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Gossip Legend Liz Smith: Goodbye 'NY Post'

After more than three decades as a newspaper gossip columnist, Liz Smith was laid off by New York Post editor Col Allan this week. The 86-year-old legend received a letter stating that difficult economic times made it impossible to renew her $125,000 a year contract. Still, Smith is syndicated and writes for and Variety. She talks about her ouster in a Q&A with former columnist Lloyd Grove.

Smith says she went directly to Post owner Rupert Murdoch to try to keep her job. "I sat down and told him I wasn't ready to quit yet anymore than he's ready to quit. Rupert is a lot younger than I am--I think he may have gotten it--but he said he couldn't overrule Col. Sure, I was making nothing compared to what I'd made in the past, [but] I would've negotiated again with them, I know that times are tough."

"They say my column appears in 70 newspapers, but I doubt there are 70 papers left in America. I don't want to find out. I love newspapers." As for celebrity gossip, Smith says it has been diminished as the "quality of stardom" has gone down with a proliferation of media outlets. In earlier days, "when you said Clark Gable or Elizabeth Taylor or Katharine Hepburn, you knew exactly who you were talking about, you didn't have to explain them."



Read the whole story at The Daily Beast »

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