Hannity a solo act on FNC


After weeks of trying to find a suitable replacement for the departing Alan Colmes, Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity will go it alone.

Hannity on Jan. 12 will debut "Hannity," a retooled version of the second-highest-rated program in cable news (after Fox News' own "The O'Reilly Factor"). It will be the first time since signing on in 1996 that Fox News has changed its 9 p.m. program in any way, the network said.

The cable news network said that a program centered on Hannity was better than trying to find a replacement for Colmes.

"In the end, we couldn't replace Alan and the chemistry those two had, the friendship they had," said Bill Shine, senior vp programming at Fox News. At the same time, Fox News wanted to showcase Hannity.

But it's not going to just be Hannity. Shine said the idea is to also have something called "the Great American Panel," including one conservative, one liberal and someone else the show calls "an X factor." That panel will talk about issues in several segments per night. The "X factor" could include a comedian, a former politician or even someone like Joe the Plumber.

"It's a work in progress," Shine said.

The show also will have commentary, interviews and other features including "Hate Hannity Hotline," carried over from his radio show.

Hannity recently signed a four-year deal to stay with Fox News, his home since 1996. He also is the host of radio's "The Sean Hannity Show," syndicated to 500 stations.

Hannity also hosts "Hannity's America," a weekend show on Fox News. Shine said that it isn't clear what would happen to that show since some elements might be transported into the new show.

"It's going to be a lot of fun and it's coming at exactly the right time," Shine said of "Hannity." (partialdiff)