Home July 19, 2008

NewsMax's Top 25 Radio Talk Show Hosts

5. Sean Hannity

REACH: 12.5 million-plus listeners per week via 500 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network. His flagship radio station is WABC in New York City. He is co-host of Fox News Channel’s second-highest-rated show, Hannity & Colmes, reaching 2 million viewers, and has written several best-selling books.


MOST CONTROVERSIAL MOMENT: While a local host, he told listeners that another on-air person at the station was a lesbian whose child by in-vitro fertilization was a “turkey-baster baby.” Hannity told her on air: “I feel sorry for your child.”

PET PHRASE(S): “You’re a great American.”

WEB SITE: http://www.hannity.com/

Hannity is the fastest-rising star in the history of talk radio. He has attracted the second-largest radio audience in only five years of syndication. But he stood on giant shoulders to get there: The feisty Irish-American was first heard by most Americans during his many appearances as a guest host on Limbaugh’s show.

Sean Patrick Hannity attended New York University and Adelphi University, dropping out of both without a degree. Hard-working and entrepreneurial, in 1982 he established his own successful house-painting business in Rhode Island. He moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., to work in construction.

After a stint at KCSB, the campus radio station at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Hannity astutely bought an ad in a radio industry journal describing himself as “the most talked about college radio host in America.” This won him an on-air job in Huntsville, Ala., which was his steppingstone to a slot in Atlanta.

When Fox News Channel was forming three years later, Roger Ailes picked Hannity to be the conservative half of the show now called Hannity & Colmes. This brought Hannity back to New York City.

Hannity is a talk host with a pugilistic demeanor who polarizes issues into contests between good guys in white hats and bad guys in black. His passion and energy make him a powerful and attractive cheerleader for conservative listeners seeking certitude, emotional catharsis, and a gladiatorial champion for their political beliefs.

Hannity’s radio show began nationwide syndication one day before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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