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Art Bell’s Dark Matter radio show meets an untimely end

It’s only been six weeks since famed paranormal radio host Art Bell returned to the airwaves and now his new show on SiriusXM has been abruptly terminated. Bell is widely known as the co-founder and original host of the hugely successful Coast to Coast AM radio show. He retired, allegedly for good, in 2003 to spend more time with his family but SiriusXM offered him a spot that was too good to pass up…or so it seemed.

Art Bell Studio
Art Bell in his current home studio. (Credit: AP/Sirius XM)

His much anticipated return to radio was announced in July to much fanfare. SiriuxXM stated that they would be the “exclusive home to legendary radio personality Art Bell, marking the return of the trailblazing late night host to radio with a new, expanded live, nightly call-in show on which he will explore the paranormal, unexplained and more with expert guests and listeners nationwide.”

The show premiered on September 16th but the show was rife with problems from the start. Illegal streaming of the show and the 1001 errors individuals were experiencing with the SiriusXM app prompted Bell to ask the satellite radio network to stream live free from his website. “It’s a systemic problem. For a caller-driven show like this one, speaking only to people on cell phones in moving vehicles is somewhat difficult.” When Sirius came back with a firm negative answer, both parties agreed to part ways. informed fans of the cancellation but included a small glimmer of hope for his die-hard listeners:

We are sorry that Dark Matter on SiriusXM has come to an abrupt end. We’ll examine our options and may be able to return in a different format and medium. In the mean time, will still operate as long as financially possible, hoping for a workable solution to bring Art back to you, soon. Keep checking back here often.

For now, all we can do is sit back and wait. Perhaps someone will come along to save the founding king of paranormal radio and return him to the airwaves (free of charge this time).

Maureen Elsberry

Maureen Elsberry is the Marketing Director, co-host and associate producer of Spacing Out!, and Co-organizer of the International UFO Congress. She is also a contributing writer for and the former Open Minds magazine. She starred on the show Uncovering Aliens with appearances on Animal Planet, Science Channel, Destination America, and the American Hero's Network and has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country . Follow Maureen on Twitter: @maureenelsberry or subscribe to her public updates on Facebook here: Maureen on Facebook

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  1. I stopped autopay on sirius/xm cause I’m fed up with all of their Bull crap programming decisions, they just plain suck and they are not getting another dime from me. Coast is gone, Ground Zero gone, Bill Cunningham gone, Art Bell gone and now I’m gone. I bought an HD radio with a good antenna and aside from the excellent sound quality, it’s freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  2. PS- Become a Coast insider, it’s only .15 cents a day, download the shows and transfer the file to usb stick, plug it in the car stereo and listen to the show without all the stinkin commercials.

  3. Art Bell is as master showman. But he is as erratic as the day is long. What’s this now, the fourth time he’s quit his show?

    The reasons he’s given don’t make sense, and so are probably bogus. He’s old and cranky now, and too tired.

  4. What an absolute shock. Art Bell up and leaves a show…and once again, someone else is to blame. Now, to keep his bitter serial quitting image intact, he should bad mouth George Noory and belittle everyone who has been kind to him in the past. This man is a great broadcaster, but he is a seriously troubled man. He needs to stay away from radio.

  5. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! WHAT THE HELL!! He just freaking started, and he’s already off. Its all about streaming? Not everyone who listens to XM is in his car, I listen at home more than in my car. This really pisses me off! You’re telling me Art couldn’t get it to work?? REALLY? Art is a great talk show host, but I think I agree that he is also a great flake! This really pisses me off!

  6. I was happy to see the return of Art Bell to the airwaves, but his bailing out after but several weeks, has left a very sour taste in my mouth.

    Being on a new platform, Siriusxm, he should have given more time than he did to cultivate an audience and over several months, he would have surely reaped the benefits of more callers than time would have permitted.

    Perhaps the time has come for Mr. Bell to retire and move permanently to to his beloved Philippines.

  7. Before everyone gets all cranky, give him a week or two to see what happens. Believe me , I am pissed that I went through the trouble of getting a subscription to xm and a radio and now have to cancel it Cant even catch Ground zero anymore either. Lets just relax and check it website and maybe he will get a better deal going. Hopefully on an am station!

