MTV has lost the executive most instrumental to the development of its Urge digital music service.

Jason Hirschhorn, global digital officer of MTV Network, has chosen to leave the company to pursue startup opportunities, reports claim. Nick Lehman, executive vice president of digital media, will take over until a replacement is found.

Hirschhorn launched Mischief New Media six years ago, which was later acquired by MTV.

MTV chair Judy McGrath said: "Jason is 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."

This story first appeared on Macworld.co.uk