Big, fat news: Tony Lossano back as life of the party

Tony Lossano

Tony Lossano

Robservations on the media beat:

Happy to see the great Tony Lossano is back: The creative force behind “The Big Fat Nude Hippo Show,” which ran for 16 years on various outlets in Chicago, is returning with “Lossano and Friends!” Starting this weekend and originating at 1 p.m. Saturdays from the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the one-hour weekly audio podcast will be posted online Saturday nights at lossano.com via Ed Silha’s Radio Misfits Podcast Network. Each show will feature national and local celebrity guests along with Lossano’s cast of regulars. “My show will put all of the guests in the studio at the same time for the entire hour, and just have compelling and entertaining conversations,” he said. “It is based on the green room of my old show, where all my guests would get together and just chat. I am the host of this party, but it will be a party.”

Frank Fontana

Frank Fontana

Frank Fontana, the Chicago-based home design and lifestyle expert who’s been hosting an early Saturday morning show on WGN AM 720, is adding an hour and moving up to Sunday afternoons. Starting this weekend, “The Frank Fontana Show” will air from 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays on the Tribune Media news/talk station. “Every week Frank will help our listeners make their house into a home,” Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming, said in a statement. “He’ll share his great home design expertise against the backdrop of real life in Chicago as a busy dad and husband raising two young kids.” Adds Fontana: “As they say, home is where the heart is and WGN has definitely become my radio home over the past year.”

Cher Ames

Cher Ames

Even the richest radio station in town isn’t immune from fourth-quarter budget pressures. CBS Radio Chicago parted company this week with Cher Ames after 14 years as director of marketing and promotions at all-news WBBM AM 780/WCFS FM 105.9. Earlier this year, Ames added non-traditional revenue sponsorships to her role. “I will miss my WBBM brethren and CBS Radio family terribly . . . but have no choice than to embrace this new chapter of my professional life,” she wrote on Facebook. “The Mothership has sailed and I’m left standing on the dock waving goodbye.” Look for Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, to announce a reorganization of marketing, promotions and non-traditional revenue departments.

Barbara Mahany

Barbara Mahany

When Barbara Mahany left the Chicago Tribune after 30 years in 2012, the incomparable human-interest feature writer told me she still had a lot more stories to tell. Now she’s kept that promise. Her first book, Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door, will be published Tuesday by Abingdon Press. Inspired by a blog Mahany started in 2006, it’s a collection of essays and meditations along with “field notes, wonder lists, blessed-be calendars and even a seasonal recipe.” It’s available on Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions.

 

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