history that seems to be rare in local sports.

Rob Long has the 2 p.m. till 6 p.m. drive-time shift and if you are a Baltimore sports fan, then you should be listening to this show every day when you are heading home.

Long started at WNST as an intern who did everything, and worked his way up through the ranks as a radio talk show host. His hard work paid off when he was named as a full-time replacement for Aparicio.

As the only African-American talk show host on the air five days a week in Baltimore, Long has established himself as one of the city’s best drive-time talkers. He moves from NFL to NBA conversations with ease and a wealth of knowledge. Make no mistake about it: he is a star on the rise and he is the best sports personality in drive time, by far.

Jeremy Conn is on from 6 p.m to 8 p.m and is a solid, young voice who is growing as a talk show host. His show is fun. Night-time callers cover a lot of area and Conn keeps up with them very adeptly.

Ray Bachman is the station’s executive producer and, according to Aparicio, he is the station MVP.

What about ratings and rankings for WNST?

“We are a real mom and pop local organization. Our main competitors, WJFK, is owned by CBS, and WBAL is owned by Hearst Radio, so both stations have all the vast resources needed for developing a large sales staff along with a massive promotional budget to support their on-air talent. We have never gotten caught up in ratings; WNST has a very loyal fan base that continues to grow, and our regional advertisers Comcast and Budweiser, along with the literally hundreds of local sponsors, support our station because we are a Baltimore-based business and we deliver for them. I am a local guy, who loves sports and his city, so as long as I am fortunate enough to own this station we will continue to be committed to serving Baltimore; it is as simple as that,” stated Aparicio.

If you are a sports talk show fan then try WNST-AM 1570. Their hosts are entertaining, they have interesting local as well as national guests and they give their callers a chance to talk.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can e-mail Jim at

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