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  1. #1

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    Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    In a major shift for the Mouse House, Disney Channels Worldwide prexy Rich Ross has been named chairman of Walt Disney Studios.

    He’ll oversee production, distribution and marketing for all of Disney’s pic labels, including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, Miramax and Disney/Pixar. In addition, he’ll also head Disney’s theatrical and music groups. He reports to Disney prexy and CEO Bob Iger.
    Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety

    Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Disney Channels Worldwide topper to replace Cook

  2. #2

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Let us hope that Mr. Ross guides the Studios to consistently successful, high-quality, family-entertaining, storytelling.
    Best interview answer: My biggest weakness is my honesty...I can never remember my lies!

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    But no more hamsters or singing chihuahuas!
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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Why did they announce DL's president is leaving the same day as DS's decided on a new head? That was confusing.

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    So the guy behind the High School Musical gravy train is the head of Walt Disney Studios. Just what are his credentials, exactly? Aside from the fact that the HSMs have been very lucrative - which is fine - but how does that make the guy a good replacement for Cook?

    This choice does not inspire confidence. It looks too much like a reward for good work rather than a reasonable promotion based on actual qualifications.

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by Magenta Panther View Post
    So the guy behind the High School Musical gravy train is the head of Walt Disney Studios. Just what are his credentials, exactly? Aside from the fact that the HSMs have been very lucrative - which is fine - but how does that make the guy a good replacement for Cook?
    From Iger's point of view, he's perfect. A TV guy, like Iger. A guy with no attachment to the "Walt" days, like Iger. And a guy who is 100% beholden to Iger for his position.

    End of story.


    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Well, and he's also proven that he can package mostly talentless teenagers and make their tv shows a success. On basic cable.

    That's some fine programming there, Lou.

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    This is the guy who gave the greenlight to things such as Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, the Jonas Brothers . . .


    if you liked the Disney Channel you are going to love Disney Studios.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    All that comes to mind is.... really?

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    By picking an executive from outside the clubby precincts of the movie business, Iger is signaling that he wants Ross to shake up a studio that the Disney chiefviews as entrenched in the past, from relying on high-priced, aging stars to open films to spending extravagantly on movie marketing.

    To achieve this, Ross may be borrowing liberally from the playbook he followed to turn around Disney Channel, which has eclipsed the movie studio in recent years as a hothouse for talent and ideas that could be packaged and resold across the company’s various platforms. Ross has proved himself adept at turning entertainment into brands -- high profile examples include "Hannah Montana," which launched pop star Miley Cyrus' career, and "High School Musical,' which was created for television but quickly found life — and revenue — in recorded music, a big-screen blockbuster and a stage show.

    Indeed, at a company that stresses team playing among its executives, Ross may be the ultimate team player.


    “I am very excited to play a key role in continuing the storytelling legacy of The Walt Disney Studios. There has never been a better time to entertain our global audiences with high-quality and compelling content and introduce new characters that will become family favorites. I look forward to working with Bob, the team at the studios and all of our Disney family towards that goal,” said Ross.

    Since his arrival at Disney Channel in 1996, Ross worked closely with other divisions of the Burbank-based company. For example, when the channel cast Cyrus as Hannah Montana in 2005, Ross ordered an internal “road show” to introduce the new program to other parts of Disney. Within six months of the show’s premiere, the consumer products group was shipping Hannah Montana clothing to stores — shaving a year off the time required for new TV-linked merchandise to reach retail outlets.

    Such cross-division collaboration is a priority for Iger, and something he felt was lacking at the movie studio. Moreover, Disney Channel, under Ross' lead, has become a model for Iger’s oft-touted franchise strategy, in which entertainment properties can feed other parts of the Disney empire.

    A prime example is 2006's “High School Musical” — a chaste tale of improbable high school romance between a brain and a jock. Ross revved up the Disney marketing machine, leading to the release of a soundtrack that was a top-selling CD, a sold-out 42-date concert tour in North and South America, a show at Disney’s theme parks and a slew of merchandise.

    The2007 sequel, “High School Musical 2,” became the highest-rated telecast in cable history at the time, and the third installment in 2008, “High School Musical 3: Senior Year,” raked in more than $250 million in worldwide box-office sales. Merchandise based on "High School Musical" and other Disney Channel movies and TV series accounted for $3.6 billion in retail sales worldwide last year -- not including DVDs and CDs.
    Rich Ross named chairman of Walt Disney Studios | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

  11. #11

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Not too happy with this news.
    I'm from the camp that thinks great family entertainment is creating movies or whatever that the little kiddies can watch as well as their older siblings, their parents and their grandparents can all sit down and watch together without anyone feeling alienated.

    But in recent months and years, the Disney brand has gotten the idea of family entertainment being something a 4 year old can enjoy and no one else. I can't tell you how many times, working at a movie theatre, that when the latest Disney movie comes around, families often now split up with the kids going to the Disney one, and the parents sitting in the lobby. This shouldn't happen and doesn't happen when another studio opens a family friendly movie.

    Why do I mention all this? Cause the new guy is the one who greenlit Hannah Montana and High School Musical, both of which are what I'm talking about.

    Plus, I was hoping someone from Pixar would take over in a bit of a shuffle, namely John Lasseter or Ed Catmull.

  12. #12

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Very disappointing news indeed. Watch for only kiddie based movies coming from the Studio. There will be more and more talking animals and probably a G2 sequel, and a Wizards of Waverly Street movie to compete with Harry Potter (like that would be competition). They made one mistake in the way they handled the firing ( no matter what they call it, he was fired) of Dick Cook and now they have just made another bad decision. My confidence in Bob Iger is no more. He has just done something as bad as Eisner when that man closed the Feature Animation Department. This time the very meaning of a "Family Freindly" Studio has gone right out the door.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    I'm scared. I'm very scared. I don't want Disney Channel to take over Disney. And just when I thought we'd be getting our next Disney renaissance period...

    I'm gonna go take refuge in my anime.. *hides under covers and huggles Alphonse Elric plushie*

  14. #14

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    Quote Originally Posted by AcmePunched View Post
    I don't want Disney Channel to take over Disney.
    Ditto. It would be a mistake if the studios reject a broad audience to go after only the Tweens as Disney Channel has done.

    But time will tell. Clearly, Iger wants to clean house. Heads are rolling. The question is, what is his master plan? What sort of company is he crafting?

    I tend to trust Iger's instincts, so I'm tentatively not as worried as some are at this moment.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Rich Ross to head Walt Disney Studios

    But at least the Walt Disney Animation Studios will have a brighter future.

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