Amid NHL lockout restrictions, Rich Hammond leaves LA Kings to cover USC for Orange County Register

LAKingsInsider.com reporter Rich Hammond is leaving the website for the OC Register's USC beat after the NHL had a disagreement about his coverage of the lockout.

Rich Hammond, a reporter for the Los Angeles Kings affiliated blog LAKingsInsider.com, is leaving the hockey website to cover the USC Trojans for the OC Register. Hammond posted a farewell message on the Kings blog Wednesday, and the USC alum will reportedly cover the Trojans basketball and football teams.

Michael Lev, who has previously covered the Trojans for the OC Register, will switch to an NFL and media beat, according to USCTrojans.com.

The complications of Hammond's new job are partially due to the NHL lockout. According to Jewels from the Crown, Hammond's position at the Kings' website was formulated by the journalist when the Los Angeles Times stopped sending beat writers to away games. Los Angeles hired Hammond to act as an objective journalist, paid by the team but whose editorial content was not restricted by it.

During the lockout, the NHL told the Kings and Hammond that he must pull interviews with players down because Hammond was seen by the league as its own employee.

Los Angeles and Hammond did not agree, but now Hammond has moved on from the Kings beat.

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