Sean Hannity Becomes Longest-Running Primetime Cable News Host, Breaks Record Held by Larry King

The 60-year-old FOX News host first joined the network on October 7, 1996 — and has been a ratings hit ever since

Host Sean Hannity on set of FOX's "Hannity With Sean Hannity" at FOX Studios on April 21, 2014 in New York City.
Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty

Sean Hannity has made cable news history.

The FOX News host, 60, is now the longest-running primetime cable news host in television history, beating the record previously set by late broadcasting legend Larry King.

Hannity has served as a host on FOX for 25 years, six months, and 15 days as of Thursday, according to a news release obtained by PEOPLE.

In response to the milestone, Hannity said "I am extremely grateful to FOX News Media and to our loyal, dedicated viewers whom I am proud to serve every night."

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity. Taylor Hill/WireImage

Hannity first joined the network on October 7, 1996, to co-host the political talk show Hannity & Colmes with the late Alan Colmes, per the release.

Larry King appeared as a primetime cable television host from June 3, 1985, to December 16, 2010. King died in January 2021 at age 87.

"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," FOX News said in the release.

FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott praised Hannity for his "authenticity and insightful commentary," which she said helped him create "one of the most enduring connections with our audience and it's been an honor to watch him over the years."

The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Pundit Sean Hannity attends "The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017" at The Pool on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Describing Hannity as "a FOX News original," Scott noted that the host "has helped innovate the industry, and we are incredibly proud of his extraordinary success."

Hannity appeared on Hannity & Colmes for more than 12 years before receiving his own one-hour show in 2009. Hannity & Colmes overtook Larry King after five years on the air and was the top-rated program for its timeslot in 2002.

Now, Hannity is the top-rated show in its own time slot with both viewers and in the 25-54 demographic, and has been for 13 consecutive years, FOX News said, citing Nielsen Media Research. The show is currently averaging more than 3.1 million viewers a night and "routinely ranks in the top five programs in cable news."

Hannity was the most-watched cable news program among adults 25 to 54 from 2017 to 2019, and the most-watched show in terms of total viewers from 2017 to 2020, per the outlet.

Hannity airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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