- It turns out that Nov. 9, 2023, was Rich Shertenlieb’s last day on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich radio show.
- Listeners didn't find out about him leaving until after the fact.
- Co-host Fred Toucher said that he and Rich had disagreements and that Rich turned down the station’s multi-year offer to stay on the show.
Now that one of Boston’s most popular morning show duos has split up, many listeners are asking the same question: Why did Rich leave Toucher & Rich?
Fred Toucher delivered the news on Nov. 10, 2023. He announced on air that Rich Shertenlieb, his longtime Toucher & Rich co-host, was leaving 98.5 The Sports Hub.
That same day, Rich addressed fans himself in a Twitter post. “There’s a lot to say,” he wrote, in part. “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.”
Rich hasn’t explained his exit, but the breakdown of his relationship with Fred and his contract negotiations with the station might hold the answers.
Fred Toucher discussed his tension with ‘Toucher & Rich’ co-host Rich Shertenlieb.
During his announcement of Rich’s exit, Fred said that he wouldn’t “get into great detail” about the development, which he only found out about the day before. He did, however, mention that he didn’t “really know anything” about Rich, despite knowing the guy for 20 years, per Boston 25 News.
Fred also told listeners about disagreements that he and Rich had talked about. “Earlier this year. Rich said some stuff on and off the air about me I didn’t like, so I texted him some things that I had been holding on to from the course of our relationship, which he did not like,” he said.
Fred said that he didn’t intend to talk to Rich again soon but didn’t wish him “any ill will.”
After Rich’s exit, CBS News Boston reported that his working relationship with Fred worsened recently after Fred signed a contract extension without him, following years of them negotiating contracts together.
Rich apparently turned down an offer to stay on the show.
Fred also told listeners about Rich’s contract negotiations with 98.5 The Sports Hub. “They want me to say the station made him a multi-year offer for more money that he chose not to accept,” he said. “And I knew that was kind of going that they weren’t really getting anywhere in their negotiation. Maybe something could have been done at the last minute. Maybe whatever issues they were having could have been rectified. But that’s not happening now. Rich is not coming back.”
Beasley Media Group, owner of 98.5 The Sports Hub, offered a similar version of events. “We value Rich’s contributions to the show over the years,” Heidi Raphael, Chief Communications Officer of Beasley Media, said in a statement, per Boston 25 News. “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 was reportedly spotted at Boston sports radio station WEEI on Nov. 10, but Fred thinks his former co-host should get out of sports media altogether. “As someone who still does care about him, and I truly like him, I would hope that he just does something where he can just flex that comedic bone, man, and have fun,” he told listeners on Nov. 13, according to the Boston Herald.