RSS feeds per columnist?

I was fascinated to spot today that the Mirror, usually the least online-literate of the main papers, is now offering RSS feeds for each of its famous-name columnists. The BBC is doing something similar, with a feed of all (video) reports by political editor Nick Robinson – and presumably, others to follow. (Plus, it goes without saying, his excellent blog.)
From the user perspective, this is great. I’ve always liked Mirror columnist Kevin Maguire, for example, despite his inability to refuse a broadcast appearance. I’ll happily add him to my RSS list. Can we call this ‘blogging’? Arguably… it’s a regular opinion piece, posted online, with a feed. Hey, maybe RSS is actually the defining characteristic of a blog. Time will tell.
From the publisher’s perspective? – I’m not so sure. Columnists are what ultimately defines a particular newspaper. On paper, the columnists support the title’s brand; give them their own RSS feed each, and the columnist becomes the brand. ‘Who do they write for?’ – it won’t matter. Kevin’s stuff will slot neatly into my RSS reading – which doesn’t currently include the Mirror’s news coverage.
Bad news for any columnists hoping to be poached for b-i-g money in the new fed-up world.