John Batchelor

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John Batchelor
John Batchelor by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Batchelor in February 2018
Born (1948-04-29) April 29, 1948 (age 72)
Alma materPrinceton University
Union Theological Seminary
Radio host
Notable work
Batchelor and Alexander
The John Batchelor Show

John Calvin Batchelor (born April 29, 1948) is an American author and host of The John Batchelor Show.[1] Based at AM 770 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 nightly show on WABC, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern Time and heard in many major markets across the country, now on the Westwood One network.[citation needed]

The program for a time was heard seven nights a week, using prerecorded material on weekends. More recently, it has aired Monday through Friday on WABC and many Westwood One network affiliates. Batchelor describes the show as a "news magazine" since he does not take phone calls from listeners but does a series of interviews with guests and reporters.

Early years[edit]

Batchelor was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to an Assyrian mother from Iran and a Midwestern American father.[2] He 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 graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York.[3]


Batchelor and Alexander[edit]

Batchelor in 2010

John Batchelor co-hosted Batchelor and Alexander with writer Paul Alexander on WABC in New York for over two years. They focused on international issues with special attention to Middle East-based terrorism. Batchelor 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."[3]

Three days before the September 11 attacks, they presented a four-hour WABC show on the USS Cole bombing, interviewing several guests.[4]

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

The John Batchelor Show[edit]

The John Batchelor Show began its national syndication in April 2003. The program airs 20 hours a week on roughly 200 stations. Its focus is geopolitics, economics, war, history, hard sciences, literature, private space, whimsy, etc. Historically, it carried nightly (Mon-Fri) the "Loftus Report" featuring the intelligence commentator John Loftus on current, war-related, open-source intelligence. Aaron Klein, at the time 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 Stephen F. 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 his executive producer have travelled domestically to hotspots, and to Azerbaijan, Qatar, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, 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[edit]

On Monday, August 25, 2006, Batchelor announced on air that his ABC show would be canceled, beginning with the show scheduled for the next Monday, September 1.[9]

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.[10]

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 focused more on authors of history books, while the Sunday show focused 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.[11]

Batchelor was a frequent guest on the Gene Countryman Show, KNSS, Wichita, Kansas, Sundays at 8 pm Eastern. Batchelor on Tuesdays formerly featured an hour with Larry Kudlow on finance (until Kudlow became an advisor to President Trump), and then an hour with professor Stephen Cohen on Russia. Professor Cohen elected to take a break for a while and the Tuesday guest as of early 2020 is Gregory R Copley, publisher of Defense and Foreign Affairs. 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 U.S. politics, foreign policy, and matters Australian (until Kissel became a senior advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo), 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) [12]
  • The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica, Dial Press (1983) (novel) [13]
  • American Falls (1985) (novel) [14]
  • Thunder in the Dust: Classic Images of Western Movies (1987) (with John R. Hamilton) [15]
  • Peter Nevsky and the True Story of the Russian Moon Landing (1993) (novel) [16]
  • Father's Day, (1994) (novel) [17]
  • "Ain't You Glad You Joined the Republicans?": A Short History of the GOP (May 1996) (nonfiction) [18]

Writing as Tommy "Tip" Paine

  • Gordon Liddy Is My Muse (1990) (novel) [19]
  • Walking the Cat (1991) (novel) [20]


The John Batchelor Show is broadcast every weekday 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' website 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 (first hour live Monday through Friday).[21]

