On Friday, Fred Toucher revealed that longtime radio co-host Rich Shertenlieb departed 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Toucher & Rich show, ending a successful 17-year run together. The news surprised many listeners of the program, which continuously finished at the top of the ratings and most recently attained a 15.1 share in the Boston designated market area. Because of how quickly and abruptly the iteration of the morning program concluded, Toucher figured that he would face more questions about the development on Monday morning.
Sure enough, a caller wanted to hear more about the assertion Toucher had made that he did not genuinely know much about Shertenlieb off the air. After Toucher implored the caller to compliment him about his ad-lib performance on Friday morning – something the show quipped they would submit for a Marconi Award next year – he expounded on the point to provide more clarity regarding the situation.
“In terms of his personal life, he probably found me incredibly annoying because I’m always telling everyone everything about me,” Toucher said Monday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub, “and I just feel like out of people I’ve known for 20 years, I know every single one of them more than I know Rich.”
Toucher asked the caller how much he knew about Shertenlieb in terms of comparison, and expressed that there are a lot of perceptions about the show that are simply false. In response, the caller shared their cognizance of the show being successful and popular and identified the appeal of the program as providing the audience with a true representation of what the program was about.
Shertenlieb sent Toucher a text message on Saturday, the contents of which Toucher neglected to divulge on the air to protect the trust that he had fostered with his longtime co-host. In the interest of full transparency, however, Toucher decided to read the response he wrote to Shertenlieb on the air so listeners could better understand the scope of the situation.
“Hey, so good to hear from you,” Toucher’s reply read. “As I’m sure you heard, I had no idea that Thursday was it. I definitely would have said goodbye. I’m very grateful for our time together. Thanks so much for your hard work. Even at the end, the hours of 6 to 10 were some of the greatest of my day. Hope everything is awesome with you and your family.”
Other show contributors in the studio lauded Fred Toucher’s professionalism within the message, calling the response a magnanimous gesture. During that discourse, Toucher said, “That’s a guy who might have tried to get me… and I still did that,” omitting the defining modifier within the statement. He also heard the rumors that Shertenlieb was at WEEI on Friday meeting with station management, an outlet that Toucher advised his former co-host against joining on Monday morning.
“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 and have fun,” Toucher said. “He doesn’t like negativity; he doesn’t like being drawn into it with the likes of me. Just go somewhere fun – go somewhere where it’s more fun – where you don’t have to talk about this crap.”
Another caller decided to chime in to the conversation and suggested that Toucher was more apt to placate demands from the corporate sector of the station than Shertenlieb. In his answer, Toucher conveyed that one of the big things he did with corporate was to benefit Shertenlieb, trying to help him and get him to calm down at the station. Rather than bending over backwards, as the caller implicated, he equated the gesture to more of being able to take the difficulties thrown towards the show.
With the morning show looking to name a new permanent co-host by the start of the new year, Fred Toucher is excited about the next chapter of the program. In fact, he just signed a contract extension with 98.5 The Sports Hub and is grateful to be on the air again after difficulties with his vocal cords that still may require surgery in the future.
“People have been asking me – my advice to Rich would be like, ‘Dude, you’re great at production; you just want to have fun,’” Fred Toucher said. “‘Go get a radio job that’s super fun where people aren’t dicks. I don’t know why you want to do sports radio.’”
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.