John Bathke is an Emmy Award-winning news reporter, interviewer and the founding host and producer of News 12 New Jersey's acclaimed cultural arts series, ON THE SCENE.
Bathke has reported some of the region's biggest stories including the September 11th World Trade Center terror attacks, the unprecedented devastation of Super Storm Sandy, and John helmed gavel to gavel coverage of the polarizing Dharun Ravi webcam spy trial.
He has interviewed icons for ON THE SCENE including Robert De Niro, Tony Bennett, Sophia Loren, Rita Moreno, and his in-depth interviews with the late Joan Rivers are among his all-time most popular. Other prominent artists he has interviewed include Don Cheadle, Mary J. Blige, Bernadette Peters, Lisa Lampanelli, Lewis Black, and Chris Botti.
Bathke’s work along with the team of photographers and editors has garnered more than 50 journalism awards bestowed by media organizations, press clubs and universities. He has received two Emmy Awards and 13 Emmy nominations for his coverage of entertainment and the performing and visual arts. He has also been honored with four New York Press Club awards. He’s a recipient of the Excellence in Journalism medallion from New York’s esteemed Society of Silurians, along with honors from the National Association of Black Journalists and the South Asian Journalists Association. His cultural arts reporting also received the National Headliner Award, and a half-hour magazine program, “Another Side of the Street,” hosted and produced by Bathke was singled out to receive the National Unity Award from Lincoln University for its exploration of the bond between people and their community. The Los Angeles Press Club has presented ON THE SCENE with three coveted National Arts and Entertainment Journalism awards citing Bathke’s “emotional and compelling” storytelling. His artist interviews have earned three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media.
In 2015, his peers in the television industry elected him to the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' prestigious New York Chapter.
He is also often called upon to moderate live stage interviews with celebrities appearing in conversation at New York area theaters. In addition, he donates his time to emcee charity events benefiting the arts, students and veterans.
Bathke holds a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.