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The Sean Hannity Show

The Sean Hannity Show is an American radio show hosted by conservative commentator Sean Hannity on ABC Radio Networks and Premiere Radio Networks. Hannity is noted for his opening line to callers in which he greets them with the line "you're a great American." The program is broadcast live every weekday from the studios of WABC-AM in New York City and aired in syndication by Citadel Radio on terrestrial radio affiliates across the United States and the America Right channel found on XM Satellite Radio and Patriot Channel found on Sirius Satellite Radio Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The primary focus is the politics of the day, with regular interviews of liberal commentators, such as Al Sharpton and Bob Beckel, as well as noted conservatives. According to Talkers' Magazine, The Sean Hannity Show is the second-most-listened to show in the United States, with 13.25 million listeners weekly.

Syndication

Syndication began through the ABC Radio Networks on September 10, 2001, one day before the September 11 attacks. The program is carried on WSB-AM in Atlanta, Georgia (delayed one hour), WBAP-AM in Dallas, Texas , KSL Newsradio in Salt Lake City, Utah, KABC-AM in Los Angeles, California, WMAL-AM in Washington, D.C., KFYI-AM in Phoenix, Arizona, WJR (AM) in Detroit (first two hours), WCBM in Baltimore, Maryland and WKRC-AM in Cincinnati, Ohio, among others. The show is carried in most markets by a Citadel Broadcasting radio station; the show is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, which acquired the ABC Radio networks in 2006.

Hannity's first version of his radio show was in the late 1980s as a volunteer broadcaster for the University of California, Santa Barbara's radio station, KCSB-FM. He was dismissed from the station in 1989 following a controversial interview about AIDS in which he insulted a lesbian caller. Later, Hannity would bring his program to WVNN in Athens, Alabama and NewsRadio WGST-AM in Atlanta, Georgia.

Hannity is the second highest rated talk program, only behind The Rush Limbaugh Show, which leads into Hannity on many stations. The show is carried on 530 stations. He is a two-time consecutive winner of Radio & Records National Talk Show Host of The Year Award in 2003 and 2004, as well as the National Association of Broadcasters' 2003, 2004 and 2005 Marconi awards for Talk Show Host of the Year, and the Talkers Magazine 2003 Freedom of Speech Award. In 2004, Hannity signed a $25 million, five-year contract extension with ABC Radio to continue the show through 2009; however, ABC Radio's acquisition by Citadel Broadcasting on June 12, 2007 apparently gave Hannity an opportunity to leave one year after the acquisition.

On July 22, 2008, it was announced that Hannity's show will be co-managed by Citadel's ABC Radio Networks and Premiere Radio Networks, a division of Clear Channel Communications. Premiere Radio will handle advertising sales and distribution to all non-Citadel owned stations, including Clear Channel owned stations. Hannity already has agreements with approximately 80 Clear Channel stations in a separate agreement. The two networks will cooperate for special circumstances.

Radio show

The show primarily features a mixture of monologues, conversations with callers, and interviews with those in the news.

Content

Hannity's frequent political targets have included Democrats, and Republicans that he considers to be soft on terrorism and illegal immigration. He frequently characterizes American liberalism as a movement more in line with democratic socialism than classical liberalism.

The show frequently features "Man on the street" interviews, where New York pedestrians are stopped and questioned about politics.

The show also features the occasional inclusion of behind the scenes staff, including producers 'Sweet Baby' James and animal-rights proponent 'Flipper.' 'Gregster' is the engineer who typically plays the audio clips.

The show used to close daily with the segment "Trash the Lines" where calls were taken unscreened, with callers given approximately five seconds to say whatever they wanted. The segment, which had its roots in a late-night show Hannity hosted earlier in his career, has been used less frequently since the summer of 2006.

Opening themes

Each hour of the Sean Hannity Show opens with the following musical pieces, in order:

1. The refrain of "Independence Day" performed by Martina McBride ("Let freedom ring...")

2. Carmina Burana (Orff), over which announcer Scott Shannon proclaims "From coast to coast, from border to border, from sea to shining sea, Sean Hannity is on!"

3. The instrumental opening to "The Way It Is" performed by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, over which Hannity begins speaking.

Occasionally on the third hour, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor will replace both Carmina Burana and "The Way It Is", with Shannon announcing, "Overlooking Madison Square Garden, deep in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the last beacon of truth in a troubled time! This is the Sean Hannity Show and the world-famous Final Hour Free-for-All!"

Traditionally during election years, an additional announcement was made after Carmina Burana, proclaiming the edition to be "a special edition of The Sean Hannity Show: The Battle for America," featuring a countdown until Election Day. Since Election Day 2007 on November 6, 2007, the “special edition” message counted down the days that remained until the Iowa Caucus (January 3, [[2008]), “Super Tuesday” (February 5, 2008), and Election Day (November 4, 2008).

The "Hate-Hannity Hotline"

Hannity provides a phone line for people who disagree with him to call in. He plays some of these clips at the beginning of the bottom half hour segment of the show. He usually supplements these clips with the explanation that he is performing a service to the American people by "Absorbing the hate and bitterness of the angry left so that they will be nicer to you when you meet them along your way."

Stop Hillary/Obama Express

A more recent feature of the show is the ongoing "Stop Hillary Express", dedicated to criticism of Hillary Clinton, although he has recently joked about renaming the show "Stop Hillary and Obama Express". When Hillary Clinton suspended her bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President, Sean Hannity shifted his programs focus solely on Barack Obama and his "Stop Obama Express". More recently Hannity has taken to calling it the "Stop the Radical, Barack Obama Express".

Guest hosts

WABC personality Mark Levin frequently filled in for Hannity during the host's absence until Levin obtained his own syndicated program. Guest hosts have included Barry Farber, Mike Gallagher, Curtis Sliwa, Scott Hennen, Kirby Wilbur, Dennis Miller and Mark Simone.

Book club

The Hannity show also has a book club with author interviews and discussions on topics. More recent books have included Strategery by Bill Sammon and Fight Back by G. Gordon Liddy. Hannity has also authored two New York Times bestsellers on politics and current events.

Show website

Hannity's website offers subscribers to the "Hannity Insider" subscription service live and recorded streaming audio of the program, available for download to an Ipod or other MP3 player. In addition, the program was added to the Armed Forces Radio Network in December 2005. Audio streams of The Sean Hannity Show average more than 190,000 subscribed listeners per month. There is also Hannidate, a chat room for conservative singles, both heterosexual and gay.

Criticisms

Fortune described Hannity's radio show as "every blowhard's dream: getting paid to preach to the choir," mentioning that he made U.S. $5-million from the show in 2005. Fortune described the show as run by what it described as Hannity's "sure-fire formula: if you agree with his conservative worldview, you're deemed a 'great American.' If you don't, you're a pusillanimous blame-America-lib, who might as well pledge allegiance to France".

Hannicue

In June 2007, Hannity announced that he would be hosting a Hannicue at his mansion at a date to be named later. The idea was brought to his attention by a caller and continued calls for it encouraged him to acquiesce to the request. He has stated that his favorite callers will be given invitations to attend.

See also

References

External links

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