Kate Glassman Bennett, keeper of the KGB File, is leaving Politico. According to The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, this week’s posts will be Bennett’s last for the news outlet.
When KGB File launched in January, it was supposed to be Politico’s D.C. gossip blog, a hub for whispers from and about the political set. Politico previously had a similar column called “Click,” but it was shuttered in 2013. At the time of the roll out, Politico editor in chief Susan Glasser set high expectations for the Vegas reporter, saying:
Kate promises a column very much in the spirit of the legendary late Diana McClellan, whose Ear in the Washington Star was the original must read in a company town where the backstage happenings of its congresspeople and Cabinet officers, columnists and chefs have always helped chart the ebbs and flow of power.
Bennett, however, was never really able to deliver the goods advertised. Instead of gossip, readers got what Wemple aptly summarized as “short, snappy pieces” on style, fundraisers, embassy affairs and real estate. And sources tell FishbowlDC that in the last few months, Bennett has grown increasingly unhappy at Politico.
Admittedly, writing gossip in D.C. is a challenge. The city is incredibly small and, for that reason, can be a struggle to gain access: a gossip columnist’s bread and butter. And with expectations set so high, nay too high, perhaps KGB File tried to fly too close to the sun and became just another casualty on the D.C. gossip battlefield.
Politico has yet to say whether they will maintain a gossip column, and as Wemple points out, “Good gossip columnists are already hard enough to find without limiting the applicant pool to people who share Bennett’s initials.”