Media Scene

WSOC’s Rob Tanner fighting cancer

Rob Tanner of ‘Tanner in the Morning’ on WSOC-FM.
Rob Tanner of ‘Tanner in the Morning’ on WSOC-FM. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Morning host Rob Tanner is still joking.

A week after his operation for a rare form of renal cancer, Tanner of “Tanner in the Morning” on WSOC-FM (103.7) recaps the surgery this way:

“My doctor must have done a fine job because he did the surgery and left the next day for the Masters.”

Part of a rib had to be removed to get to his kidney, and part of the kidney had to come out too.

Tanner’s cancer was in the first stage and he expects to fully recover. Soon he’ll get the 30 staples out of his torso.

His morning colleagues – Catherine Lane, Chris Allen and Jim Slade – will continue the popular show, says D.J. Stout, WSOC’s operations manager. Longtime sidekick Guenn Schneider left the show in December after the birth of her third child.

Stout expects Tanner to return in May.

Tanner’s latest problem, a low-grade tumor on his right kidney, was discovered during a follow-up exam to removal of a tumor found in May 2012.

That was also a rare one, called GIST, for gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

“I only get rare ones,” says Tanner, 52.

Tanner is marking his 11th year in Charlotte broadcasting, which is a long time in a business known for its turnover. His show is a consistent top-five finisher in Charlotte’s competitive morning radio rankings.

He and Paul Schadt at WKKT (96.9 “The Kat”) have one of the longest-running rivalries in Charlotte radio, a gentlemanly, decade-long battle for the ears of Charlotte’s country music listeners.

Together, they attract about 15 percent of radio listeners on any given morning, a huge slice of the market where more than 20 stations of various formats vie for attention.

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