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Beatwriter goes in-house: Hammond's L.A. Kings coverage in the new world

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Back when there was the hub-bub with Chris Botta's Islanders Point Blank losing its sponsorship (or at least not getting career-adequate sponsorship to continue the arrangement), I remarked how I always assumed many of these undercovered NHL teams like the Isles will need to have some sort of MLB-like in-house beat that is (ideally) free of editorial control.

That wasn't exactly a super-prescient observation, but actually doing so is still an earth-shaking plunge in the context of how media used to be and how it is evolving (in some cases, finally evolving) today. The Kings have taken that plunge, with one of the best beat writers in the league. From the team release:

The Los Angeles Kings today announced the appointment of long-time Los Angeles Daily News hockey writer Rich Hammond as beat writer/columnist for LAKings.com, the club’s official website.  Hammond, who will travel with the Kings full-time during the 2009-10 season, will begin providing exclusive content to LAKings.com on October 1.

It's still a bummer that it's come to this, but -- depending on how it's executed (MLB actually has a separate company that staffs all of the team site's editorial content) -- it's a smart and likely inevitable move by the Kings.