You are reading the first of hopefully MANY posts on this message board, CoastGab.com.
My name is Michael Vandeven. I'm 28 years old. I started listening to Art Bell in the early 1990s back when Coast to Coast AM (or The Art Bell Show) was a nightly experience. For the first time, somebody was able to host a nightly show focused on paranormal subject matter while being at least slightly more entertaining than throat cancer.
It's always seemed ironic how such an interesting series of topics could put you to sleep if discussed by anybody but Art. I don't know what made him different, but whatever it was, nobody else could touch him. Art was funny in a strange way that could be appreciated both by teenage males and little old ladies. He talked about himself and his personal life. He didn't screen calls. He allowed bullshit guests on the air but challenged all of them (and embarrassed some of them).
Then Art's problems began. The surprise retirement on October 13, 1998 and his triumphant return a couple weeks later signaled the beginning of the end. Then on April 26, 2000, Art's estimated 22-million listeners received a "permanent" replacement host for the first time in the form of Mike Siegel. A disaster with shoes, Siegel presided over a quickly sinking ship with a panicked network begging Art to come back. Art agreed, and for about a year, we thought the worst was over. But the worst was yet to come.
George Noory permanently replaced Art Bell as the host of Coast to Coast AM on January 1, 2003. The world would never be the same.
I gave Noory a chance for about 2 years. I'm serious. I gave him a legitimate chance to grow on me and toward the end of that chance, I concluded I'm ignoring a number of things about this man in order to stay in touch with the genre.
First off, he doesn't seem genuine. At all. From his seemingly feigned "Aw, shucks!" demeanor to his apparent disinterest in the topics C2C covers, Noory seems to have been the worst possible choice. He isn't remarkably intelligent or academic, as evidenced by his non-sequitur meanderings and left-field conclusions on a nightly basis. The show is an embarrassment as one attempts to absorb a fascinating topic through a mine field of Noory's needless interruptions and childlike inquiries amid guests in whose academic company Noory can't even sneeze convincingly.
Noory's background is that of a news director. That's right. Coast to Coast AM is now hosted by a news director. And it feels like it. He speaks like a career news guy. He has the personality of a career news guy. Because of this bland, generic contribution by George, C2C is in my opinion just like every paranormal show out there; boring as all hell and hosted by somebody with no personality who fearfully and diligently screens his calls.
"What about the ratings, Michael?" you might ask. "The ratings are great." you say. And you might be right. I haven't denied this. However, when listening to the crop of people who call this show regularly in 2008, it's clear to me why this is; George has built a new audience. The callers today don't sound to me like the same demographic of people who called back in the 1990s when Art was in the big chair. Today, the C2C audience sounds less educated, more left-wing, and are comprised of a greater number of new-age "wicca types" who blather on and on about natural healing methods. Rather than talk about nuclear arms technology or the science behind the secrets of our universe, they prefer to talk about seeing 11:11 on their Chinese-made alarm clock and pontificating for five minutes over what that really could mean. They incessantly go on and on about the year 2012, and they are incapable of believing anything other than what Alex Jones tells them.
So why does this site exist? Obviously the afore mentioned grievances are a factor, but don't misunderstand. This is not intended to be a George Noory "hater" site. After all, as much as I love Art Bell's contribution to broadcasting, it was he who brought us this train wreck. To fall into that trap would be rather limiting and would essentially render this project a waste of time. Coastgab.com is intended as a meeting place for those who have enjoyed Coast to Coast AM over the years, regardless of which host they prefer. If you like Noory, say it. If he makes you want to murder your 5 small children in a Texas bathtub, say it. Argue with one another. Become friends. Hate each other. Love each other. It's all in line with the purpose behind this site. However, unlike other C2C fan boards (you know who they are), you won't be censored every time you let an air biscuit.
CoastGab.com is intended to be an enjoyable environment where members are given a loose leash. Enjoy, and spread the word. Let's turn this board into the authoritative fan board. As you can see, it has a long way to go.