Columnist Liz Smith, who has had a place in one New York tabloid or the other for 33 years, will no longer write for the New York Post, the Times reported earlier today. Her last column will be Thursday. “Like so many other newspapers around the nation, we are buffeted by unprecedented economic gales,” wrote Post editor Col Allan to Smith in a letter earlier this month, informing her of the termination. Smith, who earned $125,000 a year from the paper, wryly observed, “I figure that without having to pay my salary, the Post will immediately go into the black.” Smith told the Times she fought her ouster, which began inexorably last year when the frequency of her columns was cut to three days a week. “I protested,” she said. “I had meetings with everybody. I carried on. Didn’t do any good. Mr. Allan is firmly at the helm of The New York Post, and I was never under the impression that I was his cup of tea.” Cindy Adams, Liz’s fellow gossip columnist, is likely much more to Allan’s feisty taste.
We’ve always liked Liz Smith. Sure, her columns were a bit dry and tended to include names of people we were too young to recognize. But that didn’t mean they weren’t noteworthy — and personally and on paper Smith was always genial and funny. We’re glad to know that she’ll still be writing her columns for syndication, and will have a biweekly gig with Variety and a contract with Parade. The 86-year-old also has a stake in the popular website wowOwow.com, where she will also continue a form of her column. If we’re still working when we’re that age (and, judging by our 401(k)s, we will be), we hope we’re half as up-to-date as she is.