Chris Hendricks (photo), a friend, colleague, client and one of the smartest guys about the future anywhere in media, is retiring in a few months from The McClatchy Co., where he’s worked for almost 25 years.

Hendricks, who’s just 54, will call it quits at the end of November. But we’re betting there will be a “next.” He’s just not saying yet what that will be.

Hendricks is currently McClatchy’s VP for strategic initiatives, after a long string of titles and roles. He’s also chairman of the Local Media Consortium and McClatchy’s representative for its investments in CareerBuilder; Moonlighting, a gigs-type recruitment site; Aggrego, a content exchange and network, and Engage3, a “competitive intelligence and consumer science” provider.

He was involved with digital media — we called it “interactive media” back then — in 1993, when the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., launched a bulletin board service (“BBS”) known as At one point, Nando was the No. 3 site in terms of traffic on the web, and it was ppld with legendary “new media” pioneers like Frank Daniels III, George Schlukbier, James Calloway and Fraser Van Asch. (Calloway and Van Asch are still with McClatchy.)

Kudos for Hendricks poured in after his announcement, including this LinkedIn post by Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates.

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