It became official on January 1, 2003. George Noory took over the reins from retiring Art Bell to become the host of America's most fascinating overnight radio program. Looking back on George's life and his passion for all things unexplained, it seems almost fated that he would fulfill this unique role.
On his first official night in the "captain's chair," George Noory offered a special message about his connection with Art Bell, telling the listeners that Art had a major role in his hiring and eventual "grooming" to take his place. George described his early interactions with Art. "My connection with Art Bell was almost like…talking to your idol baseball player when you're a kid. Because he truly is a living legend. I've got to tell you he was so supportive, informative and helpful. He pointed out things that he thought I was doing wrong and he pointed out things he thought I was doing right. And he really told me one major thing: 'George, put your own mark on this program. You're going to have lots of people who'll support you, millions of people, and you're going to have some that won't. It doesn't matter. You do what you think is best!'
Speaking directly to Art via the airwaves, George said: "I will do you proud, the best I can, Art. There comes a time in this life wherever you might be that you have an opportunity to work with someone who is literally…like a god in this business. Someone you can look up to and respect. I've had the opportunity and so now, no matter what happens in this broadcasting business for me, I had a chance to work with Art Bell."
Art Bell is no ordinary talk show host, not just because "Coast to Coast AM" is the dominant live all-night show in America today, but because Art's a true radio fanatic, the ultimate "new media" personality. How many hosts get off the air after a four hour show, turn on another microphone, and talk to fellow Ham operators around the country? How many talk hosts have the engineering know-how to produce their own show, run their own technical board, and generally control the ebb and flow of the show from the first on- air minute to the last? Art Bell's grasp of the electronic revolution--and how to make it personal--is unique; he's a talk show host primed to influence 21st century America in more ways than one.
Ian Punnett Saturday Host of Coast to Coast AM. In the basement of Ian Punnett's childhood home, a step ladder led to the entrance of a dark crawl space that ran under the back porch. This creepy, lightless hole was just tall enough for a small boy to stand up in, so whenever it was time to retrieve some boxes like Christmas decorations or summer clothing, young Ian would be called upon to breach the blackness.
Armed only with a flashlight to battle the ghosties and ghoulies and all the other creatures he imagined lived in that hole, Ian would bravely step into the unknown whenever duty called.
With that same spirit, Ian Punnett has been exploring the night regularly on Coast to Coast AM since 1998.
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