Former Reds TV announcer Thom Brennaman is gradually ramping up his sports announcing career as he approaches the one-year anniversary of being removed as the Reds main TV voice.
Brennaman began a podcast called Dialed In With Thom Brennaman in January. He has done 24 episodes in 29 weeks with former Reds greats, broadcasting buddies and various sports personalities.
He'll return to play-by-play this fall doing games for Chatterbox Sports, a subscription-based local steaming and podcast service which covers Greater Cincinnati high school sports.
"I grew up here in Greater Cincinnati. I know what high school football, or high school basketball, and high school sports means to this area," said Brennaman, 57, an Anderson High School graduate in Chatterbox's video announcement posted on Twitter Tuesday.
"This is what I was doing at Channel 5 when my career started, so here we are coming full circle and getting back out to high school sports again, and I'm excited," Brennaman said.
Brennaman was pulled off the air by the Reds during the fifth inning of a game on Aug. 19, 2020, and immediately suspended for using a homophobic slur heard as the Fox Sports telecast was coming out of a commercial break. The next day he was dropped by Fox Sports, where he had announced NFL games since 1994, and from Kroger advertisements. He resigned from the Reds in September after 13 seasons.
Trace Fowler, who founded Chatterbox Sports two years ago, said in the Twitter video that he had "done a lot of research into what kind of person he (Brennaman) is ... And the conclusion that I've come up, quite frankly, is that he's a great person that made a mistake that I know he's deeply regretful for. And we're excited to allow him another opportunity to put on a headset again."
Hiring Brennaman is not "downplaying what he said" on the Fox Sports Ohio last August, Fowler said.
After thanking Fowler for the opportunity, Brennaman said on the video that "I think it's safe to say that we all make multiple mistakes. I know I do every single day of the week, and multiple times every day of the week. But I'm just so grateful and excited."
Brennaman started his play-by-play career doing some Reds TV games in 1988 for WLWT-TV, where he was working as weekend sports anchor. In 1989, he became WLWT-TV's main Reds announcer, doing TV games with Johnny Bench. He was so good that Chicago's WGN lured him away to do the Cubs games in 1990 on TV and radio. He later went to the start-up Arizona Diamondbacks before returning to Cincinnati in 2007 to work with his father, Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman.
Guests on his Dialed In With Thom Brennaman for the Los Angeles-based Beleav Podcast Network reflect his many friends throughout sports and broadcasting. His first guest on Jan. 6 was former OSU football coach Urban Meyer, who Thom knew from his Fox Sports college broadcasts.
He's talked to Reds greats Bench, Pete Rose, Sean Casey and Eric Davis; former athletes-turned broadcasters Jeff Brantley, Chris Welsh, Boomer Esiason, Chris Spielman, Duane Kuiper, Tim McCarver and Steve Lyons; Fox Sports announcers Troy Aikman, Brian Billick and Joe Buck; UCLA and former UC basketball coach Mick Cronin; announcer Bob Costas; former Reds manager Dusty Baker; and daughter Ella Brennaman.
Beleav, based in Los Angeles, has more than 300 sports podcasts.