Alan Colmes To Leave FNC's Hannity & Colmes Show
After Long Run, Hannity's Liberal Foil To Leave Show
*** THIS STORY FIRST BROKEN AT THE RADIO EQUALIZER ***
*** UPDATED AGAIN BELOW ***
*** SOURCE: HANNITY TO GO SOLO - SEE BELOW ***
After a remarkable twelve year run, Alan Colmes is set to leave FOX News Channel's top-rated Hannity & Colmes at the end of the year, according to key sources.
Though the decision was said to have been made by Colmes himself, it is not yet known what future role he will play at the network.
There have been no industry rumblings regarding the liberal host heading for another network and his radio show remains syndicated by FOX News Radio. That means he's probably likely to remain there in some capacity.
Also unknown at this time is who will replace take Alan's place at the Hannity & Colmes Show, if anyone.
So far, Colmes has not commented on the move at his site, but syndicated talker Lars Larson tells your Radio Equalizer that he's asked Colmes to appear on his show to discuss the situation.
Update: rather than comment, Colmes is simply referring readers to the Fox press release reprinted below.
The former WABC and WNBC/ New York talker has been with FOX News since its launch in October 1996.
Stand by for further details on this breaking story.
UPDATE: TVNewser now has further details on this breaking story. The site points to indications that Colmes will remain as a commentator and may develop a weekend show.
In addition, industry speculation centers around the idea that perhaps Hannity may begin to host the program alone, an idea that has come up in the past. There's no indication of a replacement named at this time.
In fact, while several sites are currently running polls on who should replace Colmes, the smart money is betting on a Hannity solo effort.
At a New York Times item posted about 90 minutes after your Radio Equalizer broke this story, Brian Stelter reported that Hannity is likely to host the show on his own after Alan's departure. That matches what an industry source has indicated to us.
UPDATE: Here's the News Corporation press release:
FOX News Channel's (FNC) Alan Colmes will relinquish his role as co-host of Hannity & Colmes at the end of the year.
In announcing his decision, Colmes said, "I approached Bill Shine (FNC's Senior Vice President of Programming) earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network. Although it's bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, I'm proud that both Sean (Hannity) and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years."
Colmes will continue to have a presence on FNC as he will serve as a liberal commentator on a variety of FOX News programming, including Foxnews.com's The Strategy Room and continue hosting his radio program, The Alan Colmes Show on FOX Talk, a division of FOX News Radio. He will also begin developing a weekend program.
Shine said, "We're very sorry to see Alan reach this decision but we understand his desire to seek other creative challenges in his career. We value his incredible hard work in making Hannity & Colmes the most successful debate program on cable news and we're going to miss him on the show. Thankfully, he will begin developing a weekend pilot for us."
FOX News Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes added, "Alan is one of the key reasons why FOX News has been such a remarkable success. We're sad to see him leave the program but we look forward to his ongoing contributions to the network."
Hannity & Colmes is the only FNC program which has remained in the same timeslot for 12 years, catapulting to number one in 2003 and never relinquishing the top spot. The second highest-rated program in cable news behind only The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes averaged 3.3 million viewers nightly for the Nielsen month of October and is poised to mark 60 consecutive months at number one at the end of November.
Hannity added, "Not only has Alan been a remarkable co-host, he's been a great friend which is rare in this industry.” I'll genuinely miss sparring with such a skillful debate partner."
Throughout his 12 year tenure on Hannity & Colmes, Colmes has interviewed numerous key political figures, including: President Elect Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), DNC Chairman Howard Dean and former Vice President Al Gore.
FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour general news service covering breaking news as well as political, entertainment and business news. For nearly seven years, FNC has been the most watched cable news channel in the nation. Owned by News Corp., FNC is available in more than 90 million homes.
UPDATE: Alan's Wikipedia entry has already been updated:
Colmes began his career in stand-up comedy. He developed his radio career in the Northeast, eventually working at stations like WABC, WNBC, WHN and WEVD in New York and WZLX in Boston.
He is syndicated nationally, starting with his involvement with Daynet, a venture created by Colmes and other regional radio hosts. Daynet was sold to Major Networks, Inc., in 1994. Colmes kept his own show, which is now distributed by Fox News Radio. His radio career took off when WABC hired him for the morning drive time slot, billed as, "W. Alan B. Colmes," as in the station's call sign. When WNBC let its staff go in 1988, Colmes was the final radio personality to sign off, doing so with the words: "I'm Alan Colmes. Thank you, God bless you, and for the last time, this is 66 WNBC." He was well-known in New York City when he was hired by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, in 1996. Since then, he has been the co-host of Hannity and Colmes, beginning with the Fox News Channel launch on October 6, 1996.
Colmes has written one book, Red, White & Liberal: How Left is Right and Right is Wrong (ISBN 0-06-056297-8) which was published in October 2003.
On November 24, 2008, it was reported by Brian Maloney on his Radio Equalizer blog that Colmes would leave Hannity and Colmes. It is unclear what role Colmes will have at Fox News or who, if anyone, will replace him on the primetime program.
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