According to Crain's Chicago Business, loyal fans of Roger Ebert aren't the only ones who are mourning his absence. Indeed, it's entiely possible that bean-counters at the Chicago Sun-Times might miss Roger even more than his readers do:
"Mr. Ebert, who is recuperating from surgery for salivary-gland cancer, took a leave of absence at the end of June. Since then the number of visitors to the Sun-Times' RogerEbert.com has fallen 65%, to 378,000 in August from 1.1 million in June.
"That's a problem for the Chicago tabloid and its parent, Sun-Times Media Group Inc. After Mr. Ebert's last column, in June, the Sun-Times' overall visitors fell 25%, to 1.9 million in August.
"'For every newspaper, and more so the Sun-Times, a large percentage of their traffic comes from their personalities,' says Shawn Riegsecker, president of Centro LLC, an online ad buyer based in Chicago. 'The Sun-Times' (leading) personality happens to be Roger Ebert.'"