‘Post’ gossip Richard Johnson returning to New York

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Richard Johnson. ()
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Richard Johnson, the legendary gossip reporter who edited the New York Post's Page Six column for 25 years and made it a New York institution, is returning to New York to begin a new chapter at the paper, sources told Capital.

Most recently, Johnson has been the tabloid's Los Angeles correspondent, a role that saw him flooding the zone with coverage of the Jackson family's legal battle with concert promoter AEG Live this year.

Johnson stunned media watchers when he left the Post in late 2010 to head up gossip coverage out of Hollywood for The Daily, News Corp's then-gestating tablet publication. "New York gossip will never be the same," declared The New York Times.

When The Daily went under last December, Johnson was one of the employees who got a seat in the Post's lifeboat. But he stayed out west.

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The specifics of his new role at the Post are unclear: Johnson did not respond to an email Wednesday afternoon, and when Capital called an L.A.-based cell phone number of his, an automated message said: "You have reached a non-working number for Fox." (Until June 28, Fox was a part of News Corp., which is also the Post's parent company.)

A Post spokesperson did not immediately have a comment when reached early Wednesday evening.

Johnson's homecoming is the latest development in a period of significant transition for the Post, which is under pressure to narrow its staggering annual losses under News Corp's new corporate structure.

Interim editor Jesse Angelo has been running the show while the Post's top man, Col Allan, is in Australia advising the company's struggling papers down under. Angelo has also been overseeing a sweeping web overhaul that is supposed to go live this week. Sources said he and Johnson get along well.