Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Jeff Dauler breaks down talking about Jenn Hobby's baby with cancer on Star 94.1

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Monday, August 15, 2016

My colleague Jenn Brett today reported Star 94.1's Jenn Hobby's shocking news that her 10-month-old Reese has cancer and is in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Hobby's work colleague Jeff Dauler gave an emotional, tear-filled report about the situation on air. Here is the audio:

Hobby's second daughter got sick a couple weeks ago and the radio host and her husband Grant Rivera have been trying to figure out what's wrong. Over the weekend, they found out.

On Saturday at 12:23 p.m., Hobby called Dauler and gave him the bad news: Reese has cancer. "I don't remember anything else about the call," he said. "I remember the anguish in Jenn's voice. I felt like all the air had been sucked out of my car. I was having a hard time focusing on anything."

Reese entered Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where she is going to be treated with chemotherapy. Dauler and his fiance Callie Riggs visited them yesterday.

"Jenn who was understandably broken all day Saturday was now in her warrior mode," he said. "She's starting to feel more in control." Her husband is in "gathering" mode, learning everything about childhood cancer.

The initial diagnosis: "She has a mass tumor near her tailbone starting to affect her spine."

(UPDATE: He went straight to the hospital after his show and got an update he sent this via email: 

Chemo likely to start Wednesday. Plan is to shrink the tumor (currently tennis-ball sized) and get it away from the spine, then go grab it surgically. 

Once that starts, some sort of routine will fall into place. For those that have asked about meal delivery or anything along those lines, I think that's when it will be most needed. 

The folks at Seacrest Studios have been great [located at Children's Healthcare at Emory and create by Ryan Seacrest] and we'll have access to that space as needed. We have the show covered this week.)

At this point, Dauler's voice started breaking as he got teary eyed. This afternoon, she will have a biopsy to find out more details on the tumor and decide how to go about chemotherapy followed by surgery.

He said Hobby wanted him to pass on how wonderful the staff at Children's Healthcare is. He also said he felt silly but Hobby wanted to ensure that Dauler and the team at Star should continue to do the show they always do, balancing upbeat and silly stuff. He said the goal of the show when they started in March was not to be depressing, not to weight people down, but to leave listeners in a better mood.

Here's how he closed this eight-minute report:

"I'm sorry this bummer news is hitting you first thing on Monday morning. I'm sorry we broke the promise we made to you when we started the show. Thank you for listening and thank you for letting us be a part of your lives," he said, his voice breaking again. "We love you. We feel the love you send your way. And if you have a spare moment, send good energy to tiny little Reese because she's going to need it, all that she can get. And if you're a person that prays, just ask for Jenn and Grant to have calmness and clarity to make the best decisions for their little girl and ask the doctors to have the wisdom to make the best choices and ask for a speedy recovery for Reese back to 100 percent. And if the opportunity presents itself in the near future, please do some random act of kindness in honor of Reese and all of the other children who are fighting cancer right now. I believe that energy moves across our world like ripples and the more that we put out there, the more will come back to us. So you've got this Jenn, Grant, Reese, you're going to win, you're going to beat this. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I know that you will be cancer free and as good as new as soon as possible. Reese, every single person listening is fighting along side with you."

Star then played Rachel Platten's "Fight Song."

Dauler and Hobby were part of the Bert Weiss' Bert Show on Q100 together for more than a decade, from 2002 to 2013, when she left to take a mid-day job at sister station Kicks 101.5. Dauler was on the Bert Show from 2001 until last November. The pair reunited on Star 94 earlier this year and now compete against Weiss.

Weiss, in a text, wrote this morning: "My heart breaks for her. I sent her a text this am as soon as I heard. She and Grant are incredible, faith-based people and I know their strength will get them through this. Saying a bunch of prayers for her and her family today."

You can provide Hobby with your thoughts and prayers on her Facebook page here.



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Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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