Don Batting, a news reporter for WBZ Radio, Boston, for 30 years, began his radio career in Rutland, VT after graduating from the Leland Powers School of Voice and Theater. He was drafted in l952 and spent two years in the US Army Signal Corps in Germany. Upon returning to the US, he earned a BA Degree from Boston University’s School of Public Communication. From there, he worked in radio stations in Putnam, CT; Alliance, OH; Providence, RI; Norfolk, VA; Providence again; and finally to WBZ in l965.
Don loved the variety of work and stories he covered, enjoying life as a street reporter more than working as an anchor. He covered City Hall and the administrations of Kevin White, Ray Flynn and Tom Menino. He interviewed the Boston Strangler at Walpole Prison, Malcolm X, and George Wallace in Providence, and many Presidential candidates and people on the street. He covered fires, including the big fire in Lynn (for three days), many drug raids and big court cases like those of Mob figures Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo, Joseph “The Animal” Barboza and Raymond L. S. Patriarca.
With his love of the ocean and sailing, Don enjoyed covering the Tall Ships twice and the America’s Cup Races in Newport by plane, helicopter and yacht. The first riot he covered was at the Newport Jazz Festival. The biggest weather story Don covered was the Blizzard of ’78. He went to work on Monday and didn’t get home until Saturday. Joe Green flew Don by helicopter to inspect damage in Revere.
Among the many awards Don has received during his career, he was most honored to be the first civilian to be awarded a commendation from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Since his retirement from WBZ in 1996, he has enjoyed not getting up at 2:30 AM for the 4AM-Noon shift, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time on the Cape.