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Shine Group Today Announced That Rich Ross Has Been Appointed To The Role of CEO, Shine America

The former Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios and President of Disney Channels Worldwide succeeds current Shine America CEO Carl Fennessy, following the latter’s pre-agreed, two-year term in Los Angeles. Fennessy will return to Australia, where he remains Joint CEO, Shine Australia, in mid-2013, having undertaken a hand over with Ross who joins in January.

Ross joins a thriving Shine America whose slate sees successful formats MasterChef (Fox) and TheBiggest Loser (NBC) now joined by upcoming series The Face (Oxygen), the company’s first scripted pilot,The Bridge (FX) and first Spanish-language productionMinuto Para Ganar(MundoFOX). Recent months have also seen the launch of New York-based format label Ardaban and the expansion of the company’s digital, unscripted and ancillary divisions. 

Alex Mahon, CEO Shine Group said: “We are delighted that Rich will be coming to Shine America to build on the brilliant and transformative work achieved under Carl’s tenure. Rich is an outstanding creative leader, responsible for not only launching iconic franchises but overseeing explosive growth in broadcast brands under his direction. He is perfectly suited to lead Shine America into its next phase of growth and complements Shine Group’s senior team of creative entrepreneurs globally.” 

Rich Ross said: “I am very excited to join Liz, Alex and the entire Shine team which has shown how a creatively-led content company can both be global in scope, yet nimble and entrepreneurial in local territories. I look forward to furthering the expansion of Shine America's portfolio both by adapting Shine's hit shows from around the world, as well as creating new original content.”

Carl Fennessy said: “It has been a hugely enjoyable and rewarding time at Shine America, and I would like to thank my incredible team here and the wider television community in the U.S. for making me feel so welcome. Rich is highly accomplished and I believe his arrival is the final piece of the jigsaw that we’ve aimed to put together here. I look forward to returning home later next year, safe in the knowledge that Shine America is in great hands for the future.” 

Elisabeth Murdoch, Chairman Shine Group added: “I have known and admired Rich for many years. He is a world-class executive and the ideal leader to build on our extraordinary momentum at Shine America. I am personally delighted that he has decided to join us and he will be a brilliant addition to the whole Group. We all welcome him warmly. On behalf of everyone at Shine, I would like to thank Carl for his outstanding leadership over the last 18 months. He will be missed in America as much as he will be welcomed home in Australia.”

Ross began his career at Nickelodeon, rising to Vice President of Program Enterprises. He joined FX Networks in 1993 as part of their executive team at launch, overseeing development and production for the network.  In 1996, Ross joined Disney Channels Worldwide, rising to the position of President. In that role, he was responsible for global channel-defining programmes such asHannah Montana,Lizzie McGuire, Phineas and FerbandThat’s So Ravenand the creation of original movie franchisesHigh School Musical,Camp RockandThe Cheetah Girls.Under his tenure, the channel portfolio grew to over 100 globally and broadened from the flagship Disney Channel, to Disney XD and Playhouse Disney brands.

Most recently, Ross served as Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios from October 2009 to April 2012. Films released during this time included Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Alice in Wonderland,The Muppets; Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 and DreamWorks Studios ’The Help.  As Chairman, Ross oversaw all elements of development, production, marketing and distribution for the film, musical and theatrical divisions.


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