As the host of radio’s syndicated “Coast to Coast AM” since 2003, George Noory entertains listeners of his 620 Premiere Networks affiliate stations with “mysteries of the world.” He has definitely hit a nerve. Since, his tales of the paranormal, spiritual and/or conspiratorial have expanded to online TV, live events and podcasting. Noory’s great love, however, remains radio, which he has embraced since age 21, working as a radio reporter and studying broadcasting in his native Detroit.
When and how did you get the "radio bug"?
When I was 19 years old and attending the University of Detroit as a broadcast major, I got my first job as a TV production coordinator at WXYZ-TV. At 21, I decided I wanted to be on the air, so the news director of WXYZ Radio, Joe Vaughn, pulled me into his office. He said, “Kid, let's cut an audition tape for you.” He ripped some wire copy from the AP and recorded me reading it. After a few tries, he liked what he heard, so I said, “Mr. Vaughn, do I get the job?" He replied, “I don’t have a job. I want you to go get one.” And I did. At 21, I got a job at then WCAR-AM (Detroit) as a radio reporter and my career was on its way.
Tell us more about that first radio job.
As a reporter at WCAR, I worked full-time during the day doing all kinds of street reporting, covering breaking news, city council meetings and, of course, all the paranormal things I could dig up. I had two more years of college and attended my classes at night.
What stations/personalities influenced you in the early days?
Growing up in Detroit, I loved J.P. McCarthy, who was at WJR and Dick Purtan who was at WXYZ.
How did you become the host of “Coast to Coast AM”?
While I was hosting my late-night show “The Nighthawk” in St. Louis on 550 KTRS-AM, Mike Seigel—who would fill-in for us via ISDN lines—was named Art Bell's replacement when he retired. I immediately asked Mike to consider me as his backup and he sent my tape to Alan Corbeth, who ran “Coast to Coast.” Alan liked the tape and started using me in that capacity. After Art came out of retirement, Mike was gone and I continued as Art's backup, while hosting my show on KTRS. After two years, Art retired again, and I was named the full-time host of “Coast to Coast AM” in 2003.
How would you describe your show to those who've never heard it?
Our show deals with the mysteries of the world, whether paranormal, spiritual or conspiratorial. The subject matter has struck a chord with listeners and we continue to grow with 620 affiliates in North America.
Seems like a good time to ask: Do you believe the government is covering up evidence of UFOs? Have you personally seen a UFO?
I believe the government is withholding vital information on UFOs. I have seen two with night vision goggles in California. They darted in the night sky, stopping and starting. It was bizarre.
What’s show prep for you?
I prep all day, whether in St. Louis or Los Angeles. I get five hours of sleep a night, and I’m up early producing my nightly news opening for the show, selecting bumper music, talking to advertisers – all up until the show starts. It’s about a 10-hour workday for a live, four-hour show.
Superstitions? Any must do rituals before work?
No burned out light bulbs in the studio... I’m nuts about that.
You've branched out to online TV, live events and podcasting. How do you balance it all?
I've got calendars all over the place—but seriously, I'm doing what I wanted to do since I was 11. It keeps me going!
Now some personal questions. What do you like to do when you're not on the radio?
Actually, when I’m not on the air, I love working on the show, attending conferences and conventions, and taking the show on the road for our live stage events. It’s amazing seeing your audience up close and personal. I even sing with a band at these events.
What's your favorite charity?
I often support charitable organizations that benefit veterans and first responders.
Where did you go on your last vacation?
I haven’t taken a vacation in 16 years. I just enjoy work.
What's your favorite meal? Favorite junk food?
I love turkey and mashed potatoes. I’m a health nut and take more supplements than you can imagine.
Do you have any advice for up and coming talent?
Give 120% every day and be the best you can be.
What else would you like readers to know?
We are going through some difficult and amazing times. Thank God for talk radio – it’s the pressure cooker of life that gives people a voice.