Sean "Hollywood" Hamilton
Hamilton while on WKTU in New York City
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
|Occupation||Radio & Television Personality, Actor, Music Producer|
|Employer||iHeartMedia, Premiere Radio Networks|
Sean "Hollywood" Hamilton is an American radio personality. He is the host of the Weekend Top30 Countdown and the Remix Top30 Countdown heard in over 120 cities in the United States and throughout the world on Premiere Radio Networks. He can also be heard live weekday afternoons on WKTU in New York City. On October 5, 2018 iHeartMedia announced a new long-term agreement with Hamilton. Robert Pittman (media executive), Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc stated “Hollywood Hamilton is one of the most loved, respected and recognized voices and names in radio, his unparalleled ability to connect with both listeners and music’s biggest artists is a true representation of what makes radio the most powerful medium in the U.S.
Hamilton was born and raised in both Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. Both his parents were in show business; his father, Al, was the entertainment director for major Nevada hotels and casinos, and also a comedian who performed in those establishments. Hamilton's mother, April Ames, was a singer for Harry James, Sam Donahue, Buddy Rich, and others during the "big band" era. She made appearances on Johnny Carson and George Gobel television shows. Later, during the 1970s, she performed on the Nevada casino circuit with her own band, April Ames and The Dames. Hamilton got the nickname "Hollywood" when he was nine years old. Sitting backstage watching his father's Las Vegas show while wearing a suit and bow tie, one of his father's showgirls passed by, stopped, and called him "Little Hollywood".
While still in high school Hamilton landed his first job in commercial radio after gaining recognition from an illegal pirate radio station, broadcasting from his home in Reno, Nevada. After weeks of complaints from local commercial radio stations the Federal Communication Commission issued a formal cease and desist. It wasn't until then, that Hamilton's parents even knew of such an operation their son was operating.
In 1990 actor Christian Slater studied the role of playing a DJ for the motion picture Pump Up the Volume under the tutelage of then friend Hamilton. This motion picture was loosely based on Hamilton's early life in radio. At the time of working with Christian and through the release of this movie, Hamilton was hosting a night shift at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.
Z100 New York, KIISFM Los Angeles & KBIG/MYFM Los Angeles
After spending only a year broadcasting in his hometown, Hamilton decided to hit the road hoping to achieve the big time one day. After three years of traveling and working for a couple small market radio stations like KLAV in Las Vegas and KIDD in Monterey, he ended up in a small town in central New Jersey called Long Branch at a station called WWZY Y-107. In 1983 while broadcasting one night, his big break came when a then famous radio executive Scott Shannon was flying commercially over Long Branch and heard Sean on the air. Upon Shannon's arrival at his destination Sean was immediately offered a job to be part of creating and premiering what is now the largest and most influential radio station in the world today, New York's WHTZ/Z100. At just 20 years old and only four years after building his small pirate radio station in Reno, Nevada, he was now on the air at Z100 in New York City. After Z100s premiere on August 2, 1983 with its legendary campaign "Worst to First", the station went #1 in the ratings in just 74 days.
During those four years working in New York he helped launch and introduce such new artists as Madonna, Duran Duran, U2, Cyndi Lauper and Prince, just to name a few. Hamilton remained at Z100 from 1983-87. In 1987, Hamilton was asked to head out west to join Rick Dees and 102.7 KIIS-FM where he spent a total of seven years on the air. During his seven years at KIISFM he headed up a very popular concert series called “Rad Pack.” This was a concert series where many of the biggest music and teen celebrities at the time would come together to raise money for the newly found D.A.R.E. foundation (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). The attention of this series caught the eye of then President George H.W. Bush where Hamilton was asked to join the President for several youth anti-drug appearances.
During the late eighties through the mid-nineties while at KIIS-FM, Hamilton made many other notable high-profile appearances such as participating in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race Grand Prix of Long Beach and being part of the Los Angeles Air Show where he trained and flew with the United States Navy Blue Angels.
Hamilton remained at KIIS-FM from 1987-94.
In April 2009, Clear Channel hand picked Hamilton to become the new afternoon drive host on KBIG-FM, known as 104.3 MYfm in Los Angeles. He was Clear Channel's only "music" radio personality to have an afternoon show broadcasting simultaneously in both New York and Los Angeles, Monday through Friday. Although Hamilton was live on WKTU on the east coast, his show was prerecorded three hours prior to airing at three PM on the west coast. This method of pre-recording a broadcast shift is called "tracking" and has been much criticized within the industry. In January 2011 Hamilton resigned his west coast "tracking" duties for MYfm.
