After taking an extended leave of absence last month due to a cancer scare, Boston sports radio host Fred Toucher had been back on the air at 98.5 “The Sports Hub” for a few weeks.
But now, Toucher has been noticeably off the air for over a week now, and concerned many over the weekend with some troubling messages about wanting to harm himself on social media. Those tweets have since been deleted and Toucher’s Twitter account has been deactivated. On Sunday, he posted a picture on Instagram of himself strapped to an ambulance stretcher, suggesting that he was in the hospital. That photo is no longer available and Toucher’s comments on his posts have been limited.
Since then, there has been no formal update. While their relationship may be strained, co-host Rich Shertenlieb offered as much of an update as he could give on the situation. At the end of the third hour of the Toucher and Rich show on Wednesday, Shertenlieb touched on Toucher’s absence
“I do want to mention something real quick,” Shertenlieb said during Wednesday’s show. “As you know, Fred wasn’t here [Wednesday]. He wasn’t here yesterday. He most likely won’t be here [Thursday]. And a question I’ve gotten a few times is, ‘Why aren’t you talking about Fred?’ That is more than a fair question. It’s something that if you’ve been fans of the show for years, you like to know what’s going on.
“And the best answer I can give you is that I can’t unfortunately not talk about Fred, because any statement that I make right now has to be approved through management. The last time he was out for an extended period of time, I gave an update and was gently asked, for a lot of different reasons, that any statement about him has to be approved by management. There have been statements that have been submitted and some have been approved, some haven’t been… No one wants to be in this position. Fred doesn’t want to be in this position. The station doesn’t want to be in this position. I certainly don’t want to be in this position. But as of now all I’ve been approved to tell you—because you’re such great listeners and we love you—is that he’s not here…I don’t know exactly when he’ll be back, but I’ve been a friend of Fred’s for years and I hope the best for him.”
Last month, Toucher took medical leave from his No. 1 morning show, “Toucher & Rich,” due to a severe throat issue. During his absence, he fired off multiple tweets about the lack of support he received from the show during his extended leave of absence.
Despite everything that has happened, Shertenlieb continued to reiterate that everyone at the station wants the best for Fred Toucher.
“Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon,” Shertenlieb said. “I don’t know how much more I can say, but we’re rooting for you, Fred. If you’re listening, we’re rooting for you.”
PSA: If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health and needs help, the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline can be reached at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).