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.
On Friday, “The Newer-er Nude Hippo” will launch a fancy new website at www.NudeHippo.com, sporting a new logo and a redesigned array of new features. The launch coincides with the promotion of Ashley Lobo to a starring role among a cast of reporters that includes Amy Zanglin, Nick Rosario, Gina Ferraro and Tim Pogo. “We’re making ‘Nude Hippo’ sexy, smart and simply funny in 2010,” said Lobo, a commercial actress and former member of the Blackhawks’ Ice Crew. “After all, it should reflect me, right?” While continuing to stream the show online, Lossano confirmed Monday that it has been picked up by “Chicago Nonstop,” the 24-hour digital channel of local news, entertainment and lifestyle programming to be launched next month by NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5. Plans also call for the channel to simulcast the drive-time programming of Citadel Broadcasting news/talk WLS-AM (890). Said Lossano:
“My lifelong dream of producing a show on NBC has finally come true — however, I don’t think that I was clear enough, as we are only on the sister digital 5.2 channel. We have big shoes to fill as we will be replacing the non-stop weather animation with our non-stop nonsense.‚ We don’t have a timeslot … we'll be on everyday with new segments, thrown in randomly with other NBC programming and whatever else they can find lying around.‚ I expect we’ll be shown in-between LeeAnn Trotter at some red carpet event and an old video of Jim Ruddle’s commentaries.”
Over the years, the format of “Nude Hippo” has evolved from a sketch variety show to a magazine-style talk show. Lossano said the “newer-er” version will alter the role of the show’s personalities from reporting stories to “living the stories’ experiences [and] making the segments interactive.” In addition to producing the television series, Lossano continues his day job as morning producer at Clear Channel Radio adult contemporary WLIT-FM (93.9). Shown in the photo above are (from left): Amy Zanglin, Pogo, Ashley Lobo, Tony Lossano, Gina Ferraro and Nick Rosario.