Joe Hutchinson leaving LAT
for art director at Rolling Stone

Joe Hutchinson is leaving the Los Angeles Times for Rolling Stone magazine, according to The Blog's sources in L.A. His last day at the LAT will be Friday.

Hutchinson, currently the paper's creative director, will start his new gig as art director of RS in the middle of May after taking time to move to the other coast and decamping to the mag's Manhattan digs.

Sources tell The Blog that Hutchinson initially turned down the Rolling Stone role, but reconsidered as news of impending newsroom cuts began surfacing again in Los Angeles. An announcement is coming Monday from Tribune that 5 percent of the LAT's workforce will be cut (about 150 newspaper-wide, with 70 coming from the newsroom) in a buyout plan, according to published reports.

A big impact in Los Angeles
Hutchinson has helped revitalize the Times since his arrival, turning it into one of the nation's visual journalism powerhouses and a perennial top winner at SND's annual competition. L.A. again this year was the leader in The Best of Newspaper Design.

Hutchinson came to the Times from The Baltimore Sun (where he helped the newspaper win a "World's Best-Designed" honor) when The Sun's editor, John Carroll, became the editor in Los Angeles. The two started the hard work of making visual storytelling a key component of the Times' world-class journalism and are widely credited with the impressive transformation.

Reunion picture: Bill Gaspard of the Las Vegas Sun, Joe Hutchinson (center), who will be leaving the Los Angeles Times for Rolling Stone, and Michael Whitley of the Times chat at SND Orlando in 2006. (Photo by Steve Dorsey)

Under Hutchinson's watch, which started in 2000, the Times began assembling the storied visuals team that has included such iconic names as Bill Gaspard, Michael Whitley, Kelli Sullivan and Christian Potter Drury -- and the once-sleepy Times again became a trend setter in its storytelling with great photography and inspired design solutions.

Carroll retired in 2005 and was succeeded by Dean Baquet, who had been managing editor. Baquet resigned last year (he now works for The New York Times) in a public dispute with the Tribune Company over costs and newsroom staffing. Then-publisher Jeffrey Johnson also resigned in protest. James O'Shea, who had been managing editor at the Chicago Tribune, is now the editor in L.A.

Many industry observers had been expecting Hutchinson would depart soon after Carroll's retirement because the two had been such close colleagues. Hutchinson, however, remained on staff and did some excellent work, specifically around revamping and reinvigorating the paper's magazine, now called West, in a redesign that was lauded by design experts for its fresh take on California culture.

About the new job
Hutchinson replaces former Rolling Stone art director Amid Capeci, who headed back to Newsweek (where he used to work) to take over print duties from former SND president Lynn Staley, who's been dispatched by Newsweek bosses to rev up the online and multimedia design for the news magazine.

At Rolling Stone, chief Jann Wenner has been ramping up for RS's 40th year in publication, commissioning three special covers by Chip Kidd, the noted book-cover designer. Wenner is said to be happy that Hutchinson accepted the position as RS's new art director.

On a personal note: The Blog salutes Joe for his amazing run in newspapering, and his longtime commitment to the craft in both his own distinctive work and his service to the industry. We wish him well in his new role at RS!

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Blogger Jay said...

Joe Hutchinson is truly one of the giants. From typography to photo usage to rule work, he is the most elegant designer in the newspaper industry. The Los Angeles Times wasn't a blip on the design map when he went out there and started building the visual all-star team that Matt outlined.

I consider myself quite lucky to have had an opportunity to work with him at The Sun. And I still regularly quote him when commenting on my staff's daily pages.

While it's sad to see him leaving the company, I'm thrilled he heading back out east. (Hey Joe, lunch is on you when I come up.)

Jay Judge
AME/Design & Graphics
The Baltimore Sun

Saturday, April 21, 2007 6:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Charles Apple said...

Congratulations, Joe! Best wishes!

Sunday, April 22, 2007 12:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Martin Gee said...

"holy crap!!!"

wow wow wow wow... what a dream job!

congrats joe! you are one of the nicest people i've ever met.

damn! i'm so jealous!!! =)

Sunday, April 22, 2007 5:21:00 AM  

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