  8. It’s a shame that Art gave up so quickly. He should treat his fans and guests better than that. Many of his guests quit Coast to Coast AM to be on his show and now he left them in somewhat of a bind. Pathetic if you ask me. Myself and everyone I know who were listening had NO PROBLEMS with Sirius. Many people bought Sirius just to hear Art. I guess he didn’t think about that. Art did talk about some rather touchy subjects, so maybe he was forced off the air, but it doesn’t sound like it. Piracy existed in the old days when he ran coast to coast as well and considering Sirius has free trials as well, I don’t think piracy makes a big difference. He has to get use to cell phones/wireless phones. Everyone has them now and I’m surprised to see him comment about truckers. They were always important to him in the old days and would often talk with them on radio. If money was an issue, his website could do with a complete overhaul. I could have generated tens of thousands of dollars a day with the traffic he receives.

  9. The bottom line is… Art is worth the trouble. I’m glad he came back, I’ll be glad when he comes back again, and I’ll be glad till he can’t come back anymore. The only reason people get mad, is because they love the show. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t post a comment.

  10. Things I liked about Dark Matter included the long-form w/ less commercials and the replays. Things I found irritating was Art’s constant complaints about cell phones. Except for a few random dis-connects the cell phone thing wasn’t really too much of listener problem because the guest would always return. There were some complete dropouts however which did not seem to be satellite/weather related. Could it be the master of late night terrestrial radio wasn’t equipped for the best up-link to SiriusXM? Then there were the rants about “poaching” guests. Who cares? You choose to listen knowing who the guests are or you pass…it’s simple.

    Bottom line is some of the shows were great such as the Tobias McGriff/James Fox show and some were plodding like the Richard Hoagland one that gets replayed ad infinitum. That said, I like a world where Art Bell has an outlet. Something is inherently wrong with the man as a businessman however. Sure, when you’re a millionaire you can afford to pick and choose, but to be a serial quitter and before you even get even a small percentage of your footing back? Pleas Art get your head straight that when you have a base of faithful listeners you have responsibility to those that brought you.

  11. On a positive note we won’t have to listen to Abba and Thelma Houston bumper music, but the Moody Blues have been sullied!

  12. I was really excited about Art Bell returning to the airwaves, even if it meant me shelling out some $$$ for a radio and a Sirius subscription. I’m now just disappointed in the man, and feeling a little betrayed too. The whole thing smacks of Art blaming Sirius for problems that should have at least been thought of before Dark matter launched. This way, Bell gets to quit yet again and, also yet again, it’s not his fault. Sayonara, Art, if you return to broadcasting I will not be waiting.

  13. I am saddened to hear Art Bell’s show has come to an end. I have listened to Art since the early 80’s and found his shows both thought provoking and entertaining. I have tried to listen to Coast to Coast since Art’s departure, but unfortunately most shows are boring and uninteresting. As for the poaching guest comments made by some people, wasn’t it Art who first found those guests and put them on the air. Luckily I have Sirius XM in both my home and car so I was able to fill that time slot with other programs. Lately however Sirius XM has cancelled or split the format on some channels so that a lot of what I listened to is as gone as Dark Mater. I hope Art can find a way to get back on the air. It doesn’t have to be every day, even 3 days a week would be great. As for the comments about Art being a cranky old man, maybe the truth is he is a man with a great reputation in broadcasting and deserves more respect. When he doesn’t get that respect for his career and his knowledge of broadcasting maybe he does get a bit upset. If you were in his position wouldn’t you? Whatever happens I wish Art well and hope someday he can come back to us on a regular basis.

  14. Good luck. Government is trying to get rid of all talk radio that doesn’t praises Oboma.check it out.

  15. I am confident Art will return, and I’ll be waiting. He’s working on it.

    After all, what other choices do I have? When he comes back, I’ll be right here, ready to celebrate. All the best, Art!

  16. So glad he left Sirius as I am hoping to listen live. Sirius to me sold out after the crunch in 2008, the signal went from crystal clear to muddy, than they cancelled The Strobe my favourite and I cancelled them.

  17. I was excited about Art’s return, but found many of his new shows lacking what was once there in his older format. He also did not seem to be in tune with recent events or matters concerning paranormal, space, and science as he was in the old days. He needs to do daily research, any good broadcaster would. Yes, his complaints about cell phone quality that sounded just fine to me was another reason for a rolling of eyes. If he comes back, I hope he makes a try at the old ways. Allow cell phones and don’t complain, research current events you will be discussing, etc.

  18. Art will always be the King of this format, hands down. I had to quit listening to coast a long time ago “yes, a lower case c” George asks his questions the same way, and when he answers he only has about 4 responses, usually “I think so too” only time I try to listen is when John B is hosting, only one that comes close. Nope, Mr Bell’s Dark Matter comes back in whatever form, I’m there, no hesitation, and thank God can be rid of George completely.
    Art has the ability to take a subject I have no interest in and still get me to learn something, or laugh myself silly, but continue to listen. George was unable to do that after about 3 months.
    Nope, looking forward to Mr Bell coming back in whatever form, I will be listening.

