Michael Ash dropped out of Adelphi University, where he was studying communications and physical education, to take a shot at becoming a major-league baseball player.
He didn't make it, but it was through baseball that Ash discovered the field that did become his career. He started representing a teammate on his college baseball team who was a photographer. It's what he's done ever since on a career path that has now led him to @radical.media, where he was recently named director of the production company's new print division.
"I knew of these guys. I knew they were major players on their side of the business," Ash said of @radical co-proprietors Jon Kamen and Frank Scherma. "From all the things I'd heard about how they ran their company, I thought, 'That's how I see myself, as an agent playing straight up in the business.' "
Kamen said the print division diversifies a shop that already has a music division and often works on TV and feature films, in addition to TV spots.
"As we're looking forward to what advertising is and will be and the mix of what's required today for a proper strategy in marketing one's brands, print is a fundamental role in that," Kamen said. "So it's only logical that a company such as ours include print as part of the mix."
In his new job, Ash, 49, moves the 20 photographers and photo agents he represents into @radical from Creative Management, a firm he and partner Tim Case have shuttered. Before opening Creative Management in 1997, Ash represented photographers for 18 years through Michael Ash Productions in New York.
Ash, a father of two teenage girls, was the right person to start the division because of the "combination of his reputation, energy, integrity and the relationships he has with the talent," Kamen said.