After 13 years as the ringmaster of "The Nude Hippo Show," creator and producer Tony Lossano is about to unveil a new online look and a new digital television outlet for the latest incarnation of his Chicago-based variety/talk magazine show.
Ward Quaal, a giant of American broadcasting and the man who turned the call letters WGN into a nationally recognized and respected brand, died Friday in a north suburban nursing home. He was 91.
As an announcer for WGN Radio on Dec. 7, 1941, Quaal broadcast one of the first bulletins of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which launched the United States into World War II. Shortly after he became vice president and general manager of WGN in 1956, Quaal was credited with hiring both Wally Phillips and Bob Bell from WLW and WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, among other prescient moves.‚ He eventually moved up to president of parent company WGN Continental Broadcasting (now Tribune Broadcasting Co.).
You can't blame Randy Michaels for wanting to bask in some of Orion Samuelson's reflected glory. There was the embattled Tribune Co. chief executive officer posing with WGN-AM (720) radio pals at a dinner last week honoring Radio Hall of Famer Samuelson on his 50th‚ anniversary as the voice of agriculture and business at the news/talk station.
Orion Samuelson and friends
Marti Jones, who's been a news and traffic reporter on a variety of Chicago outlets for 13 years, has been hired full-time by the Citadel Broadcasting station.
Maybe it wasn't such a crazy idea after all: A lot more people than you'd think really are watching news at 4:30 in the morning.
Nielsen figures for September show local news viewership from 4:30 to 5 a.m. weekdays nearly tripled since last year, when the only player in the game was NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. Since early August, its four main competitors have added their own newscasts at 4:30 a.m., turning it into a five-way race.
Veteran broadcaster Steve Cochran just became the latest Chicago radio all-star to align himself with AccuRadio.com and its growing lineup of streaming audio formats. But unlike his music-oriented cohorts, he'll be handling the comedy side of the business.
Cochran, who recently parted company with WGN-AM (720) after 10 years at the Tribune Co.-owned news/talk station, has been hired to expand AccuRadio's comedy channels and develop new ones to "showcase the history of recorded stand-up comedy as well as give exposure to the hottest up-and-coming comedy talent in America.
" It's a great fit for Cochran, who's been active as a stand-up comic throughout his 30-year radio career, working onstage with such stars as Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Richard Lewis and even Cher. ("She was great, but sadly, she wouldn't let me keep any of her wigs," he quipped.)
When Steve Baskerville cheerfully delivered the weather forecast for Honolulu during WBBM-Channel 2's 5 p.m. newscast Monday, he wasn't just shilling for the premiere of "Hawaii Five-O" that night. He was taking part in a well-coordinated plan to prostitute the newscasts of CBS-owned stations nationwide.