  19. Darnit Art! You grumpy old man get your butt back on the air so we can sleep at night. Doze a little, listen to you a little, doze a little….

  20. Art Bell you ARE THE BEST radio host and i hope you are back soon in some format. XM has cut programming so that unless you like the rude crude pathetic shock talk you have nothing to listen to. NO surprise to me that they would have no time for any concern of system problem. Art bell is the best and I can’t wait to hear what is next. Hurry Back!!!!!!

  21. I rarely post comments but just had to chime in on this one!

    I am appalled at what I am reading here. Please people, give the man a respectful chance before tearing him a new one! The fact is that he is one of the best talk show hosts on the planet . . . bar none. The reason he has provided for leaving Sirius is that it is not delivering the show most efficiently . . . for YOU! If you read his rationale, he is acting in YOUR best interest in attempting to deliver a better product, more efficiently . . . for FREE . . . to YOU. Why would you lay into him in this way when he is acting in YOUR best interest? Some of you folks are simply being mean and enjoying beating him while he is down. Why would you choose to do that? Are you that unhappy with your own life?

    Why not support and encourage him when he needs it most? Hey . . . you listened to his new show so the fact is that you must have liked him at one time. He hasn’t changed but he is working under new rules and a very new infrastructure. Nothing is easy when changes are made and it does take time to work out the technological kinks. Please show him some respect, give him a chance, and support him folks and just maybe . . . you’ll be listening in on some awesome programming at “O Dark Thirty!” You have nothing to lose but a lot to gain if you help him instead of trying to destroy him!

  22. I’m sincerely going to miss Art if this is it. I think it should be fair to expect a final decision fairly soon, as to what is going to happen?

    When I was still in college and had to drive many long miles at times, his show made my evenings special. I will miss him, and that voice. Stop being so cranky and come back to us Art, then don’t leave again for at least a couple years. Come on.

    On another note: Art, you seriously gotta get rid of Hoagland. He was just awful. Truly terrible evening listening to him bloviate.

  23. Actually art is trying to get free of sirius non compete. It’s a#freeartbell movement. Twitter Facebook etc. sirius flat out lied about things. Their streaming system failed so art wanted out.

  24. I, too, purchased a radio and Sirius subscription just to listen to Art. I agree with Art that the cell phone calls were horrible, too.

    ‘coast to coast’ is no substitute for Art’s show. Noory is a terrible host, probably the worst on the air in any venue and I just cannot listen to him. It is a dumb move on Sirius’ part to bring that show on.

    Just wondering – at what point did Sirius decide to start negotiating for coasttocoast? The exchange seemed very sudden, didn’t it?

  25. well thats excitly why I cam on here to find out WHAT HAPPENED TO ART???? I absolutely prefer him to george and always have, in fact that’s why I bought xm satellite radio anyway, was to listen to art bell when he was with Coast to Coast. Coast to Coast is just boring with that lady, who talksl with a tight throat and nasal nose, and the numerologist and the big foot. At least arts programs are interesting and if we only have coast to coast I wont be listening to it most of the time, as I dont like their programming. So please find a solution to this most unfortunate situation!!!!

  26. I do understand arts agitation with cell telephones and skype as they are ALWAYS dropping, even on other radio shows. Most people have a ground telephone too so should use it, I hate that too when the transmission is lagging, or static, but maybe its because sirus doesnt have a STRONG ENOUGH signal. Maybe when he comes back, which he will, he can put more emphais on people calling him from a GROUMD telephone unless he has a very power signal. Also I subscribed to xm radio but could only listen to dark matter on the radio in my room but could not listen to it on the computer, in arts room, unless, I suppose I purchased another subscription. So I was hoping it would be streamed free on am radio as Coast to coast radio is. Dang I hate this as there arent that many good shows on at night unless you can get Ground Zero but it usually comes on earlier in the night.

  27. Glad I held out purchasing a satellite radio and subscription. Get back on AM Art! So much perfectly good working existing equipment here to listen on in the car or at home.

  28. What a disappointment. We bought in with the Sirius subscription and $80 satellite WiFi radio and got Art in crystal-clear fidelity after years of grainy/scratchy AM Coast-to-Coast reception. 6 weeks later – gone! Art Bell was in the midst of making a Renaissance and blew it!

