Rich Hammond said goodbye to fans of his blog "Inside the Kings" today on the LA Daily News website:
Hey everyone... This note marks the start of a new, exciting venture. Beginning next Thursday, Oct. 1, I will no longer write and blog for the Los Angeles Daily News. I will be taking my trade to LAKings.com. I understand that this will raise some immediate, significant questions, so I'm here to explain, but also to express my excitement about this exciting change in my career.
To put it as plainly and simply as possible, I will draw a salary from the Kings, but none of the stories and/or blogs I write will be reviewed for approval by any member of the Kings' staff. Topics will not need approval and interviews will not have any additional supervision. I have been hired to blog, write stories -- including coverage of home and road games -- and produce other content for the website. This is not public relations. I have been told, pointedly, by the highest levels of Kings management, that I should continue to report and write as normal.
Be certain of two things: I will not "go easy" on the Kings out of any fear of retribution, just as I will not take gratuitous shots at the team and the organization simply because I have retained the right to be critical. Things will continue on course. Praise and criticism, to the extent I feel either is warranted, will continue to be distributed fairly.
That's out of the way. Now let me tell you what to expect. I can say, with complete confidence, that you will have better, more comprehensive Kings coverage than ever before. When the team is away on its 10-day road trip next month -- and on all of its road trips -- I will be there, giving up-to-the-minute updates on the blog and writing stories for the website. For the first time ever in my career, I will be able to dedicate every working hour to covering the Kings.
I hope that you will be as excited about this as I am. It's been four years since I've been able to travel with the team and truly cover a beat the way a reporter should. That's certainly not a knock on the Daily News. My editors here have been fantastic and have always supported my desire to cover the Kings. The Daily News, I'm certain, will continue to do its best to provide quality coverage of the Kings, but I feel that this opportunity gives me a better chance to follow my passion, and I'm looking forward to the challenge. The look of the coverage will be different, and we'll have to adjust to a new home, but it will be all positive.
Most of all, I just want to say thank you to all of you readers. It's been amazing. When this blog started, I had no idea where it would lead. Thanks to your overwhelming support, it has been a huge success, and thanks to you, we can now take it to an even higher level. I understand that some of you might have doubts about this move, and that's fine. Nothing I say right now is going to completely convince everyone. All I ask is that you give me a chance, a chance to prove that nothing is going to change; it's only going to get better.
I'll keep you updated on the exact name/location of the new blog. If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them here. Thanks much...