Scott Zolak and Andy Gresh have worked together for a dozen years, including a stint in Providence before they were reunited in the middays on 98.5 The Sports Hub in April 2010. Their ratings in that time have vacillated between steady and strong, with double-figure shares in the Nielsen Audio ratings often coming during the NFL season, their area of particular expertise.
Zolak, a former Patriots quarterback, is the color analyst on the team’s radio broadcasts, while Gresh is a host of the pre- and postgame programs on The Sports Hub, the flagship station. Their show, which finished second in the fall ratings period with an 8.5 share, might not be for everyone, but its performance has been remarkably stable.
This is why when fans and observers play that guessing game regarding programming changes at the Sports Hub and WEEI, few would have suspected that the Gresh and Zo show will not be around much longer.
According to multiple industry sources with knowledge of the situation, Gresh will no longer be part of the midday program after the Super Bowl.
Gresh, whose contract option was picked up by the station and parent company CBS Boston last January, will not receive a new contract and will leave the station.
Marc Bertrand, the third voice on the ratings-dominant Felger and Massarotti show, is expected to join Zolak as a co-host sometime in the middle of February. However, his contract with the midday show is not official.
The frontrunner to replace Betrand as Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti’s cohort afternoon drive is believed to be Rich Keefe, who is currently with the evening Adam Jones Show.
With Gresh’s departure, the Sports Hub will also shake up its Patriots pregame and postgame programming next year. Gary Tanguay, who briefly preceded Gresh as Zolak’s midday co-host when the Sports Hub launched in August 2009, also is not expected to return.
While a Bertrand-Zolak pairing has the makings of a very successful one, Gresh’s departure is somewhat puzzling because of the success and relative popularity of the program.
There have long been rumors of behind-the-scenes conflicts between Gresh and station management, but that’s hardly unique in the volatile world of radio.
Gresh and Sports Hub program director Mike Thomas did not respond to emailed requests for comment.