Radio legend Art Bell, W6OBB, has announced that he will be returning to the air via satellite and Internet streaming starting Monday, September 16, 2013. His new show will be carried by SirusXM Channel 104 Monday through Thursday from 10pm to 1am Eastern time. The new show will be called “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” and will explore the paranormal and unexplained, according to a SiriusXM press release and his website.
At his peak in the late 1990s, Bell’s show Coast To Coast AM had nearly 15 million listeners and was syndicated on 500 AM/FM stations. Since his surprise retirement in October, 1998, he has left and returned to the air a number of times. His most recent hiatus from broadcasting, over 6 years beginning in July, 2007, was the longest break Bell has had from regular broadcasting. Coast To Coast AM did continue after Bell’s retirement, but I honestly never found the new hosts to be as enjoyable — probably because Bell is so talented.
Working overnight shifts in the 1990s, I would enjoy listening to Bell’s show. I enjoyed the sometimes bizarre and almost always intriguing topics he would cover. Listening to the show in the car at 2am had a bit of a spookiness to it. It’s hard to explain. Maybe someone else can comment on why Bell was so successful. I can’t be the only one here who listened to his show on a regular basis.
If you’ve never had the chance to listen, you can hear random shows from Bell’s career on a show called Somewhere In Time which features a random show from Bell’s broadcasting career.
I don’t have SiriusXM service, but I may just have to take advantage of their 30-day free trial to hear if Bell still has the radio magic he had 20 years ago.