Ryan Seacrest - biography

Ryan Seacrest

Ryan John Seacrest (born December 24, 1974)[1] is an American radio personality, television host and producer. He is known internationally as host of the top-rated primetime talent competition American Idol.[2] He has been nominated for an Emmy award in the "Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program" category for his work on American Idol. He won a Daytime Emmy Award for co-hosting the 2005 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade with Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa. As a television producer, Seacrest has won an Emmy for the ABC show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. On radio, Seacrest is host of On Air with Ryan Seacrest, his market-topping #1 nationally syndicated LA morning drive-time radio show for Clear Channel’s 102.7 KIIS-FM. [3] , as well as a nationally-syndicated Top 40 radio show. [4] Seacrest hosted the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards on September 16, 2007.[5] Seacrest has extensive deals with brand heavyweights Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, and has a strategic marketing and technology alliance with Eventful, Inc.

Early life

Seacrest was born on December 24, 1974, in an Atlanta suburb, Dunwoody, Georgia,[6] the son of Constance Marie (née Zullinger),[7] a homemaker, and Gary Lee Seacrest.[1][8][9] Connie Seacrest told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Instead of playing with G.I. Joes or Cowboys and Indians, [Ryan] would always have a little microphone and do shows in the house."[10] "But people would call my answering machine just to listen to his voice. They thought I had a professional doing it. That's when I thought, this might be bigger than I think it is."[11]

At age fourteen, he attended and soon became the "Voice of Dunwoody High School", as his school's regular morning public address system announcer.[12] "I wore braces and glasses and was fat and got teased about it," Seacrest said, "but I was always very ambitious."[13] At aged 16, while still attending high school, Seacrest won a hard-to-get internship at WSTR FM,[11] in Atlanta, with Tom Sullivan, who trained him in the many aspects of radio. When the regular DJ called in sick, Sullivan put him on the air for the very first show of his broadcasting career.[14] In a surprise phone call the next day, the station owner told Seacrest that, although he was not a professional, his stint of the night before had not been "too bad."[15] Soon he was given the weekend overnight shift at WSTR.[10] Seacrest continued to work on air at WSTR FM until graduating from Dunwoody High School in 1992.[16] Seacrest went on to study journalism at the University of Georgia in the fall of 1992.[11] There, he would continue his radio show at a local Athens station. Seacrest left UGA at age 19 and moved to Hollywood to pursue his broadcasting career.[10]

Career

Early career

In 1993, Seacrest hosted the first season of ESPN's Radical Outdoor Challenge. He also hosted two kids' game shows, Gladiators 2000 from 1994-96 (a spinoff of the television show, American Gladiators), and Click in 1997. Seacrest appeared as the host of the fictional game show Lover's Lane on Beverly Hills, 90210 in "The Final Proof".[17] In the fall of 2000, Seacrest was the host of NBC Saturday Night at the Movies.[18] On Saturdays in the fall of 2000 through the spring of 2001 NBC would dedicate the 8–11 PM EST block to showing a major theatrical film. Seacrest would appear as the host during the commercial breaks. He offered trivia on the film and a chance to win prizes by calling in a specific number. In 2001, he hosted a reality television program, Ultimate Revenge,[7] where elaborate "get even" practical jokes were played on family and friends instigated by their own relatives and friends. The two seasons featured current radio talk show host Karel.[19] It was shown on TNN from 2001 to 2003.[17][20]

American Idol

In 2002, Seacrest accepted the position as co-host of the hit Fox reality TV series American Idol with comedian Brian Dunkleman. American Idol went on to phenomenal success, putting Seacrest in the national spotlight. The following year, when he became the sole host, Seacrest's on-screen enthusiasm made him an overnight sensation, and the show was seen by some 26 million viewers weekly.[21] In 2003, Seacrest hosted the spin-off show, American Juniors.[22] In July 2009, Seacrest inked a deal with CKX for $45 million to continue to host American Idol, making him the highest paid reality television host to date.[23] In April 2012, Seacrest signed a two-year, $30 million deal to stay on as host of American Idol. [24]

Radio

In January 2004, Seacrest became the new host of the radio program American Top 40,[25] a syndicated weekly countdown show, created and formerly hosted by Casey Kasem. The show was syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. In February 2004, Seacrest became host of Los Angeles radio station KIIS's morning show, replacing long-time host Rick Dees.[26] This show, also known as On Air With Ryan Seacrest, remains on the air. Seacrest is the host, executive producer of this syndicated daily show airing on over 150 stations in North America, with affiliates worldwide.

