Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman will retire after 2019
By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 16
CINCINNATI (AP) — Like his longtime broadcasting cohort used to say, Marty Brennaman is rounding third and heading for home.
The Reds play-by-play announcer said Wednesday that he’ll 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.
“It’s something I’ve thought about a long time,” Brennaman said, calling it one of his most difficult days. “It’s something I’ve anguished over more than anything I’ve anguished over in my life. I wake up at night, at 4 o’clock in the morning, and I stare off into the darkness and think about what I’m doing.”
Brennaman, 76, said he wanted to retire while he’s healthy and can do things he’s always wished.
His announcement came one day after Pirates color commentator Steve Blass announced this will be his final season of broadcasting, his 34th with the team. Blass called it “time for me to stop and smell the roses.”
Brennaman joined the Reds’ broadcast team in 1974, replacing the popular Al Michaels. In his second spring training game, Brennaman accidentally referred to the Reds’ home field in Tampa, Florida, as Al Michaels Field instead of Al Lopez Field.
His first regular-season game at Riverfront Stadium provided a chance to call Hank Aaron’s 714th career homer, which tied Babe Ruth’s record. Brennaman said color commentator Joe Nuxhall turned to him after the inning and asked his new partner, “What the heck do you do for an encore? I said, ‘I don’t know.’”
Brennaman and Nuxhall became an endearing broadcast duo for 31 years from 1974-2004. They’d talk about the Big Red Machine’s exploits and compare notes on garden tomatoes. Fans referred to them simply as Marty and Joe.
“Throughout Reds country, Marty and Joe were a staple of summertime, fans tuning in not just for the love of the Reds but because they loved Marty and Joe,” owner Bob Castellini said.
Each of them developed a distinctive sign-off line. Nuxhall, a former Reds pitcher, would say he’s “rounding third and heading for home,” a saying that’s remembered in lights outside Great American Ball Park. Brennaman would end each win by declaring that “this one belongs to the Reds.”
One of the highlights of Brennaman’s career was receiving the Ford C. Frick Award in 2000 at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the fourth Reds announcer to receive the broadcasting award along with Red Barber, Al Helfer and Russ Hodges.
In addition to his work with Reds radio and television, Brennaman has worked NCAA Tournament games, including 11 Final Fours. His son, Thom, also is a Reds broadcaster.
Brennaman has thought about retirement for several years. He talked about retirement with Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who explained that he felt it was time to step away after 67 years in the booth.
Brennaman came to the same conclusion about himself in the last few months.
He had maintained that whenever he decided to leave, he would simply retire after a season in order to avoid a farewell tour. Others convinced him that it would be beneficial for those who know him to have a chance to honor him.
“I’m honored by it, but I’m also going to be very uncomfortable about it,” Brennaman said.
After wrapping up a question-and-answer session, Brennaman expressed relief.
“Is that it? All right,” he said, with a deep sigh. “That’s one of the toughest days of my life. I’ve gotten over it now.”
Bob Costas exits longtime home at NBC Sports
By LYNN ELBER
AP Television Writer
Thursday, January 17
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bob Costas, who stepped down as NBC’s prime-time Olympics host two years ago, has left the network’s sports division altogether.
NBC Sports said Wednesday that Costas parted ways with his longtime employer, providing no further details.
Sandy Montag, Costas’ manager, said it was handled smoothly.
“Everything in this transition was planned and done (by) mutual agreement,” Montag said in an emailed statement. He said Costas had a “great partnership” with executives including Dick Ebersol and Mark Lazarus, the current NBC Broadcasting & Sports chairman.
Costas, 66, served as the emcee for NBC’s Olympics 11 times starting in 1992. In early 2017, he stepped aside for network newcomer Mike Tirico, formerly with ESPN.
When the switch was announced in early 2017, Costas said he had decided on his own that the time was right for a change. He said then he wanted to do long-form programming and commentary on special events, likening his new role to what former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw does for the network.
On Tuesday, Costas told the New York Post of his decision to leave NBC Sports, saying his departure was settled “quietly and happily for all concerned.”
In August 2018, the paper reported that he was no longer satisfied with his role at NBC and a contract that limited his participation in other projects.
Costas, who joined NBC Sports in 1979, has covered baseball, football and basketball and horse racing as well as served as the face and voice of the Olympics.
He plans to continue working on the MLB Network and is interested in doing an interview show focusing on sports and news, the Post said.
“In addition to MLB Network, Bob certainly has a next chapter in his career and we look forward to developing those possibilities,” Montag said.
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