Has Newsday banished Liz Smith from their pages? Newsday is claiming that Liz did not extend her contract option, and the two parties couldn’t come to terms on a contract. However, Liz is claiming that that’s a bunch of hooey.
Gossip columnist Liz Smith is disputing Newsday’s announcement this morning that she chose to leave the paper because her contract had expired. She contends that she wanted to exercise an option to extend it for two years and plans to fight the newspaper through arbitration.
“It ain’t over yet, the fat lady hasn’t sung,” Smith told E&P just hours after a memo to employees from John Mancini, editor of the Melville, N.Y., paper, informed them that Smith’s column would no longer run in the paper. She said the contract had not expired and accused Newsday of seeking to cut costs by letting her go. “We are going to have an arbitration over them saying the contract is over,” she told E&P. “I say it isn’t.”
Smith’s attorney, David Blasband, said the contract ended today, but included an option for Smith to continue for another two years. He said she gave notice in November that she wanted to exercise that option. “They are saying she gave [notice] late,” Blasband explained. “But they really wanted her back for a fraction of what she had been making.” He said the paper offered to pay just 5% of her previous salary to have her stay on.
Well, we really wouldn’t miss her. I don’t read her column. And she doesn’t read blogs. She doesn’t believe them. The horror!