Published on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 17:15
The television announcer for local Chicago Cubs television broadcasts for the last eight seasons, Bob Brenly, has announced he will not return to the Cubs' broadcast booth next season. Instead, Brenly is seeking a baseball broadcasting position in another market.
Brenly was hired in the fall of 2004 to work in the Cubs broadcast booth as the color analyst beginning with the 2005 baseball season, replacing Steve Stone. He was paired with play-by-play announcer Len Kasper. Together, "Len & Bob" became a highly popular duo for the Chicago audience, with Cubs broadcasts seen on WGN-TV (simulcast on WGN America), WCIU-TV, and Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Brenly's most recent contract, a four-year deal worth a reported $3.5 million, expired earlier this month.
Previously, Brenly did on-air work for WGN Radio, calling Cubs games back in 1990 and 1991, just after retiring from baseball as a player. Additionally, Bob Brenly has done some post-season baseball broadcasts for TBS over the last five years. From 1996-2000, he worked as a baseball analyst for FOX Sports.
Bob Brenly was also the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks manager from 2001-2004, leading the team to a World Series Championship in his managerial rookie year. Over the years he has been a Chicago Cubs broadcaster, his name has come up often as a possible new head coach for various teams, including the Chicago Cubs, and in 2009, for the Milwaukee Brewers.
A 14-year player in the major leagues, Brenly, 58, is looking for his next baseball-related challenge. With a few baseball broadcasting opportunities open to him in the south, it is expected that he will be back in a broadcast booth somewhere for the 2013 season. The most likely location for his next broadcasting job is with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, where he previously coached.
A native of Coshocton, OH, Brenly is 58 years old. He and and his wife, Joan have two children: Lacey and Michael. His son Michael was drafted by the Chicago Cubs twice -- once after high school in the 2005 draft (Michael instead opted to attend UNLV) and again in the 2009 draft. He currently plays for a minor league Double A affiliate team of the Cubs.
In a statement issued late this afternoon, Bob Brenly said: "Working here in Chicago was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my professional career. The Ricketts family, everyone associated with the Cubs and WGN and, most importantly, Cubs' fans everywhere, will always be in our hearts, and Joan and I wish nothing but the best for the organization moving forward. I was very blessed to have the best play-by-play man in the game as my partner for eight years and Cubs' fans are very fortunate to have Len Kasper as the voice of the Cubs. I'll miss working with him and we look fondly toward returning to Chicago in the future."
Steve Farber, Acting General Manager for WGN-TV and VP/Programming Operations for Tribune Broadcasting, also said in a statement today: "We wish Bob well in his next broadcasting position and thank him for his years of outstanding work on Cubs games on WGN-TV."
Comcast SportsNet Chicago issued a statement a short while ago, saying: "All of us at Comcast SportsNet truly appreciate the standout efforts that Bob has provided to our Cubs telecasts over the years and we wish him well in his next broadcasting venture."
Len Kasper will return to the Chicago Cubs broadcasting booth next season. A search will be conducted for his next on-air partner.