Skip to comments.Curtis Sliwa leaves WABC, John Batchelor moves into slot
Posted on 11/30/2009 5:02:13 PM PST by neverdem
Curtis Sliwa (above) leaves WABC on Monday and will be replaced by John Batchelor seven days a week.
Whether you think Curtis Sliwa is a street-smart good guy or one of local media's all-time great self-promoters, WABC (770 AM) won't sound quite the same without him.
John Batchelor, who moves into Sliwa's old 9 p.m.-1 a.m. slot starting Monday night, likes to have fun and play music. But he also takes a methodical, scholarly approach to international geopolitics, often with an emphasis on the Middle East. Compared to Sliwa, he sounds downright professorial.
Having Batchelor in the late-evening shift also gives WABC a full national lineup, both in focus and in sound, since Sliwa was the last weekday regular who talked like New York.
That's clearly the strategy favored by WABC's parent, Citadel, which is struggling financially. But WABC program director Laurie Cantillo notes that the station does feature several local hosts on weekends.
As for why Sliwa is leaving WABC, he says only that "it became clear we weren't going to agree on a new contract, so we mutually decided it was time to split up."
"I can't go into details, obviously," said Cantillo. "But it became clear Curtis really wanted a prime-time shift and we just don't have any of those available."
Rumors are already swirling that Sliwa will become the morning host at WNYM (970 AM). "The Apple" has a solid syndicated lineup, including New York veterans Dr. Laura Schlesinger and Mike Gallagher, but it has yet to make much of a ripple here, and Sliwa could give the station a local marquee name.
Doing mornings there would also give him a rematch with Imus. When Sliwa and Ron Kuby co-hosted mornings on WABC and Imus was on WFAN, Curtis and Kuby had more listeners. Unfortunately for them, as Imus has pointed out, Imus drew a lot more ad dollars.
In any case, Sliwa says "nothing is signed" yet for his next gig. Cantillo says Sliwa will do two more weeks of shows from WABC for his syndicated affiliates.
After that, she says, WABC will offer those affiliates the Batchelor show, in which she says "we've already gotten a lot of interest."
Batchelor will start off doing seven nights a week, though Cantillo says he eventually will cut down to six.
While Cantillo declined to characterize Sliwa's departure as the "end of an era" for WABC, she said, "Curtis has made great contributions here. He has an opportunity now and we wish him well."
He's been "very professional" through the separation process, she added. "It was amicable on both sides."
"WABC has been a big part of my life and mine of WABC's," said Sliwa. "To be part of the No. 1 news-talk station in the country has been like playing for the Yankees for 18 years."
Good, John Batchelor has the best radio show...
I like Curtis myself but I really like him and Kuby together. The dynamic between the two was great. I also learned alot from Ron Kuby even if his mommy was a Commie!
I haven’t listened to John in a couple of months and look forward to hearing him again in the late night.
I've only heard him a few times but he always struck me as someone pissed-off at the underworld.
Sliwa is a phony. He admitted to lying about his crime-fighting exploits and filing false reports with the police.
See Frank of Queens’s website: therightperspective.org
> I’ve only heard him a few times but he always struck me as someone pissed-off at the underworld.
Getting shot five times by a Mafia hit-man has unavoidably pissed him off with the underworld.
Thanks for the heads-up. The new WMAL schedule in DC includes the Batchelor show.
I agree....Batchelor has a show structured like no other, and is not ideology driven (much as I like or love them, Rush, Levin, Hannity, et. al. have shows all more or less alike, and ALL owe their dominance to the current political grassroots mood that they themselves have built and is now
sweeping the country). Batchelor , however, is STILL on the right side of the issues, but you will never hear a mind-numbingly relentless recitation of talking points, for example, that has become Hannity’s whole show. I still like the rest, but Batchelor is a perfect subsitute for Sliwa, and I’ve been lamenting for years that he did not have a bigger time slot to fill: now he has one. His show is like a news magazine, and he is deft and cosmopolitan enough to handle a remarkable breadth of subjects with aplomb and passion and intellectual integrity: he never sounds like he’s out of his depth. BRAVO!
Oh really? How so? What has he said that would give you that idea?
That was after the baseball bat attack first warning..........
I feel a bit sorry for Curtis. But I never listened to him. I will definitely be listening to Batchelor.
Bachelor’s a worthy listen, except when he’s whining about those unhappy with the immigration fiasco.
> IIRC, Sliwa is a gun grabbing statist.
I do not know his views on the Second Amendment. I believe I recall he endorsed Giuliani last election — but I could be wrong about that.
I’ve met him twice: the second time I spent several days with him and had opportunity to discuss many things. His views tended to be right-of-center on most issues. Not surprisingly, his emphasis was on Law and Order, anti-crime and providing good role models for youth — particularly those at risk.
His on-screen/on-air personna is something that he seems to switch on and off, almost like a light. Off air he is quiet, considerate and contemplative, often lost in deep thought. He is remarkably well versed in social issues worldwide.
I have also Patrolled with him. He leads from the front and, on the occasion we were out together, he went first to break up an assault, putting his own (unarmed) self between the assailant and the victims.
Needless to say, I think very highly of Curtis. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be a Volunteer in his organization.
> He admitted to lying about his crime-fighting exploits and filing false reports with the police.
IIRC that happened very early in his Guardian Angels career, and is a mistake that he has acknowledged and regretted since.
> Sliwa is a phony.
I can personally attest to the fact that Curtis Sliwa is not a phony. He is the real deal. I have met him twice and Patrolled with him. If he were a phony I would have run away from his organization screaming. Yet I am still here.
Sliwa came from the inner city. And not just any inner city. He came from NYC. And along with that he brought the street lingo he grew up with. Being a Philadelphia inner city kid myself I related to him. Quotes like “hush hush, mush mush” and “folded like a cheap box camera” always brought back many memories.
Personally, I think he did pretty well for himself. Put his life on the line against the thugs. Was beaten with a baseball bat and shot along the way. Got educated along the way and, as far as I was concerned, held his own in whatever venue WABC placed him.
Frankly, I’m a little nonplussed about some of the unkind remarks about Sliwa that have been posted.
Perhaps some people are uncomfortable with rough and tumble people who do not put on airs with their “fancy smanchy” English.
Oh really? How so? What has he said that would give you that idea?
"One consistent fact in our service," said Mr. Sliwa, whose group has affiliates in many cities in the United States and abroad, "is that we have chosen not to carry weapons, even though we live in the land of the Uzi-toting, dope-sucking psychopathic killing machine who goes out with these weapons of war spraying innocent youths, mothers and babies."
A Conventional Weapon
He said he was "cut down with a conventional weapon, a .38 handgun," but "had it been an assault weapon -- not just single-shot capacity but automatic ability -- I would be ripped limb from limb and be six feet under."
He asked gun collectors to "leave the AK-47's aside and go back to the tradtional Remington rifle, and maybe some who live in urban, suburban and even rural America can have a little peace of mind."
IIRC, there were more recent statements. That was the first that I could find.
What? Curtis was a great friend on the radio...he’s even subbed many times for Hannity. How he ever put up with Ron the Commie I’ll never know.
> See Frank of Queenss website: therightperspective.org
I’ve now been thru his website briefly. He appears to be a man on a mission: he’s got a tidy collection of angry articles about Curtis, and about the Guardian Angels.
I do not know who “Frank” is, or what his problem is, but there isn’t much balance in that website.