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Rich Shertenlieb leaves Boston's top-rated "Toucher & Rich" on 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rich Shertenlieb leaves "Toucher & Rich" show on 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rich Shertenlieb leaves "Toucher & Rich" show on 98.5 The Sports Hub 02:43

BOSTON - The "Toucher & Rich" radio program on 98.5 The Sports Hub - one of the top rated radio shows in Boston and the country - has ended, Fred Toucher confirmed on the air Friday. Co-host Rich Shertenlieb has officially left the program. 

In a statement, Beasley Media Group, which owns the Sports Hub, told WBZ-TV, "We value Rich's contributions to the show over the years. Beasley offered to renew his contract for multiple years on terms better than his existing contract. He never accepted. We wish him the best." 

Rich Shertenlieb's statement

A few hours later, Shertenlieb posted a statement on social media thanking listeners and "each member of the Toucher & Rich show and the team at the station."  He also said it wasn't his plan to leave this way.

"There's a lot to say and a lot more fun to have, and when we connect again every day, my commitment to you will be the same as it's always been, to have a great time together," he wrote.

"It was not my decision to not say goodbye on the radio, nor was it my plan to leave the program and station this soon, but just know that I'll be announcing my plans in the near future. But for today, know that I TRULY LOVE YOU ALL and appreciate you sharing your time with me and the guys, and I can't wait to share what's next."

Toucher & Rich history

Toucher and Rich had worked together for years, bringing their show to WBCN in Boston in 2006. They had been in the morning slot from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. since the Sports Hub debuted back in 2009.

Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb in 2019. 98.5 The Sports Hub/CBS Radio

Their relationship had fractured recently and that was amplified last month when Toucher signed a contract extension without Shertenlieb. The two had negotiated their contracts together for years, according to the Boston Globe.

Shertenlieb then announced on Thursday he was no longer running the program's social media accounts.

The final Toucher & Rich show

Toucher confirmed the end of their 17-year partnership on the air at the beginning of Friday's show, saying Thursday was Shertenlieb's final show.  

"Rich is not coming back," Toucher said, adding that he's "extraordinarily excited" about the future of the show, which includes WBZ-TV's Dan Roche.

"The new show will launch at the beginning of the year," Toucher said. "What is the future of Rich? I have no idea."

You can watch Toucher's full comments here.

"A perfect couple"

WBZ-TV's Dan Roche, who fills in on the show, said Rich and Fred's chemistry set them apart from the rest.

"Fred was kind of that curmudgeonly, kind of crusty kind of guy, and Rich was always the one with different bits and things like that and they had different opinions, and it just worked," Roche said. "For some reason it was a perfect couple."

A seemingly perfect match that topped Boston's radio ratings year after year, begging the question, why? Perhaps the signs were there.

"I guess the right thing to do is to negotiate as a team, maybe you'll get more value, better contracts what have you," Roche said. "But they decided for whatever reason to negotiate separately. That was maybe your first red flag."

Now that the duo is no more, what's next?

"Sometimes people just maybe grow apart and they go their separate ways. It doesn't mean they can't be successful separately," Roche said.

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