Calls Freq. Format Market/Market Rank[22] Weeknights Saturday Sunday Group Owner
Satellite Stations
XM 166 Talk United States No 9 pm – 1 am ETCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 am ETCircle D63838.png Clear Channel Communications
Terrestrial Stations
WABC 770 kHz News/Talk New York City, NY / 1 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png Cumulus Media
WLS 890 kHz News/Talk Chicago, IL / 3 No 10 pm – 12 am No Cumulus Media
KGO 810 kHz Talk San Francisco, CA / 4 12 am – 3 amCircle D63838.png 12 am – 4 am and 10 pm – 12 am 12 am – 6 am and 10 pm – 12 am Cumulus Media
WBAP 820 kHz News/Talk Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas / 5 No 9 pm – 12 am 10 pm – 12 am Cumulus Media
KLIF 570 kHz All-News/Talk Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas / 5 8 pm – 9 pm No No Cumulus Media
KROI 92.1 MHz News Houston / 6 No 8 pm – 12 amCircle D63838.png 8 pm – 12 amCircle D63838.png Radio One
WMAL-FM 105.9 MHz News/Talk Washington, DC / 13 9 pm – 1 am 10 pm – 1 am 10 pm – 1 am Cumulus Media
WJR 760 kHz News/Talk Detroit, MI / 11 11 pm – 1 am 10 pm – 1 am No Cumulus Media
WBT 1110 kHz Talk Charlotte, NC-
Gastonia, NC-Rock Hill, SC / 24
No 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png Greater Media
WBT-FM 99.3 MHz
KCMO 710 kHz News/Talk Kansas City, MO / 33 8 pm – 12 am 9 pm – 11 pm 11 pm – 12 am Cumulus Media
WPRO 630 AM and 99.7 FM kHz News/Talk Providence-Warwick-
Pawtucket, RI / 41
9 pm – 1 am 11 pm – 1 am No Cumulus Media
WBOB 600 kHz News/Talk Jacksonville, FL / 49 No 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corp.
KKOB 770 kHz News/Talk Albuquerque, NM / 68 No 7 pm – 11 pmCircle D63838.png No Cumulus Media
WTRW 94.3 MHz Talk Carbondale (Scranton),
/ 70
9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png Bold Gold Media Group, LP
KNSS 1330 kHz News/Talk Wichita, KS / 98 11 pm – 12 am 9 pm – 12 am 8 pm – 9 pm Entercom Communications
KBOI 670 kHz News/Talk Boise, ID / 101 10 pm – 1 am 10 pm – 12 am No Cumulus Media
WGOW-FM 102.3 MHz News/Talk Chattanooga, TN / 108 Mon–Thur:
11 pm – 1 am
11 pm – 12 am
11 pm – 1 am 11 pm – 1 am Cumulus Media
WFNC 640 kHz News/Talk Fayetteville, NC / 130 11 pm – 1 am No No Cumulus Media
WPGG 1450 kHz News/Talk Atlantic City, NJ / 140 11 pm – 1 am 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png Townsquare Media
WXLM 980 kHz News/Talk New London, CT / 176 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png No No Cumulus Media
WKMI 1360 kHz News/Talk Kalamazoo, MI / 183 9 pm – 1 amCircle D63838.png No No Cumulus Media
KXL 101.1 MHz News/Talk Portland, OR / 23 No No 1 am – 5 amCircle 6888A6.png Alpha Broadcasting
WGDJ 1300 kHz News/Talk Albany, NY 9 pm – 12 am 9 pm – 12 am 9 pm – 12 am Regent Communications
  • Circle D63838.png Indicates live broadcast of entire show
  • Circle 6888A6.png Indicates a delayed broadcast

Frequent guests[edit]

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 Bowlly's late career. From 2001-2006, Batchelor ended his show with Kate Smith singing "God Bless America."

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.
  2. ^ "John Batchelor, Novelist & Radio Talk Show Host". Q& Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Collins, Glenn (November 21, 2001). "PUBLIC LIVES; Like the BBC Without Accents, or 'NPR on Drugs'". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 25, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ " / A&E / Books / The death, and rebirth, of Sylvia Plath". Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations". Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  7. ^ ". . : : Lonely Planets : David Grinspoon : : . ". Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 1, 2006. Retrieved September 1, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Pundita: Back With a Bang: Bicoastal Batchelor Broadcasts". Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  11. ^ "Curtis Sliwa is leaving WABC 770 AM". Daily News. New York. November 24, 2009.
  12. ^ Batchelor, John Calvin (April 15, 1980). "The Further Adventures of Halley's Comet". New York Congdon & Lattes 1980. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  13. ^ Batchelor, John Calvin (April 15, 1983). "The Birth of the People's Republic of Antartica". Dial. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  14. ^ Batchelor, John Calvin (July 1, 1996). "American Falls: A Novel". Henry Holt & Co. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  15. ^ Hamilton, John R.; Batchelor, John Calvin (September 1, 1987). "Thunder in the Dust: Classic Images of Western Movies". Stewart Tabori & Chang. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  16. ^ results, search (April 15, 2018). "Peter Nevsky and the True Story of the Russian Moon Landing". Henry Holt. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  17. ^ Batchelor, John Calvin (May 1, 1996). "Father's Day: A Novel". St Martins Pr. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  18. ^ Batchelor, John Calvin (May 1, 1996). "Ain't You Glad You Joined the Republicans?: A Short History of the Gop". Henry Holt & Co. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  19. ^ results, search (October 1, 1995). "Gordon Liddy Is My Muse: By Tommy "Tip" Paine : A Novel". Henry Holt & Co. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  20. ^ Batchelor, John Calvin (October 1, 1995). "Walking the Cat, by Tommy "Tip" Paine: Gordon Libby Is My Muse 2 : A Novel". Henry Holt & Co. Retrieved April 15, 2018 – via Amazon.
  21. ^ "On Air Schedule". Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  22. ^ Market Rank according to Arbitron Market Rankings
  23. ^ "THE BLISS INDEX". Retrieved April 15, 2018.

External links[edit]