WNST sold, Aparicio goes to 'CBM

MEDIA WATCH

`Nasty' declines option of $1.4M for all-sports station

August 04, 1999|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

On the one-year anniversary for the station he operates, WNST-AM talk show host "Nasty" Nestor Aparicio broke the news to his listeners yesterday afternoon: Baltimore's first all-sports format will be ending Sept. 30.

Aparicio declined an option in his lease to buy the station's license outright, and it was sold to Chicago-based Catholic Radio Networks for a reported $1.5 million late last week.

The news was bittersweet for Aparicio, who plans a move to a 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. show on WCBM (680 AM), a larger and more established station that he had been negotiating with for the past six months in an effort to expand WNST.

On one hand, Aparicio had spent as much as $10,000 on improvements at WNST in recent months. The spending came in anticipation of extending the one-year local marketing agreement with the license's co-owner, David Eppler.

On the other hand, Aparicio says he's happy to be moving to a station that is a strong 5,000 watts at night as opposed to the 237 nighttime watts at WNST. He said he knew this situation might arise in May when he declined the option to buy for $1.45 million.

"We knew for months that it was possible that [the station] would sell," Aparicio said. "My only regret was that we couldn't do it longer."

"We served a purpose," said Spiro Morekas, host of one of WNST's shows. "Our [audience] was growing and we got rated in the Arbitron book for the first time.

"A lot of people are going to say that the station failed, but the station did not fail. At the price the owner was asking for, it was too much."

For an undisclosed amount of money, Aparicio will be buying the three hours on WCBM -- five nights a week -- and selling the advertising.

WCBM general manager Harry Shriver said Aparicio's slot will provide a local flavor that the station hasn't had since "Sports Byline" replaced Phil Wood earlier this year.

"We wanted to get back to local sports," Shriver said. "Nestor has really hustled and been successful in doing an all-sports format. We're happy to have the signal that will give him the opportunity to continue that."

Pub Date: 8/04/99

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