Legendary 2SM Jock, PD and Hot Tomato co-founder passes: Vale Jaan Torv

In a statement: “The family of Jaan (John) Torv is deeply saddened to announce his passing on July 17 in Cairns.  He had been battling chronic cardiac issues for several years. Jaan leaves two sons, Joshua and Daniel, and a daughter, Ariella. Jaan was well known for his distinctive voice and his wide-ranging creative mind that produced unique musical programming in Australia and the US. To know him was to appreciate good music. He will forever be missed.”

Jaan was brother to Hans Torv, well known as the co-host of the Hans & Kayley breakfast show on WSFM for 12 years prior to leaving the show to head up the Hot Tomato venture on the Gold Coast. The brothers’ sister Anna Torv was Rupert Murdoch’s second wife who financed the purchase of the Gold Coast licence for $26 million in 2002.

A rare shot of the brothers, Hans (left) and Jaan.

In the early 1970’s, Jaan was both the Drive announcer and Program Director at 2SM and is credited with inventing Rocktober.



In December 2021, while battling a grave illness, in correspondence with a friend the subject of writing one’s own obituary was raised. His response was typical Jaan Torv:

Dark as the topic may be, I’d like my obit to include the lyrics (or a verse) of  ‘I Was Born Under a Wanderin’ Star.’

‘Wheels were made for rollin’

Mules were made to pack

I never saw a sight

That didn’t look better looking back.’

I’d also like to add a pinch of Yeats, Auden and Maugham. (That way people will think I’m intelligent) Also, I must say, writing your own obituary opens the floodgates of unadulterated self-praise and romantic notions  …don’t you think?

“In the early hours of yesterday morning, Mr. Jaan Torv slouched towards ‘Goodnight Moon’ forever.  His journey took him back and forth  across the Rubicon and much to everyone’s surprise, he survived. He made lifelong friends with like minded people who shared his horror and his fight to keep America safe from the bigots, misogynists, supremacists and autocrats who rose from pond scum to toxic algae.

Mid-life necessity led to his separation from his dearly loved children and the most wonderful companion a person could hope to have. She was “My North, my South, my East, my West” – and although the clocks never stopped or  the traffic policemen (and women) ever wear  “black cotton gloves” to mark his passing, there will be those who will pause for a moment and remember the times and settings of discovery and achievement.

That aside, although not a polymath he was a study in polymathics.

He was a man of curiosity, ideas and determination. May he rest in peace. “

Ideally, my headstone would read:

‘Life Was an Ever Unfolding Mystery.’

Jaan Torv 1946-20??


Peter Saxon – Managing Editor