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. Previously unaired 2019 interview. First of 2 Parts.
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.