MYSTERY WIRE — George Noory, weekday host of the late-night radio talk show Coast to Coast AM, talks about the program’s success with investigative reporter George Knapp. The program is syndicated to hundreds of radio stations in the U.S. and Canada by Premiere Networks. Below you can watch both parts of a 2019 interview by George Knapp.
Keep scrolling down page for part 2 of the interview.
George Knapp: George, the show, could you describe the parameters, how popular it is, how big it is now. I mean, it used to be a radio show. And now it’s much more than that.
George Noory: It’s become a phenom, George. We’re on 620 radio stations in North America, which includes Canada, which is probably the highest affiliated show in the country. It’s huge. We’re podcasting. We’re on YouTube now. We’re on the internet. We stream with the Coast Insiders. It’s become a huge program. And the content has changed a little bit from the days when Art Bell was doing the show. Where he was primarily paranormal, I tweaked it a little bit into conspiracies and issues that are affecting us as humans. Alternative medicine. Do we get vaccines? Do we not? And the programs just continue to take off.
Knapp: You know, I get emails as you do … just overwhelmed with the emails from listeners … they’re an opinionated bunch. They don’t keep their opinions to themselves. And they will offer suggestions to me. When they don’t like a show, they’ll tell me. The realization hit me years ago: You can’t please everybody all the time. You’re going to have people who like it, who don’t like it. It’s like riding a Brahma bull. You make it sound easy, but it’s not easy.
Noory: Johnny Carson once said, “I don’t do politics. And the reason I don’t is I don’t want to tick off 50% of my viewers.” I’m the same way. What I try to do is be a facilitator of getting the answers or the truth out without picking sides, without being judgmental, without hanging up on a caller. I just try to do it the way I would want to be treated. And it seems to work for me.
Knapp: Yeah, you let people tell their story. Right?
Knapp: Yeah. What are your relationships with major media? How do they treat you? You cover UFOs, alien abductions, ghost stories. Are you treated with respect?
Noory: I came from a major media background. You know, I was a news director in St. Louis. I was an executive producer in Detroit. I was the news director in Minneapolis. And I dealt with a lot of these mainstream media folks for years because I was one. So, they understand me. Now they realize I’m dealing with subject matters and topics that most of them don’t touch. But they appreciate the fact that I can do it as a newsperson without going off, you know, cuff and doing some very bizarre things. So, there’s a lot of respect there, mutually.
Knapp: I tell people, the show might sound easy, because you make it seem easy and comfortable, but it’s not easy. I mean, four hours a night, every night, to make it compelling? It’s a challenge.
Noory: Thank God I’ve got a great staff behind me that gets the guests, does the work and keeps me going. I’m on the air for four hours a night. The prep is probably eight hours before that. I’m in the office from 1 o’clock to 2 in the morning, 1 o’clock in the afternoon to 2 in the morning, five nights a week, pushing and pushing, and my staff is there, too, doing the same thing.
Knapp: Have you detected a change in the … at least in the UFO circle, in that topic, which has spiked because of the New York Times report in December 2017. All of a sudden, major media is covering it in a way that they haven’t at least for a long time. Do you feel that? Is it reflected in the show?
Noory: Years ago, the mainstream media would laugh at UFO stories. Politicians would scoff at UFO stories. Now, it seems that it’s coming out into the forefront. It’s a little more acceptable. People aren’t laughing like they used to. They’re starting to be a little more serious, like, “Oh my gosh, maybe it is real. Maybe it is happening.” And that’s happening now more and more and more. You see that because you’re the UFO expert as far as … you know, wherever I go at events and somebody asks me a UFO question. I say, “I’m going to defer that to George Knapp. Where is he when I need him?” But that’s happening, more and more media outlets around this world are beginning to become interested in UFOs, ghosts and things like that.
Knapp: Do you take some satisfaction in that? The temptation is to say I told you so.
Noory: Would I be a guy to say that?
Knapp: But I mean, it is … we’re glad that they’re covering this stuff now. Finally taking a look at it.
