Nestor Aparicio's show "Nasty Nationwide" airs on hundreds of stations on the 24-hour, One-On-One Sports Radio Network.
Unlike many of his counterparts in sports talk radio Aparicio is anything but nasty to his callers. That may be one of the reasons he's one of the rising stars of sports talk radio.
Instead of interrupting callers, berating them or treating them rudely, making them wonder why they called in the first place, Aparicio is a gracious listener who allows his callers to vent their opinions.
"My show is not Pollyanna happy-happy," Aparicio said from his home in Baltimore last week. "You will hear bad stuff and you will hear good stuff. But I don't do four hours of hatred and negativity. I'm a positive person. I try to brighten their day, not darken it, for four hours a day."
Aparicio converses with callers on virtually any sports topic without acting like he's the world's leading sports authority.
"I like to hear two sides of the story," he said. "I can pick either side. I tend to be more moderate, try to find a middle ground. I try to make common sense."
Another thing that makes Aparicio unique is his assertion that he returns all correspondence sent by fans as well as detractors. He estimates that when he encourages listeners to send him e-mail he receives about 200-300 a day.
"I have answered every piece of e-mail since I've been on the air," Aparicio said. "Even when someone sends me hate mail I answer them, which sometimes takes them by surprise."
The 31-year-old second cousin of hall of fame shortstop Luis Aparicio is on the air from 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday on KVBR Radio (1340-AM) in Brainerd, a One-On-One affiliate. His show originates from a studio in his home.
Aparicio is as much a celebrity as many of the guests he interviews. He was one of the first media members to interview manager Tommy Lasorda after the USA baseball team captured the gold medal in Sydney last week.
"I'm not star-struck anymore," Aparicio said. "I am very much on the same plane as the celebrities and athletes I interview. I'm not in awe of anyone on my show. Sure, it's still a rush to get Lasorda and be the first one to get his reaction. I like to get the story first, but I don't dribble all over myself when I'm talking to them. I try to talk to them as I'm talking to you.
"I put a lot of energy into my show. I do a lot of homework, a lot of research."
Aparicio got his start in the media in 1984 as an intern at the now-defunct Baltimore News American. In addition to writing sports at the News American he had an opportunity to write about rock and roll music.
As a 17-year-old in 1986, Aparicio was hired by The Baltimore Evening Sun as an editorial assistant, sports writer and rock music critic.
After graduating from the University of Baltimore in 1991, he got his start in radio with the assistance of his friend Kenny Albert, now the play-by-play voice of the New York Rangers. Aparicio was the color commentator for Baltimore Skipjacks games in the American Hockey League. Six months later, he became the host of "Sports Forum" when Albert departed.
In 1993, Aparicio took over Baltimore radio station WWLG-AM. He received widespread acclaim for broadcasting live for a month from a suburban garage.
Five years later he purchased a radio station that became WNST-AM "Nasty 1570 Sports." It was Baltimore's first and only sports talk radio station, and featured One On One programming.
Aparicio's lease at WNST expired 15 months later. When he declined to buy the station, he left and began leasing night hours on WCBM-AM in Baltimore.
In April, after nearly a year of filling in on One On One, Aparicio joined the Northbrook, Ill.-based sports talk network. About a month ago he purchased WNST again.
"I have never looked back," Aparicio said. "I love my work. I'm living a dream. I'm the luckiest guy on the planet. I hope that's something that comes across on my show. People understand I'm having a good day. I have had bad days, but not any since my national show.
"I'm on in 170 national markets, I own my radio station, I get to go on the radio, have fun, make people's day and be entertaining. What's not to like about that?"
Based on his ratings Aparicio is one of the most well-liked sports talk show hosts in North America.
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