Sports Hub host Fred Toucher will be off the air amid Beasley Media Group review

Fred Toucher (3rd from right) co-hosts the Toucher and Rich radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Fred Toucher (3rd from right) co-hosts the Toucher and Rich radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub. –Cha-Chi Loprete

Sports Hub host Fred Toucher will be off the air at the station for an undisclosed amount of time after an unsettling show Tuesday during which he revealed details of his personal life and the effects they were having on him.

Toucher, who co-hosts the highly rated program with Rich Shertenlieb, revealed during Tuesday’s show that he was going through a divorce. He had been late for the show, and during the 7 a.m. hour sounded agitated enough that Shertenlieb suggested he should take some time off and offered to go off the air with him at that time.

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Toucher was not part of Wednesday’s program. At a few minutes before noon, he posted an update to his status on Instagram, saying he was seeking mental help.

“First of all thank you to the listeners that have my back,’’ he wrote. “For some reason I want you guys to know I have never been drunk on the air [management has never accused me of such} I am going to a mental institution next week. I am sometimes too forthcoming on the air. I’m used to just being honest about my life but when you are a [expletive] that isn’t such a good idea.”

Coming out of the first commercial break in the 6 a.m. hour on Wednesday show, Shertenlieb explained why Toucher wasn’t part of the show.

“Listen, with everything that’s going on, Fred’s going to take a couple of days off,’’ said Shertenlieb. “And we love the guy, can’t wait until he gets back. But if you heard any of the show yesterday, we know that this is something that he’s going to just take a few days and step back, and we’re glad. And once again, we wish him the best and he’ll be back soon.”

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Added fellow host Jon Wallach: “We’re here for you bud, we’re here for you and we miss you.”

Management at the Sports Hub did not provide specifics on Toucher’s status, but passed along a statement from its corporate parent, Beasley Media Group.

“As a responsible company committed to the Boston Community,’’ the statement read, “we take this matter very seriously. Fred will be off the air while we continue to review the situation.”

The Sports Hub typically posts each hour of its programming on the standard podcast platforms. But all four hours of Tuesday’s program are not available, even on the station’s website.

The Toucher and Rich program has long been one of the most popular radio shows in the Boston market, starting out on now-defunct rock station WBCN before becoming a sports show when the 98.5 launched in August 2009.

In the most recent ratings period, Toucher and Rich finished first in the men 25-54 demographic (sports radio’s most targeted audience) in morning drive with a 12.7 share.

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