Noory: Absolutely. And we’re also glad that they look at Coast to Coast, for example, in the work that you do and what I do, as an example of what they should follow to get some of these answers. So I’m very proud of that.
Knapp: What’s the future of the show? Is it, I mean, radio, people forget how much you can do on radio. I mean, you can do a heck of a lot in a four hour radio show. But so many platforms are available now. Is it always going to be a radio show? Or do you think the focus shifts to digital media? Online? Television?
Noory: It’s going to be a combination of everything, and we need to adapt constantly to be aware of the changes in technology and do it. I’ll tell you an example. I have a 25-year-old granddaughter, she doesn’t own a radio. She doesn’t have one. But she listens to me on her smartphone all the time, as much as she can. On the other hand, I’ve got people and friends who have radios from C. Crane all over the place. It’s not going to change where one is gone and the other steps in. It’s going to be an accumulation of all this different kind of media.
Knapp: You have shows where you ask guests to make predictions. What predictions do you make about some of the topics that you cover? Do you see a breakthrough coming in the UFO subject, for example? There’s interest in, you know, we hear behind the scenes rumblings about congressional interest, things of that sort. What a watershed moment that would be.
Noory: It would be huge. But I’ve always said for years, George, that we are not going to get official government disclosure. It’s going to come from the late Edgar Mitchells, the astronaut for Apollo 14. It’s going to come from people like that, who just say, “Enough is enough. I’m going to tell it the way I see it. What I know. And I’m coming forward with it.” But I don’t think we’re going to have that news conference on the White House lawn. I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Knapp: You know, in this topic, the term “disinformation” is tossed around a lot. This guy’s a disinformation agent, a counter-intelligence officer. Do you ever get that sense when you’re interviewing somebody on the show? I’m not sure what the motive is here.
Noory: Sometimes I am. Sometimes when I go to these conferences all around the country. I think they’ve got a plant here. Some guy taking notes in the back room. There’s some interest by government into what we’re doing. I don’t know what it is yet. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. But I do think they leak out information to send us down the wrong path.
Knapp: I sometimes wonder if you have secretly always wanted to be a lounge singer more than a radio guy because I saw your act in Las Vegas. And I was thinking to myself going in, “Oh, man, what’s this going to be?” And then it was good. It was good. It was fun. The audience loves it.
Noory: Everybody needs a backup career, George, everybody needs something.
Knapp: Is that always what you wanted? To add that to the repertoire?
Noory: It’s fun for me. It’s a hobby. Some people collect cars. Some people collect stamps. Some people go to football games. I like to sing in public.
Knapp: It works, though.
Noory: It’s fun, and it works.
Knapp: Does it help the show? Is that who your audience is?
Noory: I’ve never … well that’s not true. I have sang on the show. Our producer Tom Danheiser produced a holiday magic CD for Christmas. And I’m on the CD with a friend of his, Raquel, and it’s a great song, singing, “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful.” I play it every year.
Knapp: The timing for the show and the topics could not be better. Not just in the UFO world. But you have headlines … we have headlines every day of scientists, mainstream guys, Harvard astrophysicists who are now taking a look at this. Not only aliens, but other subjects. Consciousness. It’s an exciting time. It’s … you can feel it.
Noory: Everything we talk about. GMOs, UFOs, Bigfoot sightings, we talk about on Coast to Coast. And you’re absolutely right. A lot of mainstream scientists and academicians are coming forward saying, “This is interesting. I’m studying that.” Or, “Look at this report.” And we’re right there. And we’ve always been there.
Knapp: You know, people … after Art Bell left, there’s a lot of, you know, soul searching, what’s going to happen, predictions about the show. It’s bigger than ever though. And it feels like you’re hitting your stride.
Noory: I’m in the groove. It feels good to be there. And I had to replace somebody who had huge shoes. But thank God with the audience behind us and the support of the staff. We kept making it work and it continues to grow.
Knapp: You brought the Art Bell fans around.
Noory: Took a while, but we got ’em