Fred Toucher is returning to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s morning show Wednesday, seven weeks after he took leave from the highly rated “Toucher and Rich” program to seek treatment for alcohol dependency.
“I’m back baby!,’’ wrote Toucher on his Instagram account a little past noon on Tuesday, captioning a photo with his wife and two children. “It’s been a crazy few weeks but I survived. I want to thank all of you for the tremendous support. I have read all your messages and they helped me more than you could imagine. I will tell my story starting tomorrow at 6am on Toucher and Rich 98.5 the sports hub.”
Toucher took leave from the show on July 22, a day after an unsettling program in which he shared details of his personal life and the effect they were having on him. Co-host Rich Shertenlieb suggested during the July 21 program that perhaps he should take some time off.
On the 22d, Shertelieb explained Toucher’s absence. “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.”
Toucher announced via Instagram on July 27 that he was going to receive treatment for alcohol addiction and would be leaving for rehabilitation the next day.
“Here is a non sarcastic post. I can’t sleep tonight because I’m going to rehab for my alcohol addiction tomorrow,’’ he wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared in my life. I have read all of your posts and they have meant the world to me. You made me feel a lot better about my struggle. I am looking forward to get back to the radio but I need to get well. I hope I can make those of you that like the show still tune in. Once again I have been overwhelmed with your support. Thank you so much.”
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. The show was No. 1 in its day part for the last full ratings period in the spring. The fall ratings period begins Thursday.