Alan will stay with the network to develop a weekend show, and expand his radio show. Read his blog is here.
The move is seen as another sign that in the post-Bush political landscape, old media forms must change to meet the new challenges of a different electorate; a younger audience that's so far eluding talk teevee; and aggressive competitors.
H&C is a very successful, seminal brand for Fox, one that helped put them at the top, and keep them there for so long.
To change H&C is significant, indeed.
Liberal commentators are beginning to have their day on cable, and pushing back against Fox's long time dominance. The success and steady growth of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann against O'Reilly, and the fast rise of Rachel Maddow who's gained rating share opposite H&C, and beats Larry King frequently, has made cable suits take notice.
CNN has made inroads and in some slots begun to take back its old lead. It's developing new voices like Campbell Brown, and Jane Velez-Mitchell.
What this means is as yet unknown. Fox must make changes -- purely conservative teevee cannot dominate cable much longer. Is Alan being shuffled to the weekend dustbin? Or will he be groomed to fill a spot in primer time? Will a new liberal be brought in to counter Hannity" Will new progressives be groomed for more prominent spots on Fox?
Leaving what he described as one of the longest marriages in cable news," Alan Colmes said, "I'm proud that both Sean and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years."
Colmes, who drew criticism from the left for sometimes playing the punching bag to right-wing heavy weight tag-teams led by Hannity, against him, says it was his choice to leave.
"I approached Bill Shine (FNC's Senior Vice President of Programming) earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network," Colmes said.