  29. I place the blame fimly on Sirius, Whomever is running the show has his head up his a@@. All the shows I bought my subscription for are gone. First it was Book Radio, then Bob and Tom, then Car Talk, now Art? Personally I really don’t like Mr. Noory and emailed him and told him so. Now C2C is back in Art’s place? What gives? I have been a subscriber for 10 years but I find nothing I care to listen to nightly while i’m driving my semi every night. I don’t think i’m going to be a subscriber for much longer. A very dissapointed listener.

  30. I was so excited to hear Art would be back on the radio and very surprised it didn’t last long. I, too, do not like coast to coast am since Art left. George N’s style does not suit me at all and I’m so tired of the doom and gloom on his show night after night. Please Art find a way to get back…you are sorely missed.

  31. YOU WHINING CRYBABIES ALL NEED TO GET A LIFE!! IT’S JUST A BLEEPING RADIO SHOW! Anybody who would go out and buy a satellite radio and subscription for one radio show is a bleeping idiot!

  32. I was about to subscribe to xwhatever just to listen to Art’s new show, now I find out it’s cancelled? Lame.

    As for the comments about Art being ‘flakey’, B.S., if you knew art you’d know he was a guy who
    loved un-screened calls, loved a great format, loved a great show, he’s as dedicated as anyone to
    the format, his wife died and he re-married and he parted ways with his old show, it’s as simple as
    that, if the same happened to you you’d do the same.

    As for this instance, he probably had zero call-ins, probably had only a few people in their cars
    calling in, his is a call-in show, he’s used to the best listeners/callers in the world and this was the
    deal breaker, he wanted his show to be streaming live free, how is that a bad thing? how is that flakey? I hope he comes in contact w/ an independent option to stream live FREE FREELY worldwide like he should, maybe he should just join one of those free blog cast sites. He’s get a million subscribers in no time.

  33. Art Bell’s show was a great new discovery for me, and a great show to have on the on demand downloaded shows… If only they could keep the shows he already recorded…

  34. Art Bell was the coolest & I miss him a great deal noory stinks to much god & government for me + I am a Canadian so really don’t care about the U.S. & their government B.S. I have never paid for radio & never will , thanx for the memories Art I have many of the old shows on my PC & re-listen to them , that’s all I got maybe someone new will come along & do a better job than noory ?

  35. It’s curious that nobody is mentioning the strange fact about Bell’s choice of a name for his show and his online streaming network. In recent years, long-time UFO investigator Don Ecker has been hosting an online radio show known as ‘Dark Matters Radio.” Since Bell knows Ecker, I wonder how this unfortunate truth was missed.

    Gene Steinberg
    Host/Executive Producer, The Paracast

  36. I actually enjoy a lot of Noory’s shows quite often and I think that he’s been a decent steward of Art’s creation.

    But I also really like art and listened to him since the 80’s. This is disappointing, I was actually about to buy this service to try out in a few weeks when my work schedule changes.

    I am sure he will come back somehow. His voice and personality are perfect for radio, a fish has to swim.

  37. Like almost everyone else, I was very disappointed when Art went off the air yet again. We live in a world where mediocrity or incompetence sometimes wins out (George Norry..cough).

    I guess I will have to use the time I would have spent listening to Art Bell doing something productive and getting on in life….for me Art Bell will always be synonymous with the 1990s, the last good decade before 9/11, the TSA, the Patriot Act, the NDAA and all the other B.S. that has followed.

  38. Art Bell is right about cell phones.
    Cell phones have ruined talk radio, slowed down the freeways, and noised up the wilderness.
    I wish every cell phone addict had their phone shoved up their you-know-what.

  39. A grouchy old curmudgeon but he is brilliant at his job, made me realise how lightweight ctc has become just nodding dogs to their guests whereas with Art questions lead to questions and more questions which always makes for a good ride. I guess you could level he was out of touch with some of what is going on but with doing the new show for a good length of time he would have surely caught up and found new avenues for his inquisuitive mind to explore.

    Bit gutted if I am honest, hope it comes back.

  40. Too many songs. It drove me crazy. The show was odd, like he had lost his edge and he was different somehow. Still, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I don’t see the need to trash Noory. C2C has been very successful with him as the host. True, it gets tiresome at times if you don’t like the topic, but you can’t please everyone each and every night.

  41. Art returned but wanted to do it on his terms, not another network’s. I wish he was still on the radio but it’s understandable why he left. I would prefer him to be back on AM airwaves, I didn’t want to buy Sirius just to listen to the radio show. I wish he was able to take back Coast to Coast and restore it to it’s original former glory. He IS Coast to Coast AM. He says he doesn’t want to but I think he should start another show on the airwaves to compete directly with Noory. Art is the Odin to Noory’s Loki.

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