It is official. Thom Brennaman has left the Diamondbacks’ family for his own family. Brennaman signed a fouryear radio and TV contract with Cincinnati, a move that will reunite him with his father, Marty, a Hall of Fame broadcaster who has been with the Reds since 1974.
The deal was announced in Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Brennaman has been the lead announcer on D-Backs games since their inaugural season, 1998, although he joined the franchise two years before in an attempt to develop the brand.
“It’s going to be a loss for the organization because Thom has been such an integral part of the organization,” D-Backs president Derrick Hall said.
“He’s an amazing broadcaster and a good friend. We knew it was going to be a difficult decision for him.”
The D-Backs hope to have a replacement for Brennaman within a month, Hall said, and expect to hire a replacement from outside the organization.
“Obviously we’ll get a lot of phone calls. We already have,” Hall said. “We’ll put together a short list, people we would like to go after. We’ll find an applicant who will have similar talent and experience.”
Original D-Back voice Greg Schulte, the lead radio announcer, TV analyst Mark Grace and radio analyst Tom Candiotti “will be here,” Hall said.
“We’ll figure out a perfect fit (to go with them) and go after him.”
Top candidates the DBacks might seek permission to interview include San Francisco’s Dave Flemming, 29, who teams with Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper, and San Diego play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian, 39.
The D-Backs job could draw a lot of interest, since their compensation package for announcers ranks among the top five in the major leagues, according to industry sources.
Brennaman agreed to the deal Tuesday while stopping in Cincinnati on his way to New York, where he broadcast Game 1 of the New York Mets-Los Angeles playoff series that began Wednesday. He was unavailable for comment.
“This is a dream fulfilled for me,” Marty Brennaman told The Associated Press. “I was always a little bit envious of the Bucks and the Carays. Now I get to work with my son. Nothing’s better than that.”
Brennaman will work about 90 games a year with his father on the radio and also will do some televised games on the Fox regional Ohio network. He also will continue to call the national Saturday game of the week on Fox.