Before he was on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Ted Allen was part of the Famished Four, a quartet of reviewers for the (now defunct) Lerner Newspapers. I was also at Lerner Newspapers at the time.
When I first started, Allen and I worked out of different offices. Within a couple months, I was sent to the Chicago office to work on the annual circulation audit. I ended up working out of that office for a lengthy stretch and then splitting my time there for another long stretch.
During that time I got to know Allen a bit. We were not tight as friends, but we were certainly friendly co-workers. We occasionally could be found at the same bar or party. Allen was a nice guy and seemed talented. He looked destined to go on to bigger and better things and he did!