Hiltzik was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey and attended Cornell before moving on to Fordham Law. He spent his early working life in politics: As a staff member of the New York State Democratic Committee, he worked on the 1998 campaigns of Chuck Schumer and Eliot Spitzer. In 2000, he joined Hillary Clinton's campaign as the director of Jewish relations. (Hiltzik's an Orthodox Jew.) He later left politics to join the PR team at Miramax, where he both hawked the studio's releases and occupied the (unenviable) position of personal spokesman for Harvey and Bob Weinstein. After the brothers Weinstein left Miramax, Hiltzik headed for the door as well and teamed up with the U.K.-based publicity company Freud Communications to open an office in the U.S. He left the firm in early 2008 to start up Hiltzik Strategies.
Clients of Hiltzik's new firm include Katie Couric, Don and Deirdre Imus, Alec Baldwin, Glenn Beck, and Harvey and Bob Weinstein's The Weinstein Company. His clients keep him busy. Over the last few years, he's had to fend off the rumors surrounding Couric's tumultous tenure as anchor of the CBS Evening News, and it was Hiltzik who did damage control for Alec Baldwin after a voicemail of him verbally assaulting his daughter became an internet sensation in April 2007. In 2007, he also repped Imus after the shock jock was accused of making racist remarks.
On the side
Hiltzik produced Paper Clips, a 2004 documentary about Indiana middle schoolers who collected one paper clip for each of the 11 million people killed in the Holocaust. His second film, Holy Land Hardball, about the attempts to bring minor league baseball to Israel, will debut at the end of 2008.
His father, George Hiltzik, is a former NBC exec-turned-TV agent. He works at Richard Liebner's agency, N.S. Bienstock, and represents the likes of Matt Drudge and Glenn Beck.
The PR hotshot has been married to Dana Hiltzik, a speech therapist, since 2001. (Alec Baldwin, Harvey Weinstein, and Hillary Clinton all attended the wedding.) The couple has two children—Ella and Molly—and live on the Upper West Side.