Cincinnati Reds radio announcer Jim Kelch won't have his contract renewed for the 2018 season. The Reds are planning to begin grooming a replacement for Marty Brennaman, though Brennaman isn't believed to be retiring soon.

Jim Kelch won’t be returning to Cincinnati Reds broadcast booth

Jim Kelch, the venerable play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds since 2010, won’t be in the booth in 2018, according to the Peoria Journal-Star. 

Kelch, a Peoria native, had announced Reds games on both television and radio since joining the team. He was given a major league promotion after calling the Reds triple-A affiliate Lousville prior to joining the Reds.

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Kelch was one of the Reds four main announcers. The team is preparing for the eventual retirement of Marty Brennaman, the baseball hall of fame announcer who has been the main play-by-play guy for Reds radio since the mid 1970s. The Reds have said they are not anticipating Brennaman’s retirement, but they are preparing a replacement, and that replacement would not be Kelch. 

Journa-Star reporter Nick Vlahos said the Reds are looking for a younger voice for the booth and to simplify the announcing assigments - the team has had as many as nine different announcers doing games in one season in recent years. 

Kelch was doing play-by-play for his hometown Peoria Chiefs in the mid-1980s, a Midwest League team. He made his way to Louisville where he called games for the Bats and University of Louisville men’s and women’s basketball games. 

Kelch is calling games for Northern Kentucky University basketball. Kelch was quoted in the Journal-Star saying his goal was to find another job calling games in baseball.