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10 Improvements for C2C in 2005, Revisited


Last year, I proclaimed myself a veritable Annunaki, handing down ten improvements for Coast to Coast AM, in the hopes that they could evolve from lowly cave dweller to full blown member of society.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and revisit '05 to see if they listened to my advice ...

1.C2C Regular/Open Lines Night : Richard C. Hoagland and Steven Quayle had a combined 42 appearances on C2C in 2004. Of those 42, approx. 2 or 3 appearances allowed for calls from the C2C audience. Meanwhile, Open Lines night often becomes a free-form night when first hours guests may stay an extra hour or even finish out the show with Noory. In 2005, C2C needs to allow more opportunities to talk to the C2C Regulars like RCH, Quayle, and Linda Moulton Howe (who participated in a veritable template for "C2C Regular/Open Lines" night on 4.23.4).

Hit or Miss : Miss. C2C didn't seem to carry over many of their regulars for Open Lines on a frequent basis. I believe this may have happened once with Linda Moulton Howe towards the end of the year, but otherwise calls were mostly fielded during the second half of a first hour pop-in.

2.More Theme Episodes : One of the ideas that seemed to finally stick with the C2C brain trust in November: theme episodes work. 2005 should have several new roundtables, more debates, and more convention coverage "revolving door" episodes. It's both a good change of pace and often finds strong new guest candidates. Some of the very best episodes of 2004, were the theme episodes which stood out from the pack and need to be more prominently featured in 2005.

Hit or Miss : Hit. C2C busted out two debates, at least five roundtables, and two Hoagland created roundtables. They also had "An Evening of Commentary" and the third JFK Assassination Special. Compared to 2004, which boasted one debate and four roundtables.

3.Get Serious about After Dark : For a variety of reasons, After Dark magazine just does not live up to the promise of the C2C radio show. For all of its plugs and promotions, the magazine seems to merely limp along, barely relevant. I could give you 10 ways on how to improve it, but I've not the time, suffice it to say, it needs work. With a stronger print base, C2C could diversify in ways heretofore unimaginable. 2005, C2C needs to put more work into the quality of the actual magazine instead of the promotions they use to dupe new subscribers.

Hit or Miss : Hit. Hey, they featured an article by binnall. How much more serious can you get ?

4.Uniform Rebroadcasts : One common gripe of 2004 was the choices for rebroadcasted episodes. When planned for in advance, they were tepid at best and when plugged in on the fly, they were dissapointing at best. A simple form somewhere on the C2C site where you can request an episode in the event of a rebroadcast would allow for some kind of "top ten list", known only to the braintrust @ C2C if need be, which could serve as a guide to what episodes people want to hear.

Hit or Miss : Miss. C2C's policy on rebroadcasts is as confounding as ever. While they did stick to a theme of "classic Art Bell episodes" for their Sunday replays, more often than not the replays were as unpredictable as the year before. The distressing trend of replaying Open Lines episodes emereged at the end of 2005, making C2C replays all the more awful.

5.Clearer Guest Host Policy : For a while there, it was Barbra Simpson, then all of a sudden Ian Punnett hosted an ep. in Feb., then the venerable Hilly Rose in late August and Babs is dropped from Noory's "thanks list" at the end of every episode. Who's the guest host now ? Having an on-call, of sorts, guest host would be a nice touch and something to break up stretches where rebroadcasts are run.

Hit or Miss : Hit. C2C's hand was forced on this one when Art Bell decided to cut back his schedule and they needed a weekend host. Enter Ian Punnett, who now "owns" Saturday nights on Coast. While unofficial, it seems that Hilly Rose is now reserved for those two weeks a year when Noory goes on vacation. Twice in 2005, C2C brought in Chris McGill to guest host and once at the end of the year, they had a guy named John B. Wells guest host. As opposed to having one "guest host", C2C seemed to settle on a mix of 3 different "guest hosts" and rebroadcasts for those weeks when Noory can't or won't show up.

6.More C2C Regulars: In 2004 there was RCH, Quayle, and LMH and perhaps a handful of "experts" on a variety of subjects who often slid into the first hour slot of the show. The addition of perhaps 3 new C2C regulars who appear on a frequent basis would add more depth and also help avoid burnout from the present "big three".

Hit or Miss : Hit. C2C seemed to add Alex Jones and Loren Coleman to the mix of frequent pop-in guests. C2C also added more focus on Jon Rappaport's coverage of bird flu and Douglas Hagmann's terrorism updates. That said, there was a noticeable cut back in appearances for both Linda Moulton Howe and Steve Quayle (also Peter Davenport, strangely enough). Meanwhile, as predicted last year, Richard C. Hoagland was completely burned out, appearing over 50 times in 2005.

7.Acknowledge C2C History: One factor of C2C that fluctuates is its sense of its own history. C2C has been on the air for something like over ten years, but it rarely acknowledges any specific anniversaries or offers any retrospectives from the years its been on the air. A more focused sense of its past would give the show, as an entity, a sense of depth that is lacking right now.

Hit or Miss : Hit. A tepid "hit" and only for the replays of "classic Art Bell" episodes on Sundays. This trend only started in Autumn of '05 and may end up being a short lived one, at that. Otherwise, C2C continued onward, blissfully unaware that it has been on the air for over a decade.

8.Noory on Tour: Perhaps the most foolishly named suggestion, but one having merit nonetheless, is "Noory on Tour". The concept being having Noory either travel to affiliates and broadcast there while meeting fans at some point or Noory going to various esoteric conventions in the USA or even beyond. This would both stregthen C2C's relationships with its affiliates and its fans.

Hit or Miss : Miss. When Noory appeared with Alex Jones in Austin, Texas in January, I thought we were sure to see that "Noory on Tour" was a viable concept. Sadly, that was not to be. Noory's tour ended up consisting of St. Louis and Los Angeles, as it was in 2004. His canceling of the UFO Crash Retrieval Conference trip in November, coupled with his "in-studio" pop-ins, lend credence to the rumour that he is agoraphobic.

9.Holiday Episodes : Another concept that C2C flirts with on occasion but does not seem to commit to is having episodes that occur on holidays with guests who are experts in some aspect of the holiday. Find the right guests and an annual tradition can be born.

Hit or Miss : Hit. C2C seemed to bring in at least one or two guests for a few major holidays, folks like Sherry Steiger talking about Christmas Miracles, Kenneth C. Davis talking about 4th of July and Halloween, and even R. Gary Patterson to reflect on the 25 anniversary of the John Lennon assassination.

10.Merchandise : Would it kill C2C to have t-shirt ? You know things are bad when my website has a better shop than C2C. This improvement is so obvious, its rather scary that it has to be suggested.

Hit or Miss : Hit. A technical hit. Apparently, I was mistaken and they do have merchandise. I just couldn't find it on their website. For what it is worth, they haven't made it any easier to find.

Final Analysis :7 Hits, although 3 of them are sort of giveaways (and some will dispute the After Dark "hit", I'm sure). So, call it 4 hits, 3 misses, and 3 pushes. Pretty good.

My favorite "hit" has to be that they have added more theme episodes. That said, I'm afraid they may burn out the concept at the rate they are going. Too many of the roundtable episodes were lackluster and may have dilluted the concept.

My most disappointing "miss" would have to be regarding their "replay policy", which is confusing as all hell and, more often than not, showcases a totally un-rebroadcast-worthy episode.

As with our annual "Guests C2C Needs" list, we will be issuing our 2005 recommendations for C2C sometime in the near future. We will, of course, revisit both lists at this time next year to see if anyone at C2C is listening.

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