Shine America Restructuring Under Rich Ross; Layoffs, Hiring Plans

Rich Ross
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The new CEO of Elisabeth Murdoch's TV production power has shed six executives in the past two weeks.

Just over a month after his arrival as CEO of Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine America, Rich Ross has set in motion a corporate restructuring of the television production company that has led to the departure of six executives in the past two weeks, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

However, Ross also is in the process of hiring at least 18 new employees, says a source, as part of a plan to expand in scripted television, boost efforts in Spanish-language programming and develop more properties for digital platforms.

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A Shine spokesman declined to comment on the moves.

Shine America, the U.S. arm of U.K.-based Shine, produces such hit shows as The Biggest Loser, The Office and MasterChef. But the News Corp.-owned company in recent years has struggled to generate broad new successes in the U.S.

Ross was recruited to lead the division late last year by