As Marty Brennaman closes his illustrious 46-year career as the Cincinnati Reds play-by-play voice, the team announced plans to honor the broadcaster during his final month in the booth.
Celebrations begin the first week of September, when Brennaman will visit with fans on the concourses at Great American Ball Park before the games on Sept. 3rd, 4th and 7th. The Reds will also add a temporary radio booth for Marty to broadcast from Gapper’s Alley behind section 119 on Friday, September 20th, Tuesday the 24th and Wednesday the 25th.
On the 24th and 25th, Brennaman will host the pre-game show next to Reds fans, from the temporary booth, calling the entire game from the Gapper’s Alley location on Friday the 20th.
“The idea is to bring Marty out of the booth and amongst the fans at Great American Ball Park,” said Phil Castellini, Reds president and chief operating officer. “Watching Marty host the radio pregame show or call an inning will be an unforgettable experience for our fans.”
Marty’s son and Reds TV play-by-play voice, Thom Brennaman will join his father in the radio booth for the entire game on Wednesday September 25th. Marty’s regular radio partner, Jeff Brantley will be on the broadcast for Brennaman’s final game on the 26th. The iconic radio voice will not travel with the team to Pittsburgh for their last series of the season, instead closing his Reds career at home.
“It was important to me that my last regular season broadcast happened at home, so I won’t go to Pittsburgh with the team to finish the season,” said Brennaman. “I wanted my final game to be business as usual, doing the broadcast from the booth. It is going to be very emotional for me and I want to savor every moment,” the announcer added.
In addition to September’s celebration of the legendary broadcaster, Brennaman will also be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame next year.
“Our Board of Directors felt strongly that Marty’s 46-years as the Reds play-by-play announcer along with his efforts supporting the communities throughout Reds Country, and his extensive list of awards and accolades was indeed extraordinary and deserving of his election to the Reds Hall of Fame,” said Rick Walls, Reds Hall of Fame Executive Director.
Brennaman will be the sole inductee for the class of 2020 into the Reds Hall of Fame which will take place with an on-field ceremony Saturday, April 25, prior to a home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Marty Brennaman joined the Reds radio booth in 1974 replacing Al Michaels, having never called a Major League Baseball game when he was hired, launching a 46-year Hall-of-Fame career.
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.