Gossiping About the Gossips: One of Many Farewells to ‘Page Six’s Richard Johnson

Last night, Jason Binn decided to get in on the action bidding Richard Johnson farewell (he’ll be leaving Page Six for a News Corp endeavor) by hosting a small going away party for the gossip icon at 675 Bar in the Meatpacking. To be honest, I’m not even sure if it actually was Binn that hosted the bash (it might’ve been Niche Media), but that was the story I heard most amid the many stories being bandied about by the crowd, which was comprised of employees and friends of the New York Post. It was a small gathering, which might have made someone like me, who has no real affiliation with the Post, feel wildly out of place. But they’re a quite crew – a friendly family of enfant terribles, charmers, and story-tellers, which made it easy to get caught up in their special brand of raucous fun. And, between all the fond Richard Johnson memories I overheard, I also learned a little bit about the changes that lay ahead for the Post gang.

The Girls “The Page Sixettes,” one former columnist noted as Emily Smith, the new heiress to Richard Johnson’s title, posed for a photo with Six gossips Tara Palmeri (previously from Washington Examiner) and Stephanie Smith (from WWD). “It’s tough right now because there are only three of us,” Palmeri noted.

The News Corp Gig Richard will be heading to Los Angeles with his family to join News Corp’s iPad ‘Newspaper.’ News Corp announced plans to distribute a “national digital newspaper” as a paid app on phones and iPads in August, and now we know who will edit the digital endeavor. You know who else will join? It’s rumored that former Sixer Chris Wilson, targeted for his off-beat ideas and experience with Front of Book funnies at Maxim, has come on board as an editor. No one had answers for the following: What it will be named, when it would officially be released, and whether or not it will work. “It’s worth a try!” was the general consensus. One thing that was shared: the video is going to be awesome.

The Party Someone joked that Richard “would need to rent out Madison Square Garden” for his official going-away party, but this gathering was filled with friends and former colleagues of the scribe. Paula Froelich popped in for a minute and shared this gem with former reporter Corynne Steindler: “I remember Richard once at a late night summer party. He was going down a twisty slide in his boxers, with his legs in the air, and screaming like a 5-year-old child.” Nick Denton, Chris Tennant, Steve Garbarino, and 230 Fifth owner Steven Greenberg bid Johnson adieu after 25 years of editing Page Six. At the end of the evening, a small group hung around with Johnson and decided on the best piece of advice Johnson had ever given them about doing their job well. “Richard said, if you’re extremely hungover from the night before, you have to dress better.” Richard agreed. “I could have bloodshot eyes, but if I was wearing a nice suit no one would notice anything but how nice I looked.”

(The photo of the young Johnson via The Daily)

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