Sean Hannity

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Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Sean Hannity in 2015.
Born Sean Patrick Hannity[1]
(1961-12-30) December 30, 1961 (age 57)
New York City, New York
Residence Centre Island, New York, U.S.[2]
Nationality American
Occupation Radio host/television host, political commentator, author
Employer Citadel Broadcasting, Fox News Channel
Known for Political commentary
Spouse(s) Jill Rhodes Hannity
Parent(s) Hugh J. and Lillian F. Hannity

Sean Patrick Hannity[1] (born December 30, 1961) is an American radio and television host, author, and conservative political commentator. He is the host of The Sean Hannity Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show that airs throughout the United States. Hannity also hosts a cable news show, Hannity, on Fox News Channel. Hannity has written three New York Times–bestselling books:[3][4] Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism, Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism, and Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda.

Early life

Sean Patrick Hannity was born in New York City, New York, the son of Lillian (Flynn) and Hugh Hannity.[5] All of his grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland. He has two sisters. He grew up in Franklin Square, New York,[6] and attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Hempstead, New York, during his middle school years and St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary high school in Uniondale, New York.[7] Hannity dropped out of New York University and Adelphi University.[8][9]


Hannity in a radio and television interview with Vice President Dick Cheney

Hannity hosted his first talk radio show in 1989 at the volunteer college station at UC Santa Barbara, KCSB-FM, while working as a general contractor. The show aired for 40 hours of air time;[10] Regarding his first show, Hannity has said, "I wasn't good at it. I was terrible."[11] Hannity's weekly show on KCSB was canceled after less than a year by station managers. This was after two shows featuring the book The AIDS Coverup: The Real and Alarming Facts about AIDS by Gene Antonio; among other remarks made during the broadcast, Hannity told a lesbian caller "I feel sorry for your child."[12] The station later reversed its decision to dismiss Hannity due in part to a campaign conducted by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Hannity decided against returning to KCSB.[13]

After leaving KCSB, Hannity placed an ad in radio publications presenting himself as "the most talked about college radio host in America." Radio station WVNN in Athens, Alabama (part of the Huntsville market) then hired him to be the afternoon talk show host.[10] From Huntsville, he moved to WGST in Atlanta in 1992, filling the slot vacated by Neal Boortz, who had moved to competing station WSB. In September 1996 Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes hired the then relatively unknown Hannity to host a television program under the working title Hannity and LTBD ("liberal to be determined").[14] Alan Colmes was then hired to co-host and the show debuted as Hannity & Colmes.

Later that year Hannity left WGST for New York, where WABC had him substitute for their afternoon drive time host during Christmas week. In January 1997, WABC put Hannity on the air full-time, giving him the late night time slot. WABC then moved Hannity to the same drive time slot he had filled temporarily a little more than a year earlier. Hannity has been on WABC's afternoon time slot since January 1998.[15]

Conservative Cal Thomas and liberal Bob Beckel, in their book Common Ground, describe Hannity as a leader of the pack among broadcasting political polarizers, which following James Q. Wilson they define as those who have "an intense commitment to a candidate, a culture, or an ideology that sets people in one group definitively apart from people in another, rival group."[16]


Hannity was a co-host of Hannity & Colmes, an American political "point-counterpoint"-style television program on the Fox News Channel featuring Hannity and Alan Colmes as co-hosts. Hannity presented the conservative point of view with Colmes providing the liberal viewpoint. Critics argued that the show highlighted Hannity's views and those of conservative guests over Colmes' and those of liberal guests.[17]

Hannity had on air clashes with show guests such as Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer of Human Life International, who challenged Hannity on his public dissent from the Catholic Church on the issue of contraception.[18][19] Hannity stated that if the Catholic Church were to excommunicate him over the issue, he would join Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church.[20]

In January 2007, Hannity began a new Sunday night television show on Fox News, Hannity's America.

In November 2008, Colmes announced his departure from Hannity & Colmes. After the show's final broadcast on January 9, 2009, Hannity took over the time slot with his own new show, Hannity, which has a format similar to Hannity's America.


Sean Hannity speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2015.

Hannity's radio program is a conservative political talk show that features Hannity's opinions and ideology related to current issues and politicians. The Sean Hannity Show began national syndication on September 10, 2001, on over 500 stations nationwide.[21] In 2004, Hannity signed a $25 million five-year contract extension with ABC Radio (now Citadel Media) to continue the show until 2009.[22] The program was made available via Armed Forces Radio Network in 2006.[23] In June 2007, ABC Radio was sold to Citadel Communications[24] and in the summer of 2008, Hannity was signed for a $100 million five-year contract.[25] As of October 2013, the program is heard by over 13.25 million listeners a week.[26]

In January 2007, Clear Channel Communications signed a groupwide three-year extension with Hannity on over 80 stations.[27] The largest stations in the group deal included KTRH Houston, KFYI Phoenix, WPGB Pittsburgh, WKRC Cincinnati, WOOD Grand Rapids, WFLA Tampa, WOAI San Antonio, WLAC Nashville, and WREC Memphis.

The opening theme music for the Sean Hannity Show is "Independence Day" by Martina McBride followed by "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. The writer of McBride's song, Gretchen Peters, has stated publicly in interview that the song is about domestic abuse, not political values and though she cannot stop Hannity from using the song, she disagrees with its use but uses the royalties he pays to donate to her own causes.[28] As of May 2014 the theme song was changed to the line "This is how we roll" from the song of the same name by Florida Georgia Line.

