Rush To Buyout: 'NY Daily News' Gossip Columnist May Exit

"Page Six" may have less competition before Memorial Day. George Rush, the long-time gossip columnist at the New York Daily News and half of the "Rush & Molloy" team, has applied to take a buyout from the paper, a source said.

Rush is probably the most prominent staffer looking to accept the recently made offer. On Monday, he will be notified -- along with other staffers who have applied -- whether the Daily News will accept their willingness to receive two weeks' pay for every year served.

Rush is married to Joanna Molloy, who is not known to be taking the buyout, the source said. Their co-named column debuted in the in 1993, a year after their nuptials.

A Daily News representative said the newspaper doesn't comment on personnel matters.

Also applying for the buyout is David Saltonstall, a well-respected senior correspondent. He was lauded for his coverage in the aftermath of 9/11 and has become a top political reporter since. Veteran city reporter Owen Moritz is also seeking the buyout.

The source said staffers were under the impression that about 25 people had applied for the buyout as of Thursday. For those given the deal, May 28 will be their last day.

In the past, the paper has tried to persuade some applicants to stick around, so Rush may not be officially gone.

The Daily News has told staffers that if enough people take a buyout, there will be no layoffs. But it has not specified how many people would need to leave in order to prevent a forced exodus.

"Rush & Molloy" competes with the New York Post's "Page Six" in chronicling the ups and (mostly) downs of celebrities and bold-face names.

Earlier this week, "Rush & Molloy" covered topics ranging from Tiger Woods' infidelities to Charlie Sheen's marital woes to Shaquille O'Neal's new girlfriend.

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