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Former Disney boss Rich Ross joins Shine America

Former Disney Studios boss Rich Ross has been appointed chief executive of Shine America, the US arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s international production and distribution company.

This comes after Ross left the Hollywood studio, where he was most recently chairman, and will see him replace Carl Fennessy, who will return to Australia as joint chief executive, Shine Australia in 2013.

Ross, who was also president of Disney Channels Worldwide, will join in January and will be in charge of getting Shine formats, both scripted and unscripted, produced in the States.

Murdoch and Ross both worked at US cable network FX earlier in the 1990s.

Shine America currently produces Masterchef for Fox and The Biggest Loser for NBC and has also just got its first scripted format – The Bridge with FX – off the ground. The company also just launched New York-based format label Ardaban.

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.”

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.”

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.”

Separately, Tim Robinson, currently chief operating officer, Shine Australia, has been promoted to COO, Shine Group. He will relocate to London to start the role in early 2013.