In 1979, while working on his first commercial radio station, KCBN in Reno Nevada, Hamilton created the popular radio show called Lovelines. In 1983 shortly after being hired at Z100 in New York Hamilton resurrected the show and called it "Hollywood Hamilton’s Midnight Lovelines", which offered medical and relationship advice to listeners, often with the assistance of guests, including actors and members of popular bands. After the show became a huge hit in New York Hamilton signed the rights over to the Westwood One Radio Network for an undisclosed financial amount, stopped hosting it and moved to Los Angeles to work for KIIS-FM. The name was then changed from "Lovelines" to "Loveline" and Hamilton's creation was quickly imitated on radio stations throughout America. KROQ and Dr. Drew Pinsky in Los Angeles gained the most notoriety where MTV Networks noticed it and produced A TV version of “Loveline” that ran on MTV from 1996 to 2000.
Disney's "Hangin' With Hollywood"
From 1989 to 1992, every Sunday night, Hamilton produced and was the host of a live satellite radio show from Disneyland in Southern California. The four-hour show was called "Hangin' with Hollywood" and featured interviews with music, television and motion picture celebrities on the Tomorrowland main stage. This live radio show quickly became a Disney attraction for tourists who could watch celebrities being interviewed and participate by being "guest DJs", introducing the music on the air. However, because of Disney's strict rules and regulations regarding their image, the show came to an end in the winter of 1992. Hamilton remains an honorary citizen of Disneyland, an accolade that Mickey and friends personally presented to him on his birthday, March 25, 1989.
WKTU New York City
In 1996, Clear Channel convinced Hamilton to relocate back to New York City to host a show for their WKTU evening slot. Hamilton brought a sidekick/comedian along by the name of Goumba Johnny, their chemistry earned them top ratings consistently for two years. Because of their overwhelming success, in September 2006 Clear Channel decided to promote the duo to WKTU's afternoon drive.
In December 2010, with the departure of sidekick Goumba Johnny, Hamilton started hosting the afternoon drive-time show solo. Since then his show became not only the highest rated afternoon show in the New York metro area but currently also holds the highest rated share for all radio stations in New York. (8.2 share 25-54 demographic, according to the Arbitron PPM/Summer rating system).
On September 2, 2015 WKTU announced that Sean ‘Hollywood’ Hamilton had signed a new three-year deal to extend his contract through 2018. In their press release it stated that Hamilton's show is currently rated the No.1 afternoon show by Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM) with adults ages 25–54. It goes on to mention his show features a segment called War of the Roses, weekdays at 5:40 p.m., helping KTU's 5:00 p.m. hour become the most listened to hour in New York City radio.
Radio Syndication: Weekend Top30 & Remix Top30 Countdowns
Hamilton is the host and executive producer of three syndicated radio shows: Hollywood Hamilton's Weekend Top 30, which has both pop and urban versions, and the Remix Top 30, a Friday and Saturday night electronic dance music show that features club deejays remixing the top hits of the week featuring celebrity guests. Hamilton has hosted both the pop and urban versions simultaneously until 2009, with Ramiro Torres (who was later replaced with DJ Pup Dawg) taking over hosting duties for the urban version.
On January 28, 2013, Hamilton signed a new deal with Premiere Networks that brings his syndicated countdown shows into the Premiere syndication stable beginning February 1, 2013. In addition, his shows will also be featured on the iHeartRadio platform, which is owned by Premiere's parent company (and Hamilton's employer) iHeartMedia
On July 31, 2017 the Remix Top 30 won best syndicated show of the year at the 2017 Promo Awards in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Hamilton has been the spokesman and spokesmodel for companies including Sprint Nextel, Drakkar Cologne, Doritos, M&M's, Levi Strauss & Co., Pepsi and 5-Hour Energy. On his off time away from the radio industry, Hamilton's production company, Mischief Media Entertainment, has directed and produced television pilots for Telepictures, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and two half-hour pilots for Court TV entitled 29 Minutes & Counting.
On March 22, 2010, Hamilton signed a deal with Reel Stuff Entertainment to host and produce a new syndicated television show called Europe After Dark, distributed in Europe and Canada. This "travel destination" series will take its viewers to the hottest nightclubs and tourist spots throughout Europe. Shooting began in Ibiza, Spain July 5 and then continuing on to Amsterdam, Bucharest, Mamaia, Athens, Mykonos, Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, Budapest, Croatia, Belgrade, Paris finishing up in Rome.
In September 2013 Hamilton began writing a book based on his approaching 35 years in radio and the evolution of the broadcast industry since he began in 1979.
On July 21, 2013, Hamilton alongside his wife Marina completed a six-day, 350-mile bike ride from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh to raise funds and awareness for Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping thousands of injured soldiers returning home from current conflicts and providing assistance to their families. Covering approximately 70 miles a day, the duo video blogged the entire journey on the donation site GoFundMe where they met their goal of $10,000.
In March 1999 Hamilton was fired from WKTU after setting up the husband of a woman employed by him to win a station contest. Hamilton was guilty of "overzealousness in loyalty", David Katz, Hamilton's agent released at the time. "Sean was attempting to reward a employee who had done a lot for him and the station. This wasn't for personal gain, and he wasn't trying to cover anything up. He asked the station about it both before and after he did it". Hamilton was immediately suspended following the event and returned to WKTU in August 2006 where he remains employed today.
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