Say it ain’t so, Howie:

Brit Hume, a top anchor and executive with Fox News since the channel was launched 12 years ago, plans to step down at year’s end. But he won’t disappear entirely.

Sources familiar with the situation say that Hume, 65, will give up his job as Washington managing editor and anchor of “Special Report.” They say he is near a deal to continue with Fox in a senior statesman role, not unlike that of Tom Brokaw at NBC, for roughly 100 days a year.

In his new role, Hume would be a senior political analyst, anchor special events, serve as a panelist on “Fox News Sunday” and occasionally substitute for the host, Chris Wallace.

Thank goodness he’s not leaving the network altogether, but evenings at 6pm ET just won’t be the same without Brit Hume at the helm of Special Report.  Or will there even continue to be a Special Report once Hume’s role is reduced?

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes has made no decision on whether “Special Report,” which began as a temporary program during the Clinton impeachment, will continue, or who would anchor it if it does, the sources said.

Well, it would only make sense if they decided not to continue SR.  After all, what would SR be without this adorable mug being seen on it every week night? :(

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