CLEVELAND -- Matt Underwood is changing booths, and John Sanders is out, as the Indians and Sports Time Ohio announced Monday that they have realigned their broadcast teams for television and radio.
Sanders, who has done play-by-play on the team's television broadcasts for the past 16 seasons, has not been asked back for 2007.
That created an opening in the TV booth, and Sports Time Ohio filled it internally with Underwood, who has spent the past seven seasons as a member of the Tribe's radio broadcast team. He'll team up on the tube with analyst Rick Manning.
"We are very excited to add Matt Underwood, with his vast TV background in this market and knowledge of the Indians, to our regional sports network," said SportsTime Ohio president Jim Liberatore. "Not only will Matt team up with Rick Manning to provide Indians fans exceptional coverage in an exciting and entertaining manner, but [he will] offer our network a full-time presence in the community for our increasing number of local programming hours and also a recognizable face for participation with our charitable and civic contributions to the region."
Veteran Indians broadcaster Mike Hegan, who moved back and forth between radio and TV during the past decade, will take over the permanent role in the radio booth, alongside "Voice of the Indians" Tom Hamilton, who will be back for his 18th season.
"We believe this realignment of our three broadcast teams enables us to strengthen the quality of our broadcasts, while simultaneously utilizing the skill sets of our existing quality talent," club vice president of business operations Dennis Lehman said in a release. "We are fortunate to have five broadcasters who possess a vast knowledge of the game of baseball and deliver it to our fans in an exciting, dynamic and informative manner."
That fifth broadcaster is Jim Donovan, who, for the second season, will partner with Manning for the broadcasts of 20 games on NBC affiliate WKYC and the regional over-the-air network.
This will mark the return to TV of Underwood, 38, who spent 16 years working for ABC affiliate WEWS, including four years as sports director. He hosted the Tribe's TV pregame show for nine seasons.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.