Fred Toucher

For many years, Toucher and Rich has been the top sports radio show in Boston, one of the largest and most passionate fanbases in the country. Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb had partnered together for almost two decades. Their show on 98.5 The Sports Hub had become the top sports show in the market and one of the most notable local sports radio talk shows in the country.

All of that history and success came to an abrupt end on Friday as Toucher announced Rich’s departure from the show. In a lengthy clip recorded by Boston Radio Watch, Toucher offered a lengthy explanation for the breakup of the partnership. And by all accounts it came to a rather unfortunate and ugly ending.

“Earlier this year, Rich said some stuff on and off the air I didn’t like, so I texted him some things that I had been holding onto from the course of our relationship that he did not like,” Toucher said. “His agent told my agent, maybe it’s better if the guys negotiated separately.”

“I get a call that yesterday was Rich’s last show on the station,” Toucher added. “We all assumed that Rich was going to be here… Rich is not coming back.”

The writing has been on the wall for the Toucher and Rich divorce for months. Toucher suffered through a medical issue with his throat earlier this year and said publicly that he had not heard from his co-hosts to check on his well-being. He then took another leave of absence from the show after posting concerning messages on social media and opened up about the time he spent in a detox facility.

Finally, last week it was apparent that the divorce would be finalized when 98.5 The Sports Hub’s parent company, Beasley Media, announced an extension solely with Toucher, without any mention of Shertenlieb. The social media account for the show also saw a separation with Shertenlieb going his own separate way.

Beasley Media also offered their own statement on the situation, saying that it was Shertenlieb’s decision to leave the show and not renew his contract.

It’s clear from Toucher’s perspective that while he respects and appreciates the years that the pair shared together, they weren’t particularly close and the working relationship certainly soured this year. Toucher complimented his former co-host, but admitted that he likely wouldn’t talk to Shertenlieb in the near future and he has no idea what is in his future or why he decided to not continue at 98.5 The Sports Hub. It’s a similar story to other famous sports radio duos like Mike & Mike and Mike & The Mad Dog – a sudden, jarring end to a lengthy, successful partnership.