13 fascinating facts about John Bachman:
• I tore my right hamstring when I fell while using a chain saw on the edge of a ravine. It was the first and last time I used a chain saw.
• In Cedar Rapids, I co-anchored the news with Dave Shay who like me (though years earlier) had attended theological seminary.
• My son John is a reporter/anchor at the same station in Atlanta where former WHO-TV colleague Jim Strickland now works.
• My daughter Alison, a wonderful singer, has perfect pitch. The only pitch I have is when playing baseball.
• I grew up playing ball on the streets of New York City.
• I learned to play “Where or When” (Rodgers and Hart) on the piano, using both hands. It’s the only song I can play.
• I used to watch Sunday afternoon football games with Greg Gumbel (while working at a Chicago TV station).
• I would have lunch occasionally with Shelley Long, who hosted a noon show at the same station.
• At about that same time, I co-anchored a year-ender show with Jane Pauley. One of our guests was the then NBC White House correspondent–Tom Brokaw.
• One of my holes-in-one in golf came while hitting practice shots. It was actually a hole-in-three!
• At Waverly-Shell Rock High School, I unknowingly broke a golf rule by playing two practice holes on the course the day of the district tournament and disqualified myself from going to the state tournament.
• I played tennis for Mansfield College at Oxford University–we won only one match all season.
• Barb, my wife of 37 years, married me even though on our first few dates my car kept stalling because it needed a quart of oil every few miles.
John Bachman came to WHO-HD in 1987 to anchor Channel 13 News. Today he continues to anchor Channel 13 News at 6 & 10. John has announced that he will be stepping down and retiring at the end of November 2012.
In 2006, John was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Television Academy. The Silver Circle is the Academy’s most prestigious acknowledgement of a career in broadcasting. It is a national honor that recognizes not only the inductee’s contributions to the television industry, but also to his community. John was also the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Jack Shelley Award, the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s highest honor.
Other achievements include the Alfred I. duPont- Columbia University silver baton for documentary work at KARE-TV in Minneapolis, several regional Emmys for best newscast at WHO-TV, a national Emmy finalist for public service at KARE-TV, and numerous AP and NBNA first place awards for reporting in Iowa and Minnesota.
John anchored the WHO-TV 10pm Newscast that won the 2006 Edward R. Murrow national award for best newscast in television markets 51 and above.
John Bachman has interviewed six presidents. When Ronald Reagan left office, he gave interviews to Larry King, Barbara Walters, and John Bachman. John interviewed President Clinton in the White House on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing.
As a reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago, he covered the first Mayor Richard Daley. While reporting for KARE-TV, he broadcast live from New York City harbor during the 1986 Statue Of Liberty Centennial Celebration. And in Des Moines, he co-moderated with NBC’s Tom Brokaw a nationally broadcast Republican presidential debate and appeared on”Meet the Press.”
Major news stories mean marathon stints on the anchor desk for Bachman. He reported nearly round the clock during the Persian Gulf War, the Floods of ’93, and the September 11th Attacks. During his tenure, WHO-HD became number 1 in the ratings for the first time in the station’s 50-year history.
Bachman graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School. He received his B.A. cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He pursued graduate studies at Oxford University in England and Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He started his career at WMT-TV (now KGAN) in Cedar Rapids in 1972. He is a published author: “In the News Tonight” (Augsburg Fortress Press) in which veteran NBC anchor and colleague Tom Brokaw wrote the forward and “Beyond the Facts” (Kirk House Publishers).
John and wife Barb married in 1972. Their son, John, is an early evening anchor at WSB-TV in Atlanta where he and his wife Jen enjoy their three young daughters. John and Barb’s daughter, Alison, lives with her husband Steve and young son Cole in Minneapolis. John and Barb live in Johnston and are active in church, civic and charity organizations.