Former Washington Post television critic Tom Shales will blog on Roger Ebert’s site, Ebert announced Sunday. Ebert’s blog post about Shales includes a 1983 article Shales wrote about Ebert and his former “At the Movies” co-host Gene Siskel.
“Sixteen years after the article below appeared,” Ebert writes, “when Gene Siskel fell ill we needed a substitute on the first shows Gene would miss, and we both immediately agreed on the same man: Tom Shales.” (Here’s a clip of Shales on the show.)
Shales took a buyout at The Washington Post in 2006 and worked there as a contract writer until the end of 2010. In September of that year, he left an unusual message on Washington Post Company Chairman Don Graham’s Facebook page. “I’m over-and-outta here; I’m a-headin’ for the last roundup; Like Webster’s Dictionary, I’m Morocco-bound,” Shales wrote.” When I interviewed Shales a few weeks later, he said the paper had told him they couldn’t “afford” him anymore, that he was “heavily in debt” and that his house was “underwater.”
Since then, he’s published a best-selling book on ESPN, which he wrote with James Andrew Miller.