Posts Tagged ‘Awards’


“ON THE SCENE” A Finalist for National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award

November 11, 2014

“ON THE SCENE” got some great news: not one, but two of our interviews are finalists for the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award presented by the Los Angeles Press Club.

The interview that I conducted last year with rocker Southside Johnny on the Count Basie Theatre stage in Red Bank, New Jersey was singled out along with my interview earlier this year in New York with Oscar winner, Rita Moreno.

It’s always an honor to be recognized by my peers and my industry. But LA is in many ways the epicenter of entertainment journalism.  And for “ON THE SCENE” to be nominated by the journalists of LA is a tremendous honor, indeed.




Being Honored At The Waldorf Astoria

May 19, 2013
John Bathke Honored At Deadline Club, Waldorf Astoria.

John Bathke Honored At Deadline Club, Waldorf Astoria.

There’s no finer place to lose an award the Waldorf Astoria. I can tell you that without fear of contradiction. I have done it, just this past Thursday night, in fact.

I was a finalist for a Deadline Club Award, one of New York’s most esteemed journalism honors bestowed to national and local journalists in television, newspaper, magazine and all forms of online media. The awards dinner is held annually at the glittering, opulent, oh-so New York, Waldorf.

The work singled out by the Deadline Club judges is a piece that means a great deal to emotional, riveting and completely in the moment account of emergency rescues performed following a tidal surge caused by Superstorm Sandy. Three towns in Bergen County, New Jersey suddenly flooded leaving thousands stranded.

I’ll never forget the people who we met that day…being pulled to safety from their homes, others coming to a shelter looking frantically for relatives. It was a crucial story to be told, and I believe we did it justice for all those residents suffering the storm’s wrath.

In the end it was coverage of Sandy by another television station that claimed the award, but to be one of three finalists for an honor as prestigious as the Deadline Club, is an award in itself.


ON THE SCENE Is Emmy Nominated Once Again!

February 21, 2012

ON THE SCENE Is Headed To The Emmys!









It’s time to celebrate! ON THE SCENE received a New York Emmy Award nomination for coverage of the arts. The piece selected for this honor by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is entitled “Through Bojana’s Eyes” and you can watch it on the Credits Page of It chronicles how painting helped bring artist Bojana Coklyat back from the brink of death.

Wish us luck!


Grammy Awards: Mars Attacks, Rihanna Grinds, Mick Rocks

February 15, 2011

The most vehement, fire-up, hand wringing conversation I’ve been a part of lately came today from my colleagues who wanted to hash over last night’s Grammy Awards.

Let me say up front, everybody I talked to agreed with me 100 percent that the Aretha Franklin tribute was pathetic. This is not an attack on Aretha’s taped appearance but on the embarrassingly bad choice of singers for the tribute…Yolanda Adams and Jennifer Hudson are the only two of the five who came close to being reasonable picks for the job.  What should have been the most moving moment of the night dragged on, and is remembered now only for its disappointments.

Bruno Mars is a Grammy standout and the James Brown send-up in his performance was perfect for this awards show. It has a lot of people including me seeing him in a broader context as an entertainer and artist, now, and so ultimately he may have had the best night of anyone.

Among my colleagues (avid music fans and some musicians) I am alone in liking the Bob Dylan performance, not everyone shares my thrill in seeing Mick Jagger on stage once again, and it is unanimous we didn’t need that second helping of a grinding Rihanna.



The Grammys Aretha Franklin Tribute

February 14, 2011

Tonight the Grammy Awards proved five singers together can’t come close to doing an Aretha Franklin song as well as the original can by herself.

And could they have had any less chemistry? With the exception of Yolanda Adams, not an inspired looking group given the honor and international visibility they were handed.




My Most Fascinating Interviews of 2010

January 1, 2011

I don’t spend a lot of time in the past. Sometimes I think “reminisce” is another word for “can’t get on with life.”  Show me the person who’s always talking about the “old days” and I’ll show you someone who’s stuck there.

But I also know there’s a place for taking stock of what’s happened in life, how we dealt with it and pinpointing what we learned from it.

And here it is New Year’s Day, 2011, and I’m feeling strongly about the year just ended.

I interviewed some memorable talents for ON THE SCENE who left an impression on me.  In 2010, the show became more in depth, the interviews more revealing than ever. To get there, I demanded more of myself, extended myself, and dived into creative risks that I know I wouldn’t have just a couple years ago. Now that’s progress.

Maybe it’s natural I would do those things because the artists I interviewed who impressed me most are those who went outside their comfort zone and moved their careers into new directions.

For starters, David Bryan. For almost 30 years, now, the keyboardist in Bon Jovi.  But in 2010 he became a triple-Tony Award winner for “Memphis,” the musical which he wrote and co-produced. I interviewed him at his New Jersey beach house on a sweltering July afternoon. It was shortly after the Tony awards and he was reliving the winning moments. We also talked about how life altering it was for him to step outside Bon Jovi and helm a project in his own right and how it’s forever changed his career.

Oscar winners Geoffrey Fletcher, who won the Academy Award for writing the screenplay for “Precious,” and Roger Ross Williams who received his Oscar for directing the documentary, “Music By Prudence,” both saw their long efforts pay off in 2010. When I interviewed Geoffrey he described how just a year before “Precious,” hit the screen, agents would hang-up on him. Suddenly, they were calling him. I interviewed Roger (and the subject of his film, Prudence Mabhena) on stage for an audience q and a after a screening of his film. After a long career producing and directing television news and entertainment programs, he headed to Zimbabwe and shot this documentary for theatrical release. Look where it led.

And there was refreshingly honest singer Duncan Sheik, who went broke after scoring a big hit with “Barely Breathing,” then came back strong writing songs for “Spring Awakening” (another rocker turned Broadway success story).

Joy Behar was the year’s lightning rod. God, the hate mail. And that was before the interview even aired.

That’s only a few. Read the blog archives for more on these interviews and many others if you’re interested,  and there are interview photos in the gallery of

Now let’s see what we can make happen in 2011. All of us. Happy New Year.


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

October 10, 2010

Every filmmaker could learn a lesson from Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” And that is, make every character count.

I saw the movie Saturday and the attention to character is extraordinary. Yes, the plot twists and turns are as slippery as Gordon “Greed Is Good” Gekko, and the timeliness of portraying Wall Street sharks during an economic meltdown is impeccably relevant.

But what strikes me most is that this is a film with one vivid character after another. Even the smallest part is memorable…Sylvia Miles as an eccentric realtor, Eli Wallach as the frail but feisty  Wall Street veteran battling onward. No part is a novelty or a filler, a throw away cameo to a star like we’ve seen in these big budget sequels a million times, now.

Susan Sarandon (who I interviewed earlier this year), Josh Brolin and the great Frank Langella have spun their screen time into gold in this picture, playing supporting parts that under Stone’s direction, are as memorable as the leads.

There’s no question in my mind that Michael Douglas will get an Oscar nomination. The Academy looks for characters that undergo a transformation within the film when doling out noms, which Douglas does so believably as Gekko.

Shia LaBeouf impressed me and I went in skeptical…even Douglas said when the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival that he had to get over initial doubts that LaBeouf had the chops for the role. He does.

What a difference the movie-going experience is when you can latch-on to each moment and feel the relationships between the characters and see what they’re thinking, and not simply watch the plot unfold.