The Detroit Tigers will have a new television voice for the 2024 season. Tuesday, it was announced by Bally Sports Detroit that television play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard would not be returning to the broadcast booth next season.
Shepard had served as the television voice of the Tigers for five seasons on Bally Sports and its regional sports network predecessors. Before that, he had called games for Michigan Wolverines basketball as well as Eastern Michigan football.
Via the Detroit Free Press:
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.
Shepard came to the Tigers broadcast booth after announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen infamously got into a physical altercation and were fired in 2018. The pair had worked together for well over a decade. This year, Shepherd worked with a rotation of analysts and former players including Kirk Gibson.
The Tigers and Bally Sports Detroit clearly felt like they needed a change in the broadcast booth and Shepard wasn’t a long-term fit. Perhaps it’s not a surprise given the Shepard-led announcing crew finished dead last in the 2023 MLB announcer rankings as voted on by our readers. Their most notable highlight from the season may have been their peculiar fascination with a bachelorette party happening in Cleveland. The network says they will be ambitious in a search for a new lead television voice for the new season that will begin now.