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Tom Rivers

Tom’s first radio job was with WGSP in Naples, Fl in 1984 working Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm until 2am. He also picked up some extra hours doing prize patrols, and even cut the grass around the tower. In 1985 he moved to WKJN in Baton Rouge, LA, and then to Tampa Bay in 1986 to join 97.9 WKRL-FM, which would soon become 98 Rock WXTB. 

A year later, while still a student at the University of South Florida, he moved to the evening shift on WQYK and quickly rose to mornings and the position of assistant music director. By 1990, he had moved up to program director, launching WQYK's era of ratings dominance and eventual recognition by the CMA as the nation's top country station. Except for a year as PD/morning host at WMZQ Washington, D.C. in 1992-93, he was with WQYK for 15 years. He went on to become operations manager, general manager (in 1998) as well as vice-president and general manager for WQYK AM & FM and sister station WYUU-FM. 
 
In spite of his many responsibilities, the Erie, Pennsylvania native continued his early morning air shift until 1999 when he gave it up to devote more time to managerial duties. Surprising everyone in January 2003, he pulled up stakes and left his Tampa Bay home and moved to Chicago’s WUSN-FM (US 99) to become operations manager and morning air personality. 
 
The industry heaped awards on him, including the rare double honor as top major market personality of the year in both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. He was also a board member of the Country Radio Broadcasters. 
 
Tom died in his sleep of bronchial asthma March 19, 2004 at his Chicago home. He was 38.

 

 

Station History

1986 - 1999 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)
1998 - 2003 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (Management)

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