who loves film has likely read or watched the reviews of critic Roger Ebert,
either in the pages of the Chicago Sun-Times or on television. And if you know of Roger Ebert, then
you also know of his struggles with cancer over the past few years—including
the loss of his voice. In the March issue of Esquire, Chris Jones has written a touching portrait of Ebert as he copes with his
final days: “Ebert is dying in increments, and he is aware of
At one point, Jones takes readers inside Ebert's Lincoln Park brownstone in Chicago. Ebert, of course, worked for many years with fellow critic Gene Siskel on TV's Siskel & Ebert.
Siskel died of a brain tumor in 1999. Jones writes:
are pictures of Siskel all over the brownstone—on the grand
piano, in the kitchen, on bookshelves. The biggest one is in the living room;
Ebert can see it from his recliner. In almost all the pictures, Siskel and
Ebert—never Ebert and Siskel—are standing together, shoulder to shoulder,
smiling, two big thumbs-up. In the picture in the living room, they're also
Gene,” [Ebert's wife] Chaz says, and that's all she says.
these years later, the top half of Ebert's face still registers sadness when
Siskel's name comes up. His eyes well up behind his glasses, and for the first
time, they overwhelm his smile. He begins to type into his computer, slowly,
deliberately. He presses the button and the speakers light up. "I've never
said this before," the voice says, "but we were born to be Siskel and
Ebert." He thinks for a moment before he begins typing again. There's a
long pause before he hits the button. "I just miss the guy so much,"
the voice says. Ebert presses the button again. "I just miss the guy so
Magazine sales continued to slide in the second half of
2009, though at a slightly slower rate. According to the Audit Bureau of
Circulations, newsstand sales for the top consumer titles fell 9.1 percent compared to the second half of 2008. But
that’s an improvement from the first half of 2009, which saw a 12.36 percent
drop. Notable declines include Newsweek, down 41.3 percent, and Good
Housekeeping, down 30.7 percent.
circulation numbers—newsstand plus subscriptions—were down 2.23 percent. The
biggest losers include TV Guide, down 25 percent, and Prevention and Reader’s
Digest, which both fell about 13 percent.