The 47-year-old daughter of the woman who created the original Ann Landers and a 28-year-old feature writer will replace the widely syndicated advice columnist, who has moved on to another newspaper, at the Chicago Sun-Times, it was announced today.
Diane Crowley, a Longmeadow, Mass., lawyer and the daughter of Ruth Crowley, creator of Ann Landers, and Wall Street Journal writer Jeff Zaslow will share the job.
“Our three-month search has paid off. We are delighted with our new team,” Publisher Robert Page said at a news conference.
Plans for the new column’s format are being finalized, according to Editor Matthew Storin, but he estimated that it will make its debut within three weeks.
Diane Crowley’s mother, Ruth, was a registered nurse, associate editor of American Family magazine and a feature writer at the Sun-Times when she created the advice column.
She died at age 48, and her death in 1955 prompted an in-house competition won by a then-unknown housewife named Eppie Lederer, who made the column one of the most popular in the nation.
The Sun-Times’ international search for a new advice columnist was launched in March when Lederer, who kept the pen name Ann Landers, moved to the rival Chicago Tribune.
More than 12,000 people applied to succeed her, and by mid-April the Sun-Times had narrowed the field to seven finalists.
Some applicants sent singing telegrams and one even showed up in a bear costume. One woman sent a shoe, saying she wanted the job but wouldn’t try to “fill Ann’s shoes.”