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"Shotgun" DJ Tom Rivers dies

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TORONTO, - Tom Rivers, a rock 'n' roll DJ known for his "larger than life delivery" on radio stations across the continent, died Saturday at 57. He had been diagnosed with cancer.

"He was probably one of the greatest rock 'n' roll jocks of that era, probably in North America," said Brian Thomas, who worked with Rivers throughout the 1970s and 1980s as news director and news manager at CHUM Ltd. in Toronto.

"That hugely larger-than-life delivery, that wonderful voice he had, and his ability to excite you, made him sound almost untouchable."

He spent four decades in Top 40 radio, with stops at KFRC San Francisco, WIBG Philadelphia, CKLW Windsor, CFTR Toronto and several other top stations. Rivers, known by many as "Shotgun," is perhaps best remembered for his many years at CHUM Toronto, where he came and went several times between 1970 and 2004.

On the air, Rivers was known for his rebellious demeanour. After arriving at 1050 CHUM in the early evening shift in 1970, Rivers went on to host a memorable morning show at CHUM in the early 1980s. He was in fact a key player in a new high energy era at CHUM in the 1970s, working alongside such memorable talent as Terry Steele, Scott Carpenter, Mike Cooper, Jim Van Horne, John Majhor, John Rode, Roger Ashby, Mark Edwards and Duke Roberts.

Rivers caused ripples throughout the industry when in 1984 the Canadian Labour Board ruled that CHUM unjustly fired him from his $65,000-a-year job in September 1982.

Though he left to practice his craft in Edmonton for a stint, "Shotgun" returned to Toronto in the '90s and could be found entertaining folks on CKFM, CJEZ and CHOG.

Rivers is survived by his wife Nanci, son Brandon and mother Lee Loughridge.

Tom Rivers

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