Jeannette native Cody Elias at forefront of digital streaming with ‘A’s Cast Live’ | TribLIVE.com
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Jeannette native Cody Elias at forefront of digital streaming with ‘A’s Cast Live’

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Courtesy of Oakland Athletics
Jeannette native Cody Elias is a multimedia producer for the Oakland A’s, and his work has helped A’s Cast Live become the most downloaded podcast in Major League Baseball.

He did not hit a home run or strike out a batter, but Cody Elias played a significant role for Oakland A’s during their run to the American League wild-card game.

In his first year with the organization, the 30-year-old Jeannette native garnered significant attention for his role on “A’s Cast Live,” the flagship program of the A’s Cast streaming station. It’s a digital radio network conceived and run by the organization and the first of its kind in Major League Baseball.

It also is the envy of major league teams from the Boston Red Sox to the Seattle Mariners because, with more than 500,000 individual downloads, “A’s Cast Live” is the most popular and downloaded property in MLB.

“We’re the first team in baseball to be doing this,” Elias said shortly after the A’s were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild-card game. “We’re the No. 1 podcast in Major League Baseball.”

Elias, the self-described “program director” on the show, is a multimedia producer for the A’s, and, before landing with the franchise in May, he was recognized as one of the top 10 radio producers in the U.S. by Barrett Sports Media for his work on the morning show “Joe, Lo and Dibs” at 95.7 FM in San Francisco.

In September, the hard-working Elias, at the urging of the A’s, returned to Western Pennsylvania to be honored by Cal (Pa.) — his alma mater — as part of its Under 40 Group, another honor for the rapid riser in the fast-paced digital streaming world.

“I’m the kind of guy that never really takes a day off because there’s always something going on, and I just like the work,” Elias said. “One of the great things about baseball is, even after the season’s ended, there’s free agency, the owners’ meetings.”

Hosted by Chris Townsend, a Bay Area sports veteran, “A’s Cast Live” runs for three hours Monday through Friday during the season. For home games, Elias and Townsend typically broadcast from the field at the Oakland Coliseum. During road trips, the show goes live from Townsend’s home. The show continues through the offseason and can be heard from 4-7 p.m. in Western Pennsylvania on TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple and other podcast providers.

And while the focus is often on the A’s, who won 97 games and finished second to the Houston Astros in the AL West, the show isn’t afraid to stray from the franchise for topics.

There have been 15 Hall of Famers on the show, including pitchers Tom Glavine and Bert Blyleven. Elias said having former A’s general manager Billy Beane as a guest was a highlight, the same for former pitcher Barry Zito, an ace on Beane’s teams in the early 2000s.

Elias works on landing the guests, and he uses his contacts — he said he has 1,700 to 1,800 in his phone — and his status working with the A’s to find them.

“I never erase a number,” he said. “We’re always looking for angles to get different guests. We mix it up a little bit, but we probably talk baseball 99.9% of the time.”

Which is perfect for Elias, who graduated from Jeannette in 2007 and developed a strong interest in sports long before then.

“He was always watching football. He loved hockey. He played baseball, soccer, whatever he could,” his mother, Tammy Elias, said. “It was funny. He was always giving me stats on stuff, like guys the Pens just drafted, from the time he was 8 or 9 years old.”

He developed a fondness for ESPN, which helped forge a desire to work in television. Elias, who worked Radio Row at a Super Bowl and watched the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup in San Jose, worked with CUTV, the student-run television station at Cal (Pa.), and landed an internship with KDKA.

After graduating from college in 2012, he moved to California and eventually ended up in radio.

Now, he’s at the forefront of digital streaming in sports and has no plans to leave.

“This is such a great avenue for fans and everyone to get access to content,” Elias said. “I’m glad to see other teams realize this is the future. It’s a really cool setup, the idea of giving fans access to all this content.”

Categories: Sports | MLB | Other Local | Pirates
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