Listen To Your Heart: Reds Radio Network Trying To Expand Reach
The Reds are "waging a multi-front crusade for hearts and minds -- and eyes and especially ears -- as the club tries to return to baseball's mountaintop," according to John Erardi of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. The Reds Radio Network over the last five years has "doubled the number of affiliates" it has, and recently added "more coverage in Indianapolis." The radio network had "totaled 115 affiliates during the glory years of the Big Red Machine" between '70-76, but that number had dropped to 45 by the time Reds Owner Bob Castellini "brought the network back under house control in 2008." The Indianapolis market "holds a lot of potential" for the Reds because it is "a two-team pro town ... that is within 100 miles of Great American Ball Park." A Reds official said that Indianapolis' WXNT-AM would be "carrying 145-155 Reds games this season." It is considered a "plum of an add, because it’s been so long since the Indianapolis Indians’ Triple-A farm team was a Reds affiliate (1968-83 and 1993-99)." Besides the games, local stations "get Reds-produced programming and promos for every series and whatever game highlights they want." Meanwhile, Erardi noted there is a "need to get a Reds presence into the bars" in the bigger cities of "Reds Country," including Indianapolis and Columbus. Erardi wrote, "Used to be you’d see Cubs stuff in the bars in Indy. Now you see Reds stuff. It’s all part of the multi-front strategy." Reds Broadcast & Affiliates Manager Joe Zerhusen "has a goal of getting to 97" affiliates this year. The Reds' approach is "not to try to flip a station that is already carrying the games" of another MLB team, but "rather finding a station that isn’t yet carrying any games" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/27).
ROAD-TRIP RECORD: In Dayton, Greg Billing reports during the final leg of the Reds Caravan tour yesterday, more than 2,000 fans "packed" the Museum of the U.S. Air Force's parking lot to celebrate the team, "setting a single-stop Caravan record." More than 1,000 fans "greeted them at stops in Lima and Columbus on Saturday -- also records for those sites" (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 1/28).