Former Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross is returning to television, this time on the production side. Ross has been named CEO of Shine America, taking the reins of the U.S. outpost of Elisabeth Murdoch‘s Shine Group. He will start in January. Ross had a very successful run as President of Disney Channels Worldwide, overseeing global hits like Hannah Montana and High School Musical, before he moved to the feature side in 2009 for a rocky two-and-a-half-year term that ended in April.
At Shine America, Ross will replace current CEO Carl Fennessy. Fennessy, formerly co-CEO of Shine Australia, was brought to the U.S. in mid-2011 to succeed then-Shine Americas CEO Emiliano Calemzuk when he left in January 2012. After helping Ross with the transition, Fennessy will return to Australia where he will resume his duties as co-CEO of Shine Australia.
Ross and Shine Group chairman Murdoch have known each other for 20 years. “Rich is a world-class executive and the ideal leader to build on our extraordinary momentum at Shine America. We all welcome him warmly,” she said. “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.”
Shine America’s slate includes unscripted series MasterChef on Fox and The Biggest Loser on NBC, which will soon be joined by The Face on Oxygen. The company, whose scripted series originally consisted of Reveille’s The Office and The Tudors, has been ramping up scripted development and recently landed its first scripted pilot, The Bridge on FX, and first Spanish-language production, Minuto Para Ganar on MundoFOX. The company also recently launched New York-based format label Ardaban.
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With a month to go before the Mipcom TV market kicks off in Cannes, Shine International is undergoing a shift at the top of its ranks. Camilla Hammer, CEO of the sales and distribution arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s … Read More »
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: In a Q&A session this morning, Elisabeth Murdoch told the Edinburgh TV Festival, “I really harbor no ambition for that top job.” She was referring to her family’s News Corp, where a succession plan … Read More »
Three years after her brother James Murdoch delivered the keynote MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Elisabeth Murdoch put her own mark on the event Thursday evening. The first woman to deliver the address in 17 years, she said in her opening remarks that being asked to give the speech was an honor and “a massive pain in the ass.” However, she allowed, “Writing a MacTaggart has been quite a welcome distraction from some of the other nightmares much closer to home. Yes, you have met some of my family before – the committee may be less than keen on women, but by god, you do love a Murdoch.” She spoke fondly of her background and her family – while taking a dig here and there – and also addressed some of the issues facing News Corp, which owns the Shine production group that she founded in 2001, as well as calling out her brother and urging her peers to connect with their audience.
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Of her somewhat controversial decision to sell Shine to News Corp. last year, Murdoch said, “After various considerations it became clear to me that News Corp. was the best strategic home for us. Now, I can almost hear you thinking ‘No shit, Sherlock,’ but in many ways it was the very last place I wanted to go. I really hadn’t spent 12 years on my own just to do what was expected of me. But there was, and still is, irresistible logic to it.”
“Obviously News is also a company that is currently asking itself some very significant and difficult questions about how some behaviors fell so far short of its values,” she said. “Personally, I believe one of the biggest lessons of the past year has been the need for any organization to discuss, affirm and institutionalize a rigorous set of values based on an explicit statement of purpose.” Read More »
Britain’s Labour Party Deputy Leader Harriet Harman has made no secret of her distaste for Rupert Murdoch’s long reach in the UK media sector. On Wednesday – the eve of a highly-anticipated speech by … Read More »
Run Run Shaw To Retire – At 104
At 104-years-old, legendary producer and TV mogul Run Run Shaw is to retire as chairman of Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Ltd. Shaw is lately known for co-founding TVB which is one … Read More »
Rupert Murdoch’s children saw a family counseling psychologist as recently as this past February to help them sort through their feelings about who should succeed their father as CEO of News Corp, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sarah Ellison reports … Read More »
Shine Group is looking to give its TV properties a new platform with the acquisition of Bossa Studios, a London-based social gaming company. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Bossa is a new player in the space and just launched … Read More »
Elisabeth Murdoch has backed out on a planned talk at this weekend’s Edinburgh International TV Festival. The Shine Group founder became convinced questions about phone hacking at Shine parent News Corp would dominate any appearance, a spokesman said Monday. Shine … Read More »
News Corp shareholders thought Rupert Murdoch’s $675 million acquisition of daughter Elisabeth’s indie production company Shine Group back in April was enough of a sweetheart deal that they have filed lawsuits to challenge it. But it wasn’t revealed … Read More »
With independent board members privately rebelling and institutional investors publicly complaining about inadequate corporate governance in the wake of the UK phone-hacking scandal, News Corp’s board of directors is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Los Angeles ahead of the company’s fiscal year-end earnings release the next day. Now the media giant’s Wall Street Journal is reporting that Elisabeth Murdoch and the media giant have shelved plans for her to join the board for now. The 42-year-old daughter of News Corp Chairman/CEO Rupert Murdoch was expected to join the board as part of her return to the company through News Corp’s acquisition of the Shine Group, the television-production company she runs. Rupert had even said in a news release in February that he expected her to join the board when the £415 million ($680 million) Shine acquisition was completed in April. News Corp independent director Viet Dinh said in a statement Friday that Elisabeth ”felt it would be inappropriate” to join the company board at its annual meeting later this year and the company’s independent directors agreed. Read More »
No doubt this will be the first of many News Corp shareholders filing claims in Delaware Chancery Court because the Big Media giant is incorporated in that state. The accusations focus on colossal corporate governance failures surrounding the ongoing British phone-hacking scandal that led to the closing this past week of the company’s … Read More »