Dave Hamilton, the KQRS radio executive who hired venerable host Tom Barnard and helped build the "KQ Morning Show" into the top-rated morning-drive show in the nation is retiring after 27 years at the station, the Star Tribune reported.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Hamilton said, "I'll moving out of the 25-54 demo next month, so it's time to do what I've wanted to do for years -- flee winter."
A Minnesota native, Hamilton was the local operations manager for KQ's parent company, Cumulus Broadcasting. Hamilton also oversaw hard-rock station 93X and adult-contemporary-oriented Love 105.
Hamilton started at KQ at age 27, following a program director's gig at KDWB in the Twin Cities and a national radio job in New York.
According to the Star Tribune, Hamilton said he informed the company of his plans several months ago.
The move comes nearly six months after Barnard -- who has been at KQ for 25 -- signed a contract for four more years with the station.