Roger Ebert's job at the Chicago Sun-Times is fittingly going to his former colleague and friend Richard Roeper. On Thursday, the newspaper announced that it has named Roeper its movie columnist, making him the lead on its film coverage going forward. Ebert, who is arguably the world's most famous film journalist, died in April at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer. Like Ebert, Roeper will write columns and reviews about film for the print and online editions of the Sun-Times, and he'll also host two weekly online video shows.
While Roeper is new to Ebert's old role, he isn't new to the Sun-Times or film criticism. While Ebert spent his entire 46-year career at the Sun-Times, Roeper worked alongside
"Roger would have been thrilled." him for more than two decades of it as both a movie reviewer and general news columnist. Ebert, a Pulitzer Prize winner, rose to national prominence in 1966 hosting the "Siskel & Ebert & the Movies" TV show with well-known Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel. When Siskel died in 1999, Ebert personally selected Roeper as his next co-host. Together, the duo hosted the renamed show "Ebert and Roeper" until 2008, when Roeper left to review films for the Reelz Channel. The series was later canceled in 2010.
Ebert's widow, Chaz, told the Associated Press that "Roger would have been thrilled as I am over the news." For his part, Roeper told Chicago media blogger Robert Feder that his approach to film criticism will remain the same as it has for more than 20 years and more than 2,000 reviews to date. "I'm here to tell the moviegoer what the movie is about, what I loved or hated about it, and whether or not I think it’s worth their time and money, whether they’re going to see it at the multiplex or on their gadget of choice," Roeper said.