John Batchelor

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Batchelor in 2010

John Calvin Batchelor (born April 29, 1948) is an American author and host of The John Batchelor Show radio news magazine.[1] Based at WABC radio in New York for five years from early 2001 to September, 2006, the show was syndicated nationally on the ABC radio network. On October 7, 2007, Batchelor returned to radio on WABC, and later to other large market stations on a weekly basis. As of November 30, 2009, Batchelor was once again hosting a daily show on WABC, airing seven days a week from 9 p.m to 1 a.m Eastern Time in many major markets across the country, now on the Westwood One network.[citation needed]

Early years

Batchelor was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to an Iranian-Assyrian/American family,[2] and was raised primarily in Lower Merion Township of Montgomery County, in Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district. His mother and father both served in the United States Army during World War II; his father also served in the Korean War. Batchelor is the eldest of five brothers. He is a 1970 graduate of Princeton University and a 1976 graduate of Union Theological Seminary.[citation needed]


Batchelor and Alexander

John Batchelor and his original co-host, Paul Alexander, broadcast Batchelor and Alexander on WABC in New York. On September 8, 2001, John Batchelor and Paul Alexander presented a four-hour WABC show that was devoted to multiple guest interviews on the USS Cole bombing [3] in October 2000 by the major suspect, the Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden and his gang, al Qaeda. For two years, in the show, Batchelor performed the role of Republican; Alexander took the role of Democrat. They focused on international issues with special attention to Middle East-based terrorism. He described their approach: "Our model is the BBC World Service, with music and live interviews, but without English accents." Alexander quipped: "We're not NPR, where they do setups to things on tape. Well, we could be NPR on drugs."[4]

Alexander left the show in December 2003 to pursue work as a playwright[5] and biographer.

The John Batchelor Show

The John Batchelor Show was syndicated nationally in April 2003. It carried nightly (Mon-Fri) the "Loftus Report" featuring the intelligence commentator John Loftus on current, war-related, open-source intelligence. Aaron Klein, Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily, was also a regular and served as a co-host. Other regular contributors included Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations;[6] the New York attorney and taste-maker Ed Hayes; Larry Kudlow of CNBC's Kudlow & Company: Bill Whelan of the Hoover Institution: John Fund, Bret Stephens, Dan Henninger, Rob Pollock and Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal; Jim McTague of Barron's Magazine; Chuck Todd, then of The Hotline, now NBC Political Director; Fiona Harvey and Martin Wolf of the Financial Times; Jodi Schneider of the Congressional Quarterly; Matt Bai and A. O. Scott of the New York Times; Katrina vanden Heuvel and Steve Cohen of The Nation; Victor Davis Hanson, Henry Miller, and Larry Diamond of the Hoover Institution; Adrian Wooldridge, Robert Guest, and John Parker of the Economist; Monica Crowley; David Grinspoon,[7] resident expert on the planet Mars and outer space, and Robert Zimmerman, award-winning NASA observer. The program daily featured reports from journalists who filed with the world's most respected press outlets, and the show was reliably a few days ahead of the news cycle.

When John Batchelor occasionally took a break for several evenings, the show was often hosted by Jed Babbin, editor of Human Events in Washington, D.C.; sometimes by the former BBC journalist John Terrett, who now works for al Jazeera; and by Larry Kudlow of CNBC's Kudlow & Company and WABC's Larry Kudlow Show. In 2012, Simon Constable of Dow Jones; Chris Riback, author and researcher, and Francis Rose of Federal News Radio in Washington, D.C., became primary fill-ins.

Batchelor's show featured multiple guests, and shows were preceded by and interspersed with news clips and music. The show focussed on myriad topics, including politics, the war on terror, nuclear proliferation, the UN, African civil wars, American history, space exploration and even Hollywood scandals. The Jerusalem Post has an audio archive of Batchelor and Alexander segments from 2002 and 2003 that deal with Israel and the Middle East.[8]

To report on breaking news, Batchelor and a small staff have travelled domestically to hotspots, and to Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, France, Poland and Taiwan. They landed in Taipei to broadcast for the week leading up to the 2004 elections, when, on the last day of electioneering, both the president and the vice-president were shot and wounded by an unknown assailant.

