The Mirror

Can Politico Keep A Gossip Columnist Anyone Wants To Read And Keep Its Advertisers?

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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So far that potential Nikki Finke hire is a bust for Politico. They made the meanest, most threatening entertainment reporter in Hollywood an offer to cover Washington gossip. But so far she isn’t biting. So they’ve done the next acceptable thing — they’ve hired Washingtonian‘s fashion editor Kate Bennett to get the job done.

[RELATED: Will Nikki Finke, A ‘Raging Ball of Crazy,’ Make It Harder For Politico To Suck Up To Washington]

Bennett is a pretty likable character around town — there aren’t many who have a bad thing to say about her, although there is occasionally some whispering about her as well.

We’ll see if Politico — what, with all its sucking up to administration officials in Political Playbook as well as GOP leadership — can muster up a gossip column that will risk pissing people off (read: this is extremely doubtful). Or will it be a Tammy Haddad-centric affair with special tidbits for special people who let you into their parties just so long as you properly suck up to them? Politico‘s previous attempt at gossip failed miserably — CLICK was a section that not even its own reporters wanted to work for. But hopefully it’ll be a nonetheless entertaining read for Washington because everyone knows This Town needs it.

So if it’s not irascible Finke, maybe it’s Bennett — we’ll see.

The internal memo from Politico editor Susan Glasser early this morning:

It’s been a while, but Washington is about to get a great gossip column. Kate Glassman Bennett, a fourth-generation Washingtonian who cut her teeth on gossip in the competitive world of Las Vegas before returning home to DC, will soon launch The KGB File for us at POLITICO. 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. Kate is a former gossip columnist for the Las Vegas Sun and editor in chief of Vegas Magazine (not to mention classics graduate of St. John’s College); most recently here in DC she has edited Capitol File magazine, Washingtonian Bride & Groom and Washingtonian Mom. For Politico, she promises a great read multiple times a week: “fun, coy, insightful, a tad biting — and smart.”

Stay tuned for more on the launch: Kate starts work with us on Feb. 23.