N.Y. Post Drops Gossip Columnist Liz Smith

Smith's final column will be published tomorrow.
Smith's final column will be published tomorrow. (Evan Agostini - AP)
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Associated Press
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NEW YORK, Feb. 24 -- Beginning this week, the New York Post is dropping Liz Smith's column to save money, leaving the legendary gossip writer without a newspaper home in the city for the first time in 33 years.

"I'm very sorry that that has come to an end, and that I wasn't valuable enough for them to keep me on," Smith, 86, said Tuesday.

Smith said the daily newspaper declined to renew her $125,000 annual contract in a letter that cited "economic circumstances."

Col Allan, the paper's editor in chief, said: "The Post is grateful to have been able to publish Liz Smith's legendary column for so many years. We wish her the very best for the future."

Smith writes a syndicated column that she said is carried by 70 papers across the country. She also publishes in Daily Variety and in Parade magazine, and is part owner of a Web site. Smith, who says she's writing a novel, added that she will never retire.

"I'm busy," she said. "I'm okay. I'm okay for a person who's been let go."

In New York, her column appeared in Newsday until she left in a contract dispute in 2005. The Post had run her column six days a week but cut it last year to three days a week to reduce costs, despite Smith's unsuccessful appeal to Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., which owns the Post.

Her last column in the Post will appear Thursday. She's already written it.

"I just wrote the usual stuff," she said, "and then I said goodbye."

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