Sports media: Ex-Tigers voice Mario Impemba up for Michigan sportscaster of the year

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
In early October 2018, Fox Sports Detroit decided to part with both Mario Impemba and Rod Allen. They worked together 16 years, the second-longest Tigers TV tandem, behind only George Kell and Al Kaline (21 years).

Mario Impemba, who was let go as the Tigers' lead TV broadcaster last month after a physical confrontation with his long-time on-air partner, is a finalist for Michigan's sportscaster of the year.

Impemba is one of three finalists for the award, handed out by the National Sports Media Association.

The other two finalists are Brad Galli of Channel 7 and Jennifer Hammond of Fox 2.

Impemba, 55, won the award once before, in 2011.

Impemba, a Metro Detroit native and Michigan State alum, joined Fox Sports Detroit in 2002, and called more than 2,000 games before his late-season suspension following an altercation with analyst Rod Allen during a series against the White Sox in Chicago. Impemba and Allen were abruptly taken off the air for the rest of the season, and a decision was made to part ways with both of them after the season.

Fox Sports Detroit continues its search for replacements.

Neither Impemba nor Allen has spoken publicly since their dismissal.

The National Sports Media Association also honors a sportswriter of the year from each state, and there are four Michigan finalists. They include Detroit News Michigan beat writer Angelique S. Chengelis, and three writers from the Detroit Free Press.

The last Detroit News writer to win that award was Bob Wojnowski, in 2009.

The 2018 winners will be announced Jan. 14.

Shep's show takes on TV

One of the candidates being talked about to replace Impemba is long-time Metro Detroit media staple Matt Shepard, who continues to be a busy man.

He's a regular on FSD for the Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings and the state-football finals, calls Michigan men's basketball and Eastern Michigan football, in addition to his weekday morning radio show, "Shep, Shower 'N' Shave."

The radio show airs 6-9 a.m. on WDFN 1130-AMs, Monday through Friday, and recently it started being simulcast on television.

The show now airs on Comcast 900, which is available all over Michigan, from Detroit to Grand Rapids to Muskegon, and just about everywhere in-between.

Lansing radio host moves west

Ryan Schuiling, a former sports-talk radio host in Lansing following a long stint on the airwaves in Grand Rapids, has taken a new job in Denver.

Schuiling was hired as a producer of a new afternoon-drive program on KHOW 630-AM.

Schuiling hosted "The Schuiling Report" on WQTX 92.1-FM in Lansing, until the show was dropped over the summer — shortly after Schuiling made deadlines for a lawsuit he filed and quickly dropped claiming defamation by a former colleague, Grand Rapids' radio star Bill Simonson.

WQTX has since dropped its sports format all together.

After hs Lansing mid-day show was cancelled, Schuiling, a former P.A. announcer for Michigan State men's basketball, helped launch a Michigan sports-analysis website, "The Great Lakes Divide."

Twitter: @tonypaul1984