In this week’s issue… Sports Hub morning show splits – RI PBS, public radio to merge – College stations link up for a “Big” day – New night jock in NYC – New museum in Pittsburgh
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*One of the best – or perhaps worst – things about radio, even in the 2020s, is that the best of it is still inextricably dependent on unique human talents.
Two of those talents, Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, have made a lot of good (and very profitable) radio over their 17 years together in Boston radio, the last 14 of those at the helm of the “Toucher and Rich” morning show at WBZ-FM (98.5 the Sports Hub), the top-billing station in the market.
Now that’s over, all because even the most successful radio pairings are still made up of unique human beings with their own relationships and foibles.
On Friday, Toucher told listeners that Shertenlieb wasn’t coming back, the culmination of tensions between the co-hosts that had been building for months since Toucher was out with throat problems.
“Rich said some stuff on and off the air about me I didn’t like,” Toucher said. “So I texted him some things that I had been holding on to from the course of our relationship that he did not like,” and matters deteriorated from there.
The two negotiated their contract renewals separately, at Toucher’s request, and while Beasley made a big deal out of Toucher’s extension last month, Shertenlieb was conspicuously absent from any announcement.
Beasley says it offered extensions to both, but that it was Shertenlieb’s decision not to renew.
“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,” Shertenlieb said in a statement Friday, promising to be back “to have a great time together” with listeners soon.
Where will that be? It’s too soon to say – there’s no obvious hole to fill elsewhere on the Boston radio dial, and both Toucher and Rich have skillsets that extend beyond sports talk, having first paired up in modern rock radio at Atlanta’s 99X and then Boston’s WBCN.
Back at the Sports Hub, Toucher and the rest of the cast are carrying on as usual for now, with a promise of some revamps to the show after the holidays.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND….
It’s the annual Tower Site Calendar!
This is the 23rd edition of our popular wall calendar, featuring gorgeous full-color photos of tower and transmitter sites from around the country, and sometimes the world. Our photos capture the sites throughout the day and throughout the year.
This makes a great gift for the tower enthusiast in your life — or a special treat for yourself!
Because it’s not yet off the press, we’re offering a pre-production price of $20. Once the calendar is printed, the price will go up to our regular price of $21.
Don’t wait – order yours today!
We have the Radio Historian’s Calendar again this year, too. There are only 25 in stock and they sell fast, so don’t wait to order.