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The Post is dropping gossip columnist Liz Smith. The reason? The economy, naturally. "Like so many other newspapers around the nation, we are buffeted by unprecedented economic gales," Col Allan, the Post's editor, explained in a letter to Smith earlier this month when he informed her that the paper had decided not to renew her $125,000-a-year contract. But if you're thinking the 86-year-old gossip is planning to retire her quill pen, think again! Smith says she'll continue turning out a column five days a week for syndication to other newspapers, she'll be penning a twice-a-week column for Daily Variety, and she's also signed on as a contributing editor of Parade magazine. Oh, and she'll be contributing to wowOwow, the website for elderly women that she co-founded last year, where, she says, she's looking forward to posting scoops "free from the constraints of newspaper deadlines." [NYT]