MTV Networks Chief Digital Officer Jason Hirschhorn is leaving his post after more than six years with the company. Hirschhorn, for whom the CDO position was created, has decided to pursue his own venture in the digital entertainment space. He will transition out of the role over the summer and his current No. 2– Nick Lehman, executive VP of digital media – will assume his position, at least for the time being.
MTVN named Hirschhorn CDO in October 2005 and tasked him with overseeing the company’s digital media businesses and interactive strategy. He has since played an instrumental role in growing the company’s brands and products on emerging platforms, helping to develop new products and launch several new ventures, most recently, MTVN/Microsoft’s music download service Urge.
Hirschhorn has been a direct report to MTVN Chairman/CEO Judy McGrath. He joined MTVN in March 2000 when it acquired his Web site design and development company Mischief New Media. After that, he worked in a variety of digital roles across MTVN’s cable networks and was senior VP of digital music and media for the company before being tapped as CDO.
In a phone interview, Hirschhorn said the decision to leave the company was one he thought about for a long time and called his time at the company “six and a half of the best years of my life.”
Hirschhorn did not give details of his new venture, but said, “I want to take a little breather for part of the summer and then take a deep breath and dream it up all over again and hopefully rock it out of the park.”
Hirschhorn “has helped us establish a strong leadership position in the digital media revolution— from the Web to broadband video to wireless entertainment,” said McGrath in a statement in which she also called him “a visionary who has been a driving force during the transformation of MTV Networks from a linear cable programming company to a digital, multiplatform powerhouse.”