Matt Shepard won't return as Tigers play-by-play broadcaster on Bally Sports Detroit

Detroit Tigers play-by-play broadcaster Matt Shepard will not return to the Bally Sports Detroit television broadcast in the 2024 season, according to BSD senior vice president and general manager Greg Hammaren.

Shepard took over as the Tigers' TV play-by-play broadcaster in January 2019. After five seasons, the Michigan native has been removed from his duties.

He learned of his departure Tuesday morning.

The Tigers, in collaboration with Bally Sports Detroit, will launch a search process for a new play-by-play broadcaster and would prefer to hire the next TV voice of the Tigers before January 2024.

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Play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard watches batting practice during Detroit Tigers spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.
Play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard watches batting practice during Detroit Tigers spring training at TigerTown in Lakeland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

Shepard, now in his late 50s, has covered professional, college and high school sports in metro Detroit since the 1990s.

He was hired by Bally Sports Detroit (formally Fox Sports Detroit) in 1999 to work in various roles. Before joining the Tigers in 2019, he was the radio play-by-play voice of Michigan basketball and Eastern Michigan football.

"Bally Sports Detroit thanks Matt Shepard for his five seasons of dedication in the Tigers television booth, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Hammeran said Tuesday in a statement. "He's been a great teammate and has an incredible passion for Detroit sports and bringing compelling storylines to millions of fans every year. Change is often difficult, but we feel it's time to head in a new direction and are looking forward to the process of finding our next play-by-play voice of the Tigers."

Decisions on the full broadcast team won't be made until there is a play-by-play broadcaster in place.

Shepard spent the 2023 season working with analysts Craig Monroe, Kirk Gibson, Dan Petry, Cameron Maybin and Todd Jones. Monroe, a former MLB player, served as the primary in-game analyst alongside Shepard.

The Tigers and Bally Sports Detroit decided to part with Shepard after taking feedback from fans, executives and industry professionals. The decision to replace Shepard developed over time based on a lengthy evaluation process.

As for the search process, the Tigers and Bally Sports Detroit plan to be ambitious with their list of candidates. The plan is to hire someone with experience broadcasting baseball.

Radio broadcaster Dan Dickerson will not transition to TV.

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The Tigers' former TV broadcasters, play-by-play man Mario Impemba and analyst Rod Allen, had their contracts terminated in October 2018 because of a physical confrontation before a game in September 2018.

The Tigers hired Shepard in January 2019.

Shepard won Michigan Sportscaster of the Year 2015 and 2016. He also won the Ty Tyson Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting, a Detroit Sports Media award, in 2018. He graduated from North Farmington High School in 1983 and graduated from Central Michigan University in 1988.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Matt Shepard won't return as Detroit Tigers play-by-play broadcaster