On Wednesday April 13, 2022, it will be the four-year anniversary of the late Art Bell’s passing. Our staff here at Dark Matter News always remember his contributions to late night talk radio. Original Dark Matter News creator Leo Ashcraft remembers the moment he got a call from Art asking him to be his affiliate director. At the time Ashcraft was working with Mutual News based out of Dallas Texas. Here’s his exact words. “When Art called me to be his affiliate director, it was an absolute shock to me (Leo Ashcraft)”. Ashcraft handled all the news for Dark Matter Digital Network from April-October 2015, along with all the Am/Fm affiliates that were airing Midnight in the Desert. With the simple flip of a switch via XDS feed Midnight in the Desert was syndicated to over 20-30 radio stations. Had Ashcraft continued to handle the news and the affiliates Midnight in the Desert may have gotten to over 100 plus radio stations within several months during Bells 2015 run. He did a fantastic job.
Arthur William Bell III was born on June 17, 1945 and was a ham radio operator at 14 years old. Mr. Bell was also a medic in the air force and got a job at the only English-speaking radio station when he was in Okinawa. During this period, he set the Guinness Book of World Record for endurance broadcasting by being on the air for 116 hours. After moving back to the United States, he studied engineering at the University of Maryland but dropped out to move back to the West Coast. Bell’s original program in 1978 was called West Coast Am. After meeting Alan Corbath his manager, they changed the name from West Coast Am to Coast to Coast AM. In addition, they moved the show from Las Vegas to Bell’s home in Pahrump, NV where he could do his show live from his house. Bell then changed the format of his show from political talk to paranormal topics such as the occult, UFOs, protoscience, ghosts, and more. During this time the ratings increased a lot. An article from February 23, 1997, mentioned how Bell was on over 460 radio stations with over 15 million listeners a night. Guests such as Richard C Hoagland, John Lear, Linda Moulton Howe, David Icke, Whitley Strieber, David John Oates, Dannion Brinkley, Michio Kaku, all were regular guests on the show during this time. He never needed a call screener and would take calls cold over the air from people of all walks of life. From truckers, to nurses, to medical doctors, and more. All of them had a place they could share their experiences. His weekend version of Coast to Coast Am called Dreamland also was very popular but less caller driven.
Mr. Bell retired in 1998, 2002, 2007, and 2015. In 2008 he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Around 2008 he sold his KNYE Radio station to his neighbor Karen Jackson who continues to run it to this day. During this period, he decided to spend more time with his family and guest host occasionally on Coast. In 2013 he returned to the air with Dark Matter with his favorite guests but his run only lasted six weeks due to Sirius XM being difficult to work with. According to Bell Sirius XM wanted his listeners to pay $200.00 a year to listen to the show. After stepping down Bell decided to put his webmaster Keith Rowland to work on building an internet radio station. The phone system telos was very state of the art and could handle multiple calls coming in from skype, I phone, Android, and other forms of communication.
In late 2014 Keith Rowland came up with the Dark Matter Digital Network a free streaming platform that allowed Bell to return to the air from July 20, 2015, to December 11, 2015. This network was Digital and was based on subscriptions from listeners. For $4.99 a month listeners could download any show from the archives, relisten to it, and ask questions to any guest via the wormhole. Bells former producer Heather Wade hosted the show from December 2015 to April 2018. Dave Schrader and Tim Weisberg continued to host the show into 2020. Both did a wonderful job.
In conclusion Art’s passing on April 13, 2018, was very sad and unexpected. For many years Bell was known to have OCPD and smoked a lot. Unfortunately, his death impacted his millions of fans, his family, his staff members, and all of those that knew him. All of us at Dark Matter News would like to send our prayers, condolences, and healing thoughts to his family. We ask all of you to light a candle in memory of Art and may his spirit live on through his old shows. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. For more information on Art please go to http://artbelllegacy.com/