Sports finds its place on FM radio

98.5 The Sports Hub ready to compete with WEEI, ESPN

By Johnny Diaz
Globe Staff / August 13, 2009

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The game is on between Boston’s sports talk radio stations as the newest player, 98.5 FM The Sports Hub, debuts today with its lineup of on-air personalities.

The station launches at 1 p.m. today. Mornings, from 6 to 10 a.m., will be hosted by Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, better known as Toucher and Rich.

The arrival of the new station is a game changer in Boston sports radio because of its coveted FM spot and corporate backing from CBS Radio, which plucked Toucher and Shertenlieb from WBCN and pulled the rock station off the air to make room for The Sports Hub. The station will be Boston’s third sports radio offering, joining WEEI-AM (850) and ESPN Radio (890), which are both on the AM dial.

“Sports radio is more popular than ever,’’ said Mike Thomas, the new sports station’s program director. “Giving Boston an alternative to sports radio is going to be our advantage. We have a huge advantage being on FM.’’

In addition to the morning show, the lineup for the new sports station includes Gary Tanguay of Comcast Sport sNet and former New England Patriots’ quarterback Scott Zolak from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Comcast SportsNet personality Michael Felger and Boston Globe sportswriter Tony Massarotti from 2 to 6 p.m.; and Damon “D.A.’’ Amendolara, who recently worked at WQAM in Miami, from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Massarotti will continue to write for the Globe and three days a week.

“We are really happy that we were able to retain Tony, even if it’s just three days a week, because he’s done such a great job for us, and he will continue to do so,’’ Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan said.

The station will feature call-in shows and broadcasts of New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins.

“To launch it with the return of Tom Brady and the first Patriots preseason game is very exciting,’’ Thomas said.

The change completes a sort of musical chairs on Boston radio, with The Sports Hub replacing adult contemporary pop music station WBMX, or Mix 98.5 FM, which in turn moves to 104.1 FM, the longtime home of rock station WBCN. WBCN will continue to stream music on its website at

Yesterday Mix’s deejays directed listeners to “reset their preset’’ button to the new dial position.

Johnny Diaz can be reached at

This story has been revised because of a reporting error that stated 98.5 FM The Sports Hub would begin broadcasting live Thursday morning.