News and Analysis

Hannity Breaks Cable News Record, Ousts Larry King
Sean Hannity, host at Fox News, broadcasts from the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. Vice President Pence will make the case for a second term for himself and President Trump today capping a night at the Republican National Convention designed to emphasize the military, law enforcement and public displays of patriotism. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Popular Fox News host Sean Hannity became the longest running prime time cable news host on Thursday, ousting previous record-holder and cable news legend Larry King.

Hannity, who has been with Fox News since its 1996 launch, marked 25 years, six months, and 15 days of hosting in prime time with his Thursday broadcast. The previous record was held by King, whose late-night talk show aired from June 3, 1985, to December 16, 2010.

Fox News issued a statement celebrating the milestone on Thursday, saying in part, “FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Sean Hannity has notched yet another industry milestone, becoming the longest-running primetime cable news host in television history. Today marks 25 consecutive years, six months, and 15 days at the helm of a primetime cable news program, breaking the previous longstanding record* held by the late talk show host Larry King. As cable news’ most enduring personality, Hannity has been a staple of FNC’s primetime lineup since the launch of the network in 1996, where his candid style and passionate commentary have made him one of the most prominent and influential voices in the country.”

Hannity’s primetime launch on Fox News was with his late partner Alan Colmes, and the duo hosted the long-running and wildly popular debate show “Hannity and Colmes,” overtaking King in ratings within the first five years.

After Colmes left the show in 2008, Hannity rebranded and went solo. In the years since, “Hannity” has spent a considerable amount of his time at the top of the ratings charts — ranking first in the always-coveted 25-54 age demographic from 2017-2019, and ranking first in total viewers for four years from 2017-2020.

“Most recently, Hannity ended 2021 as the top-rated program airing at 9 PM/ET, besting the competition on CNN and MSNBC by double digits in both categories. Currently averaging more than 3.1 million viewers each night, the program routinely ranks in the top five programs in cable news,” the statement from Fox News added.

“Sean’s authenticity and insightful commentary have created one of the most enduring connections with our audience and it’s been an honor to watch him over the years. A FOX News original, he has helped innovate the industry, and we are incredibly proud of his extraordinary success,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said of Hannity’s longevity and success.

The longtime host, now 60, weighed in on the accomplishment as well, saying, “I am extremely grateful to FOX News Media and to our loyal, dedicated viewers whom I am proud to serve every night.”

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