Hannity signed a long-term contract to remain with Premiere Networks in September 2013.[29]

At the beginning of 2014 Hannity signed contracts to air on several Salem Communications stations including WDTK Detroit, WIND Chicago, WWRC Washington, D.C., and KSKY Dallas.[30]


Hannity is the author of three books. The first two, Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism and Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism, were published through ReganBooks. Both of these books reached the nonfiction New York Times bestseller list, the second of which stayed there for five weeks.[31][32] Hannity has stated that he is too busy to write many books,[31] and dictated a lot of his own two books into a tape recorder while driving in to do his radio show.[33]

Hannity wrote his third book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda, which was released by HarperCollins on March 30, 2010.[34] The book became Hannity's third New York Times Bestseller.[35]

Freedom Concerts

Since 2003, Hannity has hosted country music–themed "Freedom Concerts" to raise money for charity.[36] According to WHIO, more than $9 million has been raised by the concerts and by WHIO listeners as of 2009.[37]

Personal life

Hannity has been married to Jill Hannity (née Rhodes) since 1993. They have two children, Sean Patrick and Merri Kelly.[38]

While discussing gun control during a Fox News interview with Piers Morgan on October 6, 2014, Hannity said that he has carried a weapon "more than half my adult life".[39]

Awards and honors



  1. 1.0 1.1 Hannity, Sean Patrick (December 26, 2011). "About Sean Hannity". Retrieved September 15, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Is Sean Hannity Saying Bye-Bye To New York | Variety Retrieved 2014-09-05.
  3. "BEST SELLERS: September 22, 2002". The New York Times. 2002-09-22. Retrieved 2007-12-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "BEST SELLERS: April 4, 2004". The New York Times. 2004-04-04. Retrieved 2008-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Let Freedom Ring".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Hannity's WSB bio
  7. Hannity, Let Freedom Ring, p. 49.
  8. "Sean Hannity". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 2, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Kurtz, Howard (January 14, 2002). "Radio's New Right-Fielder". Washington Post. Retrieved 2006-11-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Hannity Bio". The Sean Hannity Show at WDBO. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "'Hannitization' Of America". CBS News. 2004-05-23. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Cohen, Jeff (2006). Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. Polipoint Press. pp. M1 85. ISBN 0-9760621-6-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Rendall, Steve (November–December 2003). "An Aggressive Conservative vs. a 'Liberal to be Determined'". Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Alan Colmes". Archived from the original on 9 November 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Sean Hannity is a multi-media superstar, spending four hours a day every day reaching out to millions of Americans on radio, television and internet". WABC. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Thomas, Cal; Bob Beckel (2007). Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America. New York: William Morrow. pp. 3–6. ISBN 0-06-123634-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. An Aggressive Conservative vs. a "Liberal to be Determined" by Steve Rendall, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, November/December 2003
  18. "YouTube – Hannity's Gospel". Retrieved 2008-10-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. McCain, Robert Stacy (March 14, 2007). "Hannity at Odds with Catholic Doctrine". Washington Times. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Royal, Robert. "Sean and Rudy's excellent adventures in moral theology." National Catholic Reporter; March 30, 2007, Vol. 43 Issue 22, p19-19, 2/3p.
  21. "Canon Communications LLC: Home" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Sean Hannity Profile". WSGW. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2008-11-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Canon Communications LLC: Home" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-08-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Disney and Citadel Announce Completion of ABC Radio Merger" (Press release). The Walt Disney Company. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Sean Hannity Gets $100 Million Deal" (Press release). Huff Post Media. 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2012-05-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "The Top Talk Radio Audiences". Talkers Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Clear Channel Radio Renews Sean Hannity Through 2010" (Press release). Clear Channel Communications. 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Independence Day by Martina McBride Songfacts".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Byers, Dylan. "Hannity signs 'long-term' contract". Politico. Retrieved 12 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Boyce, Phil. "Sean Hannity Moves to WDTK-AM 1400 in Detroit". MarketWatch. Retrieved 17 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. 31.0 31.1 Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2005.
  32. Sean Hannity's ABC Radio Networks biography page
  33. Poniewozik, James; Sean Hannity (2002-11-05). "10 Questions for Sean Hannity". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Sean Hannity writes book on defeating Obama, Democrats". USA Today. 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Schuessler, Jennifer (April 15, 2010). "NYT Best Sellers- Paperback Nonfiction". NY Times. Retrieved 18 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "HANNITY BRINGING 'FREEDOM' CONCERT BACK TO SIX FLAGS". New York Daily News. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2009-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  37. "Sean Hannity & WHIO Present: The Dayton Freedom Concert". WHIO. Retrieved 2009-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. Lipton, Michael A. "The (Far) Right Stuff". Retrieved 2013-09-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. de Moraes, Lisa (2014-10-06). "Piers Morgan Resurfaces On Cable News, Talking Guns With FNC's Sean Hannity". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 2014-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "Sean Hannity Wins 2007 Marconi Award" (PDF) (Press release). Citadel Media. 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2008-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "Heavy Hundred". Talkers Magazine. July–August 2009. p. 267. Retrieved 2009-08-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. "Sean Hannity and Michael Medved Shows Come to News Talk 590 KTIE-AM" (Press release). Business Wire. 2005-11-29. Retrieved 2008-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. Pierce, Jared (2007-04-17). "Hannity to speak at Liberty". The Liberty Champion. Retrieved 2008-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  44. "Sean Hannity Re-Signs with FOX News Channel" (Press release). Business Wire. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links