New Year’s Rockin Eve

In August 2005, it was announced that Seacrest would become executive producer and co-host of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. On December 31, 2005, Seacrest performed much of the show's hosting duties. Dick Clark's role was limited by speech and mobility issues due to his recovery from a stroke. Seacrest also occasionally served as a substitute host on the CNN television program Larry King Live, and co-emceed Larry King's final show with Bill Maher on December 16, 2010.[27] In 2009, ABC renamed the program Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest, to reflect Seacrest's role. The 40th Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest, delivered ABC’s biggest New Year’s primetime numbers (9.8 million viewers, 3.0/11 in adults 18-49) in 11 years.[28] Dick Clark passed away on April 18, 2012,[29] and Seacrest publicly remembered his mentor’s impact on his life in a special tribute in The Hollywood Reporter. [30]

E!

In January 2006, U.S. cable channel E! announced a three-year, $21 million deal for Seacrest to host and produce various programs, including E! News and its red carpet awards show coverages (E!'s signature piece of original programming).[31] Seacrest remains managing editor of E! News and produces its red carpet awards show coverage but, as of January 2012, he no longer hosts E! News on a daily basis. [32]

In April 2012, Seacrest signed a deal with NBCUniversal expanding his on-air role beyond E! to NBC. He is expected to contribute to the Today Show, Olympics coverage, entertainment programming, as well as news and other special events. Seacrest will remain managing editor of E! News and host and produce its red carpet awards show coverage.[33]

An Associated Press profile portrayed Seacrest as using both the deal with E! and the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve involvement as a springboard towards a long-lasting career in television production and ownership.[34]

Producing

In 2006, Seacrest launched Ryan Seacrest Productions (RSP), which has since become a television production powerhouse. In August 2008, Seacrest named his longtime William Morris Agent, Adam Sher, as C.E.O. of Ryan Seacrest Productions.[35] Comcast had first-look rights for all Ryan Seacrest Productions shows through January 2012.[36] Clear Channel acquired a minority stake in RSP in early 2012, but the company no longer has a first look deal with any network. [37]

RSP produces the hit series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the highest-rated show on the E! network, and the spin-offs Khloe and Lamar, Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami. RSP also produced the Emmy Award-winning ABC reality series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. RSP also produced two new reality series in 2012 including Melissa and Tye, which aired on CMT and Shahs of Sunset for Bravo. Bravo announced a second season pick-up of Shahs of Sunset on April 18, 2012, as the show generated solid ratings and lots of attention.[38] RSP's new show Married to Jonas will premiere on August 19th on E!. [39] [40]

Ryan Seacrest Media

In early 2012, Seacrest entered into a joint venture through a holding company, Ryan Seacrest Media, along with HDNet, AEG, and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to rebrand HDNet/HDNet Canada to launch AXS TV (pronounced: access). AXS TV will debut in the summer of 2012, providing viewers with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to live concerts and music festivals, red carpet premieres, award shows, parties, pop culture events, and in-depth interviews with the people and artists who make live entertainment so uniquely fascinating.[41]

On January 31, 2012, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Bain Capital LLC announced that they would commit up to $300M in capital to Ryan Seacrest Media to buy and develop companies, content and other properties.[42]

Philanthropy

In 2010, Seacrest, along with his family, launched Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF), a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seriously ill and injured children through unique programs that utilize multimedia and interactive platforms. RSF is building broadcast media centers within hospitals for children to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media. RSF has launched two centers at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. [43]In April 2012, Seacrest named Selena Gomez as Ambassador to the foundation. [44]

Personal life

Since the spring of 2010, Seacrest has been romancing Julianne Hough, a professional dancer, actress and singer best known for Dancing with the Stars.[45][46]

 

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