Fox News announced that after 12 years, Alan Colmes will be leaving the top-rated "Hannity & Colmes" at the end of the year.
I approached Bill Shine (FNCs 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," Colmes said in a statement. "Although its bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, Im proud that both Sean (Hannity) and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years.
Sean Hannity said Colmes was "a remarkable co-host," "great friend," and "skillful debate partner.
Colmes will remain a Fox commentator, and continue hosting "The Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News Radio. Also, he's developing a weekend show.
So will it just be the "The Sean Hannity Show" (as on the radio) or take the name of the weekly Fox show, "Hannity's America?" In the release, published after the jump, there's no mention of Hannity seeking a new liberal co-host, so I assume he's on his own, but can't say for sure. I've put the question to Fox
UPDATE: A Fox spokesperson said it has not yet been determined, but the NY Times hears that Hannity may go it alone. Also, Hannity talks up Colmes on his radio show.
ALAN COLMES TO DEPART TOP RATED HANNITY & COLMES
FOX News Channels (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 (FNCs 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 its bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, Im 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.coms 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, Were 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 were 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. Were 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 OReilly 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, hes been a great friend which is rare in this industry Ill 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.