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People are talking: Introducing the Sun-Times Daily Splash columnists

SusannNegovan Daily Splash Editor - I’ll be among new voices with “SusannSays”

Susanna Negovan, Daily Splash Editor - I’ll be among the new voices with “Susanna Says”

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Updated: July 3, 2012 9:16AM

It’s amazing what can happen at a party.

Shortly after acquiring the Sun-Times, our chairman Michael Ferro was at a dinner with Brad Bell — the Emmy Award-winning writer and producer of “The Bold and the Beautiful” and Wrapports director — and actor Jim Belushi. Brad suggested that Jim write a column, and Jim jokingly replied, “Sure!” It was a light-bulb moment that sparked the formation of a new Monday-through-Friday feature debuting today: the Daily Splash. 

In the weeks that followed, our chairman put out recruitment calls to a dream-team list of contributors who all had a connection to Chicago, such as Jennifer Hudson, Suze Orman, even Mayor Rahm Emanuel. As he laid out our new mission to be credible, colorful and charitable, the response was fantastic; HGTV star Monica Pedersen beamed with pride as she told him her dad had been a Sun-Times truck driver for 40 years, and South Sider Jenny McCarthy said she’d be thrilled to write a column in the paper her family still reads daily.

Starting today, you’ll read the insightful, outspoken and unfiltered views of your favorite Chicagoans in their own words. Our direction to them has been to share what they’re passionate about — whether it’s a favorite philanthropy, a pet project or just a spirited point of view. From CEOs to celebrities, politicians to musicians, our new columnists are committed to weighing in on topics that will have the whole city talking.

Like the rest of the newspaper, these pieces will run the gamut from funny and irreverent to thoughtful and provocative. (Belushi, it turns out, has some pretty jaw-dropping musings he’d like to share — and you’ll get the first taste of his new column in tomorrow’s paper.) Today on Page 20, in honor of Memorial Day, you’ll hear from actor and Steppenwolf Theatre co-founder Gary Sinise about the life-altering experience that led him to care so deeply about America’s veterans.

These powerful, inspirational Chicagoans are lending more than their voices; they’re each donating the $1,000 fee from their columns to their favorite causes.

And speaking of voices, you may remember mine; from 2001-2008, I wrote about society and style for the Sun-Times. After four years away, I’m thrilled to be back here as both the editor of this section and one of our 30 guest columnists, along with our chairman. I can’t wait till you see some of the new things I’m working on — while I can’t give it all away yet, let’s just say that your Sundays will never be the same.

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