Disney Exec Joins Shine America

Shine Group has appointed former Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross as the new chief executive officer for Shine America.

Ross, who also served as president of Disney Channels Worldwide, succeeds current Shine America chief executive officer Carl Fennessy who, under pre-agreed terms, will return to Australia where he remains a joint chief executive officer of Shine Australia.

In his new role, Ross will lead Shine America’s slate of successful properties such as MasterChef and The Biggest Loser, as well as new series, which include the company’s first scripted pilot, “The Bridge,” and first Spanish-language production, “Minuto Para Ganar.”

“We are delighted that Rich will be coming to Shine America to build on the brilliant and transformative work achieved under Carl’s tenure,” says Alex Mahon, chief executive officer, Shine Group. “Rich is an outstanding creative leader, responsible for not only launching iconic franchises but overseeing explosive growth in broadcast brands under his direction.” 

Ross began his career at Nickelodeon where he rose to vice president of Program Enterprises before joining FX Networks in 1993 as part of their executive team at launch. In 1996, Ross joined Disney Channels Worldwide where, as president, he was responsible for channel-defining programs such as “Hannah Montana,” “Lizzie McGuire” and “Phineas and Ferb,” as well as the creation of original movie franchises that included “High School Musical” and “The Cheetah Girls.”

Ross served as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios from October 2009 to April of this year.