Otis College of Art and Design has a new president with a long media résumé.
The Los Angeles art school tapped Charles Hirschhorn, who will take up the top executive position at the start of June. He replaces Randall Lavender, who has been president on an interim basis for a year, taking over upon the sudden and unexplained departure of Bruce Ferguson after a four-year run.
Hirschhorn is joining the school after decades working mainly in TV, spending the last 11 years as president of AEG Television, part of AXS TV, with stakeholders including Ryan Seacrest, Mark Cuban and Creative Artists Agency. Earlier in his career, he spent a decade heading up production at Disney and before that had a stint as a programming executive at Fox. He also founded G4 Media, a video-game network and online broadcaster of industry events, and was briefly chief creative officer of the now-defunct network Retirement Living TV.
“His background and experience in the arts, digital media, education and entertainment align perfectly with the needs of Otis and its students,” said Mei-Lee Ney, chair of the school’s board.
As for Hirschhorn, who is also a trustee of the Berklee College of Music and on an advisory board for arts at his alma mater Harvard, he said it’s been his “life’s ambition” to empower “creative individuals to achieve their potential.”
“I believe artists and designers have a responsibility to enrich both their community and our world. Otis College makes this possible in so many ways,” he said. “I owe my career to a transformative art and design education I received in college. I am thrilled that this opportunity at Otis College gives me a chance to return the favor for a new generation of art and design students.”