Show cancellation and subsequent return

On Monday, August 25, 2006, Batchelor announced on air that his last show on ABC Radio Network would be on September 1, that Friday.[9]

WABC's manager, Phil Boyce, wrote in e-mails to listeners that ABC Radio Network simply had discontinued Batchelor's syndication, but Boyce didn't give any hint why that had happened.[citation needed]

His first radio appearance since his departure from ABC was as a substitute host for Matt Drudge on July 22, 2007. The show was nearly identical in format to his ABC show, including contributions from Klein and Loftus, among many other guests. He returned to fill in for Drudge on September 2, 2007.[10]

Batchelor returned on WABC as the host of a weekly version of the previous show on October 7, 2007, from 7–10 PM Eastern Time. He then hosted a second show as a guest host on KFI in Los Angeles, filling the vacancy caused by the departure of Matt Drudge, in the next three hours from 7–10 PM Pacific time. His first program featured an interview with Nick Grace of that broke the name of al Qaeda's extranet, Obelisk, and the news that the extranet's security tightened following a press leak in September 2007.[11]

In 2009, Batchelor expanded his show to Saturday and Sunday nights, from 9 PM to 1 AM, on most of his affiliates. The Saturday show focuses more on authors of history books, while the Sunday show focuses on breaking news and a wider range of topics.

On November 24, 2009, WABC announced that the Batchelor show would be also airing weeknights from 9 PM to 1 AM, effective November 30.[12]

John Batchelor was a frequent guest on the Gene Countryman Show, KNSS, WIchita, Kansas, Sundays at 8 PM Eastern. As of mid-2015, John Batchelor features on Tuesdays: an hour with Larry Kudlow on finance, and then an hour with Prof Stephen Cohen on Russia; on Wednesdays: an hour-plus with Gordon Chang on China and East Asia, and one or two segments on private exploration of space with Dr David Livingston; on Thursdays: an hour with Mary Kissel on domestic US politics and matters Australian, then an hour and a half with Malcolm Hoenlein on the MIddle East.


Writing as John Calvin Batchelor

  • The Further Adventures of Halley's Comet (1980) (novel) [13]
  • The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica, Dial Press (1983) (novel) [14]
  • American Falls (1985) [15]
  • Thunder in the Dust: Classic Images of Western Movies (1987) (with John R. Hamilton) [16]
  • Peter Nevsky and the True Story of the Russian Moon Landing (1993) (novel) [17]
  • Father's Day, (1994) (novel) [18]
  • "Ain't You Glad You Joined the Republicans?": A Short History of the GOP (May 1996) (nonfiction) [19]

Writing as Tommy "Tip" Paine

  • Gordon Liddy Is My Muse (1990) (novel) [20]
  • Walking the Cat (1991) (novel) [21]


The John Batchelor Show is broadcast every day from 9 PM to 1 AM Eastern time, 6-10 PM Pacific time. It is broadcast on a network of affiliates, and originates from 77 WABC in New York City. Neither Batchelor's nor Cumulus Media Networks' websites has a complete affiliate list, so this list may not display all stations that carry the show.

All times listed below are local to the market served. Not all stations broadcast the show in its entirety.

Note: In the case of the Dallas, Texas market, the show is split between two stations: WBAP AM/FM (first three hours of the weekend shows live) and KLIF (all four hours live, then repeated in its entirety, on weeknights; and the last live hour of the weekend show, followed by a repeat of the entire weekend program).

Calls Freq. Format Market/Market Rank[22] Weeknights Saturday Sunday Group Owner
Satellite Stations
XM 166 Talk United States No 9PM-1AM ETCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AM ETCircle D63838.png Clear Channel Communications
Terrestrial Stations
WABC 770 kHz News/Talk New York City, NY / 1 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png Cumulus Media
WLS 890 kHz News/Talk Chicago, IL / 3 No 10PM-12AM No Cumulus Media
KSFO 560 kHz Talk San Francisco, CA / 4 6PM-10PMCircle D63838.png No 7PM-10PM Cumulus Media
WBAP 820 kHz News/Talk Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas / 5 No 9PM-12AM 10PM-12AM Cumulus Media
KLIF 570 kHz All-News/Talk Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas / 5 8PM-9PM No No Cumulus Media
KROI 92.1 MHz News Houston / 6 No 8PM-12AMCircle D63838.png 8PM-12AMCircle D63838.png Radio One
WYAY 106.7 MHz News/Talk Atlanta, GA / 9 10PM-1AM No No Cumulus Media
WMAL 630 kHz News/Talk Washington, DC / 13 9PM-1AM 10PM-1AM 10PM-1AM Cumulus Media
WMAL-FM 105.9 MHz
WJR 760 kHz News/Talk Detroit, MI / 11 11PM-1AM 10PM-1AM No Cumulus Media
WBT 1110 kHz Talk Charlotte, NC-Gastonia, NC-Rock Hill, SC / 24 No 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png No Greater Media
WBT-FM 99.3 MHz
KCMO 710 kHz News/Talk Kansas City, MO / 33 8PM-12AM 9PM-11PM 11PM-12AM Cumulus Media
WPRO 630 AM and 99.7 FM kHz News/Talk Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, RI / 41 9PM-1AM 11PM-1AM No Cumulus Media
WBOB 600 kHz News/Talk Jacksonville, FL / 49 No 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp.
KKOB 770 kHz News/Talk Albuquerque, NM / 68 No 7PM-11PMCircle D63838.png No Cumulus Media
WTRW 94.3 MHz Talk Carbondale (Scranton), PA / 70 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png Bold Gold Media Group, LP
KNSS 1330 kHz News/Talk Wichita, KS / 98 11PM-12AM 9PM-12AM 8PM-9PM Entercom Communications
KBOI 670 kHz News/Talk Boise, ID / 101 10PM-1AM 10PM-12AM No Cumulus Media
WGOW-FM 102.3 MHz News/Talk Chattanooga, TN / 108 M-Th:11PM-1AM
11PM-1AM 11PM-1AM Cumulus Media
WFNC 640 kHz News/Talk Fayetteville, NC / 130 11PM-1AM No No Cumulus Media
WPGG 1450 kHz News/Talk Atlantic City, NJ / 140 11PM-1AM 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png Townsquare Media
WXLM 980 kHz News/Talk New London, CT / 176 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png No No Cumulus Media
WKMI 1360 kHz News/Talk Kalamazoo, MI / 183 9PM-1AMCircle D63838.png No No Cumulus Media
KXL 101.1 MHz News/Talk Portland, OR / 23 No No 1AM-5AMCircle 6888A6.png Alpha Broadcasting
WGDJ 1300 kHz News/Talk Albany, NY 9PM-12AM 9PM-12AM 9PM-12AM Regent Communications
  • Circle D63838.png Indicates live broadcast of entire show
  • Circle 6888A6.png Indicates a delayed broadcast

Frequent guests

Regular segments include "Hotel California" (introduced by an instrumental version of the Eagles song), which was a discussion of California's former fiscal discombobulation and its political environment, including the gubernatorial and Senatorial races. Devin Nunes generally is included in the roundtable; also, Hotel Mars, episode n.

Robert Zimmerman of behindtheblack frequently comes on to talk about NASA and the space program, preceded by the music from the Star Trek end credits. The show's last segment (c.12:55 AM EST) invariably features Al Bowlly's "Midnight, the Stars and You", ending in a brief (<30sec) valediction/good-night, sometimes with a few moments with a guest (time for one question). The singer is sometimes mistaken for Al Jolson, as Batchelor introduces the singer simply with "here's Al," and the song dates from the time of Jolson's late career.

John Avlon, Jeff Bliss, Gordon Chang, Simon Constable, Taegan Goddard, Malcolm Hoenlein, Mary Kissel, Larry Kudlow, Francis Rose, and Chris Riback have frequently guest-hosted or co-hosted.


  1. O'Connor, Anahad (February 19, 2006). "He Takes the Shout Out of Talk Radio". The New York Times. pp. 14WC.1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "John Batchelor, Novelist & Radio Talk Show Host". Q& Retrieved November 30, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Collins, Glenn (November 21, 2001). "PUBLIC LIVES; Like the BBC Without Accents, or 'NPR on Drugs'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Curtis Sliwa is leaving WABC 770 AM". Daily News. New York. November 24, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Market Rank according to Arbitron Market Rankings

External links