Here’s How Crucial Sean Hannity Is to Fox News

Especially after last night’s monster TV ratings…

Phew! For a minute there, Fox News looked like it was going to lose Sean Hannity (too).

On Tuesday, the conservative cable news host’s cryptic social media behavior led many to wonder if he was leaving the cable news network. Instead, on his actual 10 p.m. ET self-titled show, Hannity reaffirmed that he will stick with Fox as long as it wants him. His leaving would have been a big problem for Fox News Channel, which is not without problems these days.

Last week, MSNBC beat both CNN and Fox News in weekday primetime among both total viewers and the key news demo for the first time ever. However, Fox News continues to lead MSNBC and CNN in all categories for the month of May.

Here’s how important Hannity — and “Hannity” — are to Fox News.

That overall audience haul made “Hannity” the fifth-most-watched series on cable news. In the main demo, “Hannity” was the third-biggest series across cable news. In other words, “Hannity” helped Fox News achieve primetime growth of 20 percent overall and 19 percent in the demo.

Good thing for the network he’s sticking around.

In April, “Hannity” took how the bronze by both above-mentioned metrics, when FNC’s prime was up 28 percent overall and 42 percent in the demo.

Nowadays, without “The O’Reilly Factor” as a lead-in anymore, “Hannity” will likely decline a bit in TV ratings — but it also doesn’t have a whopper of a show standing in its way as far as the rankings are concerned.

“Hannity” had no Nielsen issues last night, however. The Twitter-hyped episode soared 50 percent in total viewers and 68 percent in the main demo versus the same day in 2016.

In other words, with no O’Reilly, no Megyn Kelly and no Greta Van Susteren, Fox News will likely keep the happy-to-be-here Hannity for as long as humanly possible.