Richard Roeper will replace Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times as its movie columnist, the paper said Thursday. Roeper co-hosted the television series At the Movies from 2000 - 2008 with Ebert, who died in April. The appointment will make him the centerpiece of its movie coverage, according to Huffington Post.
Ebert died at age 70 following a long battle with cancer. In addition to writing criticism for the paper, Roeper will host two weekly online video shows. He began his work at the Chicago Sun-Times as a reporter in 1987. He eventually joined Ebert on the popular weekly critics show following the death of Gene Siskel, who passed away in 1999.
Ebert's widow, who has been attending the Toronto International Film Festival, said via a release that, "Roger would have been thrilled as I am over the news."
The festival feted Ebert on September 4 in advance of the opening night screening of The Fifth Estate. Featuring an homage to Ebert via video from TIFF founder Bill Marshall and others, the event included a presentation of a commemorative plaque to Ms. Ebert.
"Roger loved the Toronto audiences because they were so passionate about movies," said Ms. Ebert, the publisher of Rogerebert.com, which she co-founded with her husband. "He would stand in line and hold discussions with the movie goers about which films to see. He was impressed that attending the festival was how some of them chose to spend their vacation time. He said the audience was a huge factor in making the festival one of his favorites, so this honor means a great deal."