Not really, I fully excepted Art to end "Dark Matter", although I have to say I'm a bit surprised it happened so fast. I've followed Art through all his tribulations for the past 20 years or so. Take a look from wikipedia which I helped compile:
Retirements and comebacks
Bell has retired and returned to Coast to Coast AM several times.
Retirement: His first retirement, highly unexpected, was announced on October 13, 1998. Bell: "I told you that there was an event, a threatening terrible event occurred to my family, which I could not tell you about. Because of that event, and a succession of other events, what you're listening to right now is my final broadcast on the air." Coast to Coast AM is broadcast on more than 400 stations and is the country's most listened to overnight radio show, heard by some 15 million listeners. (That from "The Seattle Times" 10-13-98.) Hilly Rose filled in after Bell's departure.
Return: He returned on October 28, 1998. Bell asserted that the brief departure was brought on by threats made against his family. On May 29, 1999, Art Bell explained that this retirement was due to an allegation made by hosts of WWCR shortwave radio that Bell had paid to cover up a criminal indictment. (Announcement date from "The Washington Post" 5-29-99, where Bell's show was said to be on 460 stations.)
The facts of the matter became public knowledge with Art Bell's second retirement in 2000, when it was revealed that an actual criminal indictment was filed against a person who had assaulted a member of Bell's family. Because of the nature of the crime, Bell had wanted to keep the matter private. The hosts at WWCR shortwave radio had accused Bell of the crime. (Bell took legal action against the hosts and stations, which was settled in 2000.
Retirement: On April 1, 2000, Bell once again announced to his audience his retirement, which would occur on April 26, 2000 (that from The Washington Post 4-1-00), but he offered no details other than expressing intentions to "resolve a family crisis." On April 11, 2000, Mike Siegel was introduced as the new host of Coast to Coast AM. On April 27, 2000, Siegel took over the program which at this time had an estimated 22 million listeners. (That from "The Seattle Times" 4-12-00.) It was later explained he had left to deal with the aftermath of a sexual assault against his son. Brian Lepley, a substitute teacher, was convicted of sexual assault and attempted transmission of HIV and was sentenced to 10 to 25 years.
Return: On January 24, 2001, it was announced (in Vancouver, Washington's "The Columbian" newspaper), Art Bell would return to Coast to Coast AM on February 5, 2001. Bell noted that since his departure the show had lost a number of affiliates, commercial content had risen to an unbearable level, and Siegel had taken the program in a "different direction" of which Bell disapproved. He retained some authority over the program as its creator and thus felt his return was necessary.
Retirement: On October 23, 2002, Bell announced he would be retiring because recurring back pain (the result of a fall from a telephone pole during his youth) forced yet another departure, and Bell was permanently replaced by George Noory as weekday host of Coast to Coast AM on January 1, 2003. It was also said that Barbara Simpson would host weekends and that Bell planned to be an occasional guest host for Noory. (Most information from "The Seattle Times" 10-26-02.)
Return: Bell returned on September 23, 2003, announced (in Vancouver, Washington's "The Columbian" newspaper) that he would return as a weekend host on September 27, 2003, having missed the microphone, this time replacing Barbara Simpson and Ian Punnett as host of the Saturday and Sunday evening broadcasts. In June 2005, he scaled this schedule back a bit (a "semiretirement"), deciding to host only the last two Sundays of every month. Bell went back to hosting every weekend show as his schedule permitted after his wife Ramona’s death a few months later.
Retirement: on July 1, 2007, Bell announced his retirement again, stating that he wished to spend more time with his new wife and daughter. He made it explicitly clear that, unlike the circumstances surrounding previous retirements, this one was an entirely positive and joyful decision and that he would not disappear completely—he would occasionally substitute for other hosts and host "special" shows. According to George Noory, Bell is on board to do 15 shows per year. Art Bell confirmed this fact in a post on the Fantastic Forum fan site.
Posted on November 4, 2013 - 08:19 PM