Andrew DeVigal — the biggest and brightest of the brains behind the New York Times‘ multimedia operation — has left the Times. And journalism.
Andrew will join Second Story Interactive Studios, a design and development firm located in Portland, Ore. His last day as multimedia editor at the Times was last Friday.
The decision to leave The Times doesn’t come easy. I’ve been in journalism for 22 years, the past six of which have been at The Times. And I’ve had the honor to work alongside some of the smartest journalists in the industry. I’m particularly proud of the team I put together and managed over the years and of our work, which includes some of the most innovative and compelling packages of interactive journalism on the web.
It’s difficult to imagine going anywhere else in the industry after The New York Times. I’ve always known that my time at The Times would be the pinnacle of my journalism career. But I’m now at my “adjacent possible,” Stuart Kauffman’s fabulous theory of untapped potential, or as Steven Johnson describes it:
The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.
Andrew then recaps the highlights of his career, tying it into his “adjacent possible,” which is essentially, a much more complicated — and much better — description of “life after newspapers” than I cited last year in my presentation at SND/St. Louis.
I’d urge you to read it — especially if you need inspiration for your own career or in your own current situation.
I never really got to meet Andrew. He worked in the Chicago Tribune graphics department and slid over to become design director of the Tribune‘s interactive operation in 1995, but he left the Tribune just a few weeks after I arrived in the fall of 1996. He spent a year as a producer for Knight-Ridder digital, spent six years at the Poynter Institute — as a “fellow for the first couple and more or less adjunct afterwards,” he tells us — and then four as a professor at San Francisco State University. All the while, Andrew worked as an interactive developer and web site designer via his consultancy business, DeVigal Design.
He became multimedia editor of the New York Times in late 2006 and — along with his staff — has won heaps of accolades, including five Emmy nominations and two Emmy awards.
Find his web site here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Find links to notable work by Andrew and his staff here. Find a list of Twitter feeds of Andrew’s NYT staffers here.