September 12, 2013 Last Updated 2:33 pm

Chicago Sun-Times names Richard Roeper new movie columnist

Let’s face it, Roger Ebert is not replaceable. But if you are the Sun=Times you have to name someone as your new movie columnist – or you eliminate the position. Bravo to the Sun-Times for not choosing the latter.

Today the Chicago tabloid named Richard Roeper to fill the slot, a fairly big name writer who will most likely be able to set his own course without having to try and replicate Ebert’s style.

Here is the official announcement from the Sun-Times:

Richard Roeper Named Movie Columnist at Chicago Sun-Times

Award-Winning Writer to Host Weekly Video Shows In Addition to Multi-Platform Columns

CHICAGO–Award-winning Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper has been named the newspaper’s movie columnist and will be the centerpiece of a broad new content channel that will cross multiple platforms. Roeper’s criticisms will appear in print and online at suntimes.com, and will be easily accessible on smartphones and tablets. Roeper also will continue to write his general interest column several times a year.

In addition to continuing the paper’s rich tradition of highly acclaimed film criticism, Roeper will host two weekly online video shows. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is his take every Friday on what’s hot and what’s not in popular culture from viral videos to political scandals and everything in between. “The Roeper Rundown” on Wednesdays will include special features such as summer movie previews and award show picks. Both shows debut as part of CSTtv, a new daily video service at suntimes.com.

“Richard has an incredible combination of skill, insight and experience that makes him the perfect choice to lead our film coverage,” said Jim Kirk, publisher and editor of the Sun-Times. “Richard is a gifted journalist who reviews with an approachable sophistication, and he connects with Sun-Times readers on multiple levels. He does it all and is a model for where the Sun-Times wants to go in the digital age.”

“I’m excited about continuing the longest and most rewarding professional relationship of my career,” Roeper said. “The Sun-Times has been my home since the late 1980s and it’s been my privilege to work alongside some of the great journalists in Chicago history. In addition to writing 150-plus reviews every year plus the occasional column, I’m psyched about adding 100 or so on-camera commentaries about pop culture–in effect, ‘video columns.'”

Roeper’s appointment extends a legacy of great devotion to coverage of the film industry at the Sun-Times, most notably under the late, great Roger Ebert, the Sun-Times Pulitzer Prize winning film critic who passed away earlier this year. Roeper spent eight years alongside Ebert on the long-running television show “Ebert and Roeper.”

“Congratulations to Roger’s colleague and our friend, Richard Roeper, on the extension of his contract with the Chicago Sun-Times!” said Chaz Ebert, Roger Ebert’s wife. “Roger would have been as thrilled as I am over the news because he thought Richard was a top-notch writer and a hard-working journalist and movie reviewer. On a personal note, I want to thank Richard for his support and friendship during Roger’s last hospitalization. Richard’s willingness to fill in for Roger at the Chicago Sun-Times meant so much to Roger and gave him the freedom to concentrate more on his treatments. I wish Richard continued success. The paper is fortunate to have him.”

Roeper, a native of Chicago’s south suburbs, started his career at the Chicago Sun-Times as a reporter in 1987. He was quickly promoted to a columnist in 1990 and has written his daily column in the Sun-Times since. Roeper began reviewing movies in the late 1980s.

Among his many accolades, Roeper is a National Headliner Award winner and has won awards from the Illinois Associated Press. He is a two-time Emmy Award winner.

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