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Colmes began his career in stand-up comedy
. He developed his radio career in the Northeast, eventually working at stations like WABC, WNBC and WEVD in New York and WZLX in Boston.
He is syndicated nationally, starting with his involvement with Daynet, a venture created by Colmes and other regional radio hosts. Daynet was sold to Major Networks Inc in 1994. Colmes kept his own show, which is now distributed by Fox News Radio. His radio career took off when WABC hired him for the morning drive time slot, billed as "W. Alan B. Colmes", as in the station's call sign. When WNBC let its staff go 1988, Colmes was the final radio personality to sign off, doing so with the words: "I'm Alan Colmes. Thank you, God bless you, and for the last time, this is 66 WNBC." He was well-known in New York City when he was hired by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in 1996. For more than 11 years he has been the co-host of Hannity and Colmes, beginning with the Fox News Channel launch on October 6, 1996.