Liberal half of popular news show exits

Alan Colmes, the liberal half of Fox News Channel’s popular “Hannity & Colmes,” will leave the show at the end of the year, the net announced Monday.

He’s opted to exit in order to “develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network,” he said in a statement.

Colmes will remain as a liberal commentator for FNC and continue to host his own show on Fox radio.

“Alan is one of the key reasons why Fox News has been such a remarkable success,” said FNC chairman-chief exec Roger Ailes in a statement. “We’re sad to see him leave the program but we look forward to his ongoing contributions to the network,” Ailes added.

“Not only has Alan been a remarkable co-host, he’s been a great friend, which is rare in this industry,” said Sean Hannity. “I’ll genuinely miss sparring with such a skillful debate partner.”

“Hannity & Colmes” has drawn the second largest audience of cable news shows — an average 3.3 million viewers during October, according to Nielsen. The most popular cable news show is FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” which leads into “Hannity & Colmes.”

“I’m proud that both Sean and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years,” Colmes said.

A network spokesman said a replacement for Colmes opposite Hannity has yet to be decided.

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