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Thom Brennaman coming 'Off The Bench' to launch sports talk show Thursday, Sept. 1

Courtesy Fox Sports
Thom Brennaman debuts his new sports talk show Thursday, Sept. 1.

The former Reds TV and Fox Sports' NFL announcer will talk sports 10 a.m. to noon weekdays on YouTube and social media channels.

It's time to get off the bench, says Thom Brennaman, who resigned his Reds TV job two years ago after uttering a homophobic slur during a Fox Sports Ohio Reds game telecast.

Brennaman, 58, announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he will do a new weekday show, Off the Bench with Thom Brennaman presented by UDF, premiering 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, Sept. 1. His first guests will be his father, retired Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman, and former NFL coach Brian Billick, his former partner on Fox NFL telecasts.

The two-hour live-streamed and on-demand show will be available on the Chatterbox Sports YouTube channel and social media platforms (Twitter, Intagram and TikTok) at @ThomBrennamanTV.

Brandon Saho, former WLWT-TV weekend sports anchorand reporter, will produce the show along with Casey McCollister, Chatterbox Sports director of content production.

Billick will appear each Friday to talk about the NFL.

From the release: "The show, which will have a focus on the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ohio State University and Cincinnati Reds, will also include insights from professional athletes and coaches including NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and legendary sportscaster Bob Costas. Super Bowl winning coach Brian Billick will provide NFL commentary every Friday, and Broadcast Hall of Famer Marty Brennaman, NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, Bengals legend and broadcaster Cris Collinsworth, sports columnist Paul Daugherty and Cincinnati Reds legend Tracy Jones will join the show as guests."

Brennaman resumed his play-by-play career a year ago for Chatterbox Sports, doing fall football games for the subscription-based local steaming and podcast service which covers Greater Cincinnati high school sports. At the time, he was doing a podcast called Dialed In With Thom Brennaman.

Brennaman resigned from his Reds TV job after 13 years on Sept. 25, 2020, five weeks after he was suspended during the second game of a Reds-Royals doubleheader for remarks he made during the first game on Aug. 19.

Coming out of a commercial break, Brennaman was heard telling someoneabout "the (deleted) capitols of the world" while broadcasting from Fox Sports studio in downtown Cincinnati. The person Brennaman was speaking to has never been identified by the Reds or FSO, now Bally Sports Ohio.

The remark was heard on the MLB.TV feed, but not by Reds' Fox Sports Ohio network viewers.

Brennaman, a Fox NFL announcer since 1994 and part of the Reds TV team since 2007, was pulled off the air after he apologized by saying he was "very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness." He also told viewers that "I don't know if I'll be putting on this headset again. I don't know if it's going to be for the Reds, I don't know if it's going to be for my bosses at Fox."

Brennaman's resignation was not a surprise. Hours after his final broadcast, the Reds issued a statement saying that the "Reds embrace a zero-tolerance policy for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we are truly sorry to anyone who has been offended." The statement also said the "Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark" and apologized to the "the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this country and beyond."

The reaction to his remark was swift. Fox dropped him from NFL telecastsafter 25 years. Kroger pulled his in-store audio announcements the next morning.

In his resignation letter two years ago, Brennaman thanked "the Reds, Reds fans and the LGBTQ community for the incredible support and grace they have shown my family and me.

"To this great city, my hometown, a sincere thank you. I truly regret what I said and I'm so very sorry. No one loves this town more than me. I have been in this profession that I love for 33 years. And it is my hope and intention to return. And if I'm given that opportunity, I will be a better broadcaster and a much better person."

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.