This recurring series spotlights the Literacy ad series I ran while at Lerner Newspapers.
Like me, Richard Roeper is a native of the south side of Chicago. He was born and raised in Dolton (IL) and attended Thornridge High School and Illinois State University. He began working as a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1982.
Roeper gained national fame when he teamed with Roger Ebert on Ebert and Roeper at the Movies. Roeper also has written several best-selling books.
I approached Roeper about appearing in our Newspaper in Education (NIE) literacy ad series. Although technically we worked for the same company, it was a bit unusual to have any sort of cross-promotion between the newspapers.
I explained the concept and the value he would bring to the program and Roeper agreed fairly quickly. It was a big deal to get Roeper, especially at this time, since he was gaining national exposure and popularity each day.
Roper's ad also features a plug for his book 10 Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed. Adding the book plug obviously was an extra incentive to appear in the series, but it was also a way to get some current pop culture into our newspaper.
Roeper was a local guy who gained national (and international) fame. Getting him for the ad series added a lot to the ad series.
I didn't get on an airplane until I was 17 years old - but as a child I traveled all over the world and I traveled through the magic of reading. Books took me to places and introduced me to characters that continue to live in my imagination, and to this day, reading is as integral to my daily routine as breathing and walking.
--Richard Roeper as quoted in the NIE ad series in 1994