Veteran TV Host Bobby Rivers Weighs in on New York’s Gay Marriage Law

Bobby Rivers has been seen on a TV near you for decades. Rivers, a genial host, spent time on air in New York at WPIX, WNBC, and WNYW.

Rivers, who is gay, gained national fame as a VJ on VH1 early in his career. Later, he had a show on the Food Network.

Friday night, New York became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. For Rivers, though, it’s bittersweet.  

“I wish my late partner had lived to see that historic day and I wish I [had been] in New York City that night,” Rivers admits to FishbowlNY. “I’m so proud of the state I love.”

Rivers watched his partner die from the ravages of AIDS in 1994. During that time, he was reporting for WNBC/Channel 4’s Weekend Today in New York.

“There were many times I got to work at WNBC ten minutes late and unshaven because I’d come to work directly from Mount Sinai Hospital,” Rivers writes in his blog. “Most of the early morning show’s staff didn’t know I’d slept in a chair at his bedside and often took a shower in his quarantined hospital room. Then I’d go on-camera and try to get improv laughs with some macrame plant holders at a street fair or with folks at a toy convention or shopping mall.”

Rivers, 53, left New York for San Francisco earlier this year. However, he tells FishbowlNY that the move to the West Coast was not connected to the struggles of same-sex marriage. 

“If I got a job offer, I’d return to New York in a heartbeat,” Rivers admits.

Photo courtesy of Michael Timmons/