Sean Hannity will survive his bad week just fine

Losing his time slot on Fox News and his radio show with Cumulus Media hardly means the end for the conservative host.

By Jonathan Berr Aug 16, 2013 2:24PM
File photo of Sean Hannity on December 15, 2011 (© Patrick Fallon/Corbis)Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity isn't having a good week, but it isn't the disaster that some in the political press say it is.

First came word from the Drudge Report that Megyn Fox is taking over his 9 p.m. slot on 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) Fox News Channel. Now, Politico is reporting that Cumulus Media (CMLS) is dropping Hannity's show and renewing its contract with Rush Limbaugh, contradicting earlier reports that the company would cut ties with both broadcasters. Before Hannity's many critics start gloating too much about the potential demise of conservative talk radio, there are a few things to consider.

First, Hannity's replacement on Cumulus may be Michael Savage, who's no liberal either, though he has moderated in recent years. Certainly, he isn't lacking in self-confidence as evidenced by his on-air statement: "I am the heir apparent to afternoon drive on the East Coast and around America on Cumulus stations, which have the most powerful stations in the radio world."

Second and more important, Hannity, the second-highest-rated radio talk show host behind Limbaugh, isn't going anywhere.

According to Talkers, an industry trade publication, Hannity decided not to re-sign with Cumulus. He'll move his show to stations owned by his syndicator Clear Channel in markets "where he will undoubtedly be dropped by Cumulus such as in New York where he would move from Cumulus’ WABC to Clear Channel's WOR."

The reason for Hannity's move has more to do with the animosity between him and Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey, according to Talkers publisher Michael Harrison. "This is about the radio business, not politics," he says in an interview with MSN moneyNOW, adding that Hannity "won't skip a beat at all."

He'll likely stay at Fox, which recently re-signed him to a long-term deal, in a new time slot,  possibly 7 p.m, according to The New York Times.

Fox's promotion of Kelly is more of a recognition of her talent and a hope by Fox News head Roger Ailes that the 42-year-old might help draw younger viewers than Hannity, 51, has. The channel and many others need help in that department. As Eric Wemple noted in the Washington Post, Fox News' prime-time ratings fell 34% in among viewers ages 25-54, the group most targeted by cable news advertisers. 

Ailes was recently quoted saying Hannity was someone people "wanted to see," and rarely does the outspoken executive not get what he wants.

Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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Aug 16, 2013 3:46PM
To all you Liberals ready to pounce on Hannity I have this to say: I do not agree with him in ALL issues but I do agree with him most of the time. I the 2 years I have been listening to his radio show, not ONE single time has a liberal on his show proven him wrong. All they know how to do is spew talking points from the liberal media or Obama's administration without any facts to back them up. So say what you will about Hannity, at least he backs up his rhetoric with facts.
Aug 17, 2013 10:20AM
Wherever he goes, conservatives will follow. If Cumulus did not have Rush, the king, I would say screw them.
Aug 17, 2013 10:09AM
Megan Kelly is 42?  I thought maybe 32! Anyway, FOX NEWS is making the right decision in showcasing her in prime time. I get bored with Hannity's continuous  blasting of liberals on insignificant items whereas Megan sorts out the juicy topics and takes her liberal guests to task. This makes for more interesting viewing. Glad it's happening.
Aug 16, 2013 11:05PM
O'Reilly will retire and Hannity will take the 8 pm slot or go back to 9 pm when he does. O'Reilly is exhausted with his show. He doesn't even show up much anymore. Looks like another Johnny Carson folks.
Aug 19, 2013 11:38AM

What the liberals don't understand, nor do most Republicans, is that 67% of the Americans consider themselves Conservative Sean and Rush will be followed to whoever they broadcast through. The left continues to tell the same story until some people believe it.

Aug 19, 2013 7:50AM
Oh no !!!!  Fox, Please find a place for him somewhere in your line up!  I Love watching his show when he brings in Ted Nugent!  ( The Great American ) or in the rest of the world's view, ANTI-AMERICAN JACK-****!  Well, even if they don't bring him back, I'll still have those other Right-Winged lunatics to remind me why I can never vote "Republican" again!  I'm convinced FOX and their entertainers are all "closet liberals" !   Amazing that one network could singlehandedly destroy the Republican Party!  
Aug 19, 2013 8:48AM
I usually agree with Hannity's basic viewpoint.  However, he is so "over-the-top" with his rhetoric, that he appears to be morphing into a greying version of Glenn Beck, or . . . , the Conservative's version of "the Ed Show".
Aug 16, 2013 8:54PM
I've listened to the Stephanie Miller show for a week.  I've never heard such ignorance in my life, I'm actually embarrassed for her and her callers.  I'm sorry folks, you guys are so uninformed, and the information given out is frankly, just incorrect.  Good luck with that...
Aug 18, 2013 12:49AM
Now, now...he's an "entertainer", and if he wasn't selling products for sponsors, he wouldn't be on anywhere. he is one of many conservative talking heads who are hard at work keeping the conservative part of the "99" % convinced that they are part of the "1" % that views them with the contempt that says,"you'll never be one of us, but keep up the good work".
Aug 17, 2013 7:59PM
Sadly the headline is right. He will be fine. Did u see the guest list of  his shows ? The filthiest of conservatives are always the stars of his show. Did he really believes the things his guests spew out in his show?
Aug 19, 2013 12:07AM

What's the difference they all read from the same script.

 They know nothing but sh*t comes out of there mouths but the pay is great.

 And who listens to talk radio anyway but brain dead drones

Aug 18, 2013 7:35AM
Really??!! Who give a flying F..k. These aholes are just whining, crying, lying pathetic blowhards who have as much charisma and character as a slug.
Aug 17, 2013 8:43AM

He's second behind a fat drug addict who smuggles viagara!  hahahahahahahahahahahaha







Aug 16, 2013 3:26PM
"Hope by Fox News head Roger Ailes that the 42-year-old Fox might help draw younger viewers than Hannity, 51, has."

Because we all know that younger viewers love constant outrage, hostility, and conservative victim-hood as long as it it's being related by a blond babe.
Aug 16, 2013 3:00PM
I know Hannity will be just fine.  I just worry about the idiots out there who listened to him.  Who is going to tell them what to think now?
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