CHICAGO, JUNE 4 -- Tacitly conceding that no one person can equal Ann Landers, the Chicago Sun-Times today named a man and a woman as joint successors to the world's best-read personal advice columnist, who recently jilted the paper and took up with the richer, rival Chicago Tribune.

The winners of the Sun-Times' national contest are Diane Crowley, 47, a lawyer and daughter of the original, pseudonymous Landers; and Jeffrey Zaslow, a 28-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter who entered the contest "looking for an angle" for a story of his own, and won.

For the past two months, seven finalists were quizzed in personal interviews, had their tax returns examined and were asked to give sample answers to questions dreamed up by Sun-Times editors. Readers also were asked to rate the finalists and send their votes to the paper.

Crowley and Zaslow's columns will appear on alternate days, beginning in about three weeks. There could be extra columns where their advice would appear side by side.

At a press conference today, Crowley and Zaslow quickly revealed they may turn out to be the lovelorn industry's oddest couple.

"We believe my column will be called 'Your Problems, by Diane Crowley,' " announced Crowley with a demure smile.

"My column will be called, 'Her Problem,' " quipped Zaslow. "No, my column will be called 'All That Zazz.' "

Crowley said she offers "fresh ideas" for traditional advice giving.

Declared Zaslow, "I've got dozens of ideas for the column, some of which will be surprising, I hope, and make you shake your head and say, 'This guy's absolutely off the wall ...' "

With the delivery of a stand-up comic, he barked out these ideas: "... Some days I might give unsolicited advice to the famous. Along with the readers, I'll advise people like Donna Rice, Jim Bakker, Ollie North, Mr. Rogers ... and Mrs. Rogers ...

"I might tell Gary Hart that he ought to demand equal time in the National Enquirer ... that he present the paper a picture of his wife Lee sitting on his lap ..."

Crowley, who was born in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, has been an elementary and high school teacher and after a divorce, earned a law degree and joined a Springfield, Mass., firm, handling civil cases.

"This was the only job that could entice me to leave my law practice," she said.

The mother of two grown sons, she said she read of the contest in her local paper, and said to herself, " 'How can I pass that up?' As a lawyer, my practice was civil litigation, and I have a lot of experience with divorces, adoptions and unemployment. With this background, I bring a fresh new outlook."

Zaslow is single, but not for long. He plans to be married July 4. Calling himself "psyched and a little nervous," Zaslow added, "Along with Diane, I hope to revolutionize the advice business. One of my new editors here called us the Christopher Columbuses, or Columbi, of the advice world, and she expects us to go where no man or woman has ever gone before. We intend to do that.

"Why leave the Journal to write an advice column?" asked Zaslow, who previously had worked at the Orlando, Fla., Sentinel. "The job is a tremendous adventure, and I am sticking to reporting. I intend to be out on the street and out in the world and not sit at a desk answering questions."

"These are two people we are very comfortable with, very confident in," declared Editor Matthew V. Storin, whose team of editors and outside advisers spent three months sifting through 12,000 applicants who wanted to succeed Landers at her original paper.

"We wanted people who, when the snow is blowing in off the lake {Michigan} in January, they are people who want to come in and write."

Added Storin, "These are two terrific columnists. Jeff gives us a younger viewpoint and Diane's is more in the mode of standard advice columns."

Landers herself, whose real name is Eppie Lederer, was not available for comment. She won a 1955 contest the paper organized after Diane Crowley's mother Ruth died. She is now syndicated in more than 1,000 papers around the world, including The Washington Post.

Saying she needed a change after 32 years, Lederer, who owns the Ann Landers byline, left the Sun-Times in February. She joined her twin sister, Popo Phillips, who writes as Abigail Van Buren, at the Tribune.

Calling today's announcement "a very exciting and joyous time," Sun-Times Publisher Robert Page said plans for syndicating the new columnists remain undecided.