Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Marty Brennaman 'roast and toast' Feb. 24 at Music Hall

a man in a white sweater with a popped collar laughs against a gray background
John Minchillo
Marty Brennaman is interviewed before the start of the annual Cincinnati Reds Caravan fan tour, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, in Cincinnati. The Reds play-by-play announcer said that he would retire after the 2019 season, his 46th in Cincinnati. His career started with a chance to call baseball history. It entered a final season with deep sighs and emotional moments.

Jeff Ruby, Joe Deters, Simon Leis, Dave Lapham, Tracy Jones, Doug Flynn, Bill Cunningham and Bob Kevoian from the Bob & Tom Show to roast the Hall of Fame announcer, who retired in 2019.

And this one belongs to Marty.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman will get the last word Feb. 24 when some of his famous friends speak at a "roast and toast" at Music Hall Ballroom. And he’ll have a gong to shut them up.

The lineup includes restaurateur Jeff Ruby; former Hamilton County sheriff and prosecutor Simon Leis Jr.; former Reds players Doug Flynn and Tracy Jones; Bengals radio announcer Dave Lapham; Fox News Channel anchor Bill Hemmer; Bob Kevoian from the Bob & Tom Show; comedian Josh Sneed; WLW-AM talk show hosts Bill Cunningham and Scott Sloan; Reds Medical Director Dr. Timothy Kremchek; and Marty's wife Amanda and son Thom.

It's a fundraiser for Madi's House, a free non-residential community center in Mount Airy for young adults struggling with mental health issues.

Julie Raleigh, Madi's House CEO, with Marty Brennaman.
Julie Raleigh, Madi's House CEO, with Marty Brennaman.

“Marty has been a good sport about this, and we’re very excited,” says Julie Raleigh, chief executive officer of Madi's House. She and her husband, WCPO-TV chief meteorologist Steve Raleigh, started the project after the suicide death of their daughter Madi in January 2019. Steve is chief operating officer of the nonprofit.

"Marty will be wearing a microphone the whole time, so he'll be able to zing people as they say it," she says. "And he'll have a huge gong — we're getting it from the UC band — so he can 'gong off' someone when he doesn't like what they’re saying."

Of all the people at the head table, Brennaman is most worried about what will be said by his wife Amanda, Julie says. He told Julie: "I can't wait to hear what Amanda is going to say. She's going to bring down the house."

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $175 each. The evening will include a silent auction and dancing after the roast.

All proceeds go toward building the $3-million Simon L. Leis, Jr. Fitness & Wellness Center on the Madi's House campus at 2360 Kipling Ave., behind Powel Crosley Jr.'s Pinecroft mansion. Bon Secours Mercy Health donated the 7,000-square foot home in 2021, which had been used by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. The new Leis Fitness & Wellness Center will be named after Julie's father and Madi's grandfather.

Brennaman, 81, was hired 50 years ago to broadcast Reds radio games with Joe Nuxhall. He received the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award in 2000 for broadcasting excellence. He retired after 46 seasons in 2019.

Tickets for the black tie optional event are available through the Madi's House website,

Madi's House serves "young adults who struggle with addiction or mental illness. We provide the missing piece after outpatient treatment. We are your solution to empty free time. Madi's House helps shape the path to a healthy life with art classes, games, movie nights, workout equipment, wellness programs, music, special events, and more," according to the website.

A year ago, the Raleighs raised funds for the house with a roast of Leis at the Hard Rock Casino. "The community was so generous we were able to renovate the whole house. It's gorgeous," she said.

Since 2020, Madi's House has served over 10,000 young adults who have spent 200,000 hours at the center, Raleigh says.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a hotline for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 988.

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.