Legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons is the next mainstream personality to follow in the footsteps of Bill Simmons, Peter King, and (eventually) Nate Silver with the Wednesday launch of Gammons Daily, a Gammons-centric website centered around his writing.
Gammons' work will now be featured exclusively on the new site as opposed to MLB.com, where he was a columnist for around three years. Gammons left ESPN for MLB.com and MLB Network at that time. His on-air roles with MLB Network and NESN won't be involved, but his writing will be exclusively on the new site powered by TruMedia Networks, which supplies advanced analytics to to media outlets and pro teams.
Ed Sherman wrote an excellent article for the National Sports Journalism Center last week examining the rise in these websites making the writer and the writing the brand as opposed to the network, and Gammons is the perfect choice to turn into a brand. Gammons has been a pioneer for the baseball writing industry for quite awhile, and he has the kind of clout necessary for a project like this to make sense and be successful.
In his article, Sherman also mentions the possibilities of television personalities getting their own portals, including Kirk Herbstreit and the hellacious First Take duo of Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith. I'm not sure if any of them would work very well, as most of the appeal with guys like Bayless and Smith are their mind-numbing back and forth debates, but Grantland wasn't exactly a lock to succeed either. I like the strategy of creating the brand through the talent, but this could get to a point where lesser talent is being put in a situation where they can't succeed. It's not close to being there, but let's check back in a year.