ANOTHER DEPARTURE FROM NEWS CORP.: The New York Post’s Liz Smith will no longer have a column running in the daily paper by the end of the week. The move marks the end of Smith’s 33-year presence in New York newspapers, which began in 1976 when her column first appeared in the New York Daily News. Smith’s last column — “if they print it!” she told WWD — will be Thursday.
She had already been marginalized at the Post last year, when her column was reduced to three days a week from six. But in January, when her contract was approaching its expiration date, Smith said she wrote a letter to Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of New York Post parent company News Corp., saying she hoped to renew. Instead, Post editor in chief Col Allen sent Smith a letter on Feb. 9 explaining, “Like so many other newspapers around the nation, we are buffeted by unprecedented economic gales,” and that he would not renew her “legendary column.”
“I hope now that they don’t have to pay my salary anymore, that the Post will go right into the black,” Smith said. The New York Times, which broke the news online, reported her salary was $125,000.
The columnist will now post her daily column on her Web site, Wowowow.com, which she founded in 2008 along with writers and journalists including Joni Evans, Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan and Joan Juliet Buck. “I hope to make it a lot more vital,” Smith said of the column, with hourly updates when appropriate. Smith’s column will also appear five times a week in syndication for national newspapers, and she pens a twice weekly column for Variety. Moreover, she was recently named a contributing editor at Parade Magazine, which is carried on Sundays in more than 470 newspapers — including the New York Post. — Stephanie D. Smith