A Braves' graphic for C.J. Nitkowski. A Braves’ graphic for C.J. Nitkowski. (Bally Sports.)

There are notable changes ahead for two MLB teams’ local broadcast announcing setups. C.J. Nitkowski, an analyst on the Texas Rangers’ broadcasts on Bally Sports Southwest for the past seven years, announced Monday that he’s leaving for an opportunity closer to his home in Atlanta:

And exactly what that opportunity is became clear shortly afterwards, with an announcement that Nitkowski will be joining the Atlanta Braves’ broadcasts on Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast:

What’s paving the way for that? Well, Jeff Francoeur (the Braves’ primary analyst on those broadcasts since 2018) is reducing his schedule there (he also works for WBD Sports’ broadcasts on TBS) to spend more time with his family:

Here’s more from the Bally release on this:

Francoeur and MLB Hall of Famer Tom Glavine will each have a similar smaller package of games in the broadcast booth.

“Jeff (Francoeur) came to me at the end of last season and expressed his desire to be around his family more but still be involved with our Braves telecasts and we were happy to accommodate his request,” said Jeff Genthner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast. “C.J. is a former Braves player and longtime Atlanta area resident. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome C.J. to our Braves broadcast team.”

…“My family and I are beyond thrilled to come home and receive this amazing opportunity to join the Bally Sports’ Atlanta Braves broadcast team,” said Nitkowski. “Braves baseball on Bally Sports is one of the most respected telecasts throughout the industry. I am honored that Bally Sports and the Braves have selected me to join their group and continue their tradition of excellence in television broadcasting.”

There’s still some uncertainty ahead around the future of all of the Bally Sports networks, with their parent company (Diamond Sports) still in bankruptcy. But last week saw them and MLB reportedly close to an agreement for them to broadcast most, if not all, of their current 11 teams for at least the 2024 season. And the personnel moves here seem to suggest some confidence that Bally Sports South and Southeast will continue to broadcast the Braves this coming year.

Nitkowski pitched in MLB from 1995-2005 with eight different teams, including a 22-game stint with the Braves in 2004. He has been broadcasting since 2013 with Fox, FS1, MLB Network Radio, Bally Sports Southwest and more.

The Rangers’ broadcast (typically featuring play-by-play voice Dave Raymond and Nitkowski, with David Murphy and Dave Valle also working as analysts for selected games) placed 21st in our fan rankings this year, while the Braves’ one (typically featuring second-year play-by-play voice Brandin Gaudin and Francoeur, with Glavine, Nick Green, and Peter Moylan also analysts for select games) placed 11th. We’ll see how those rankings change this coming year with the changes to the Braves’ broadcast. And we’ll see who the Rangers tab to replace Nitkowski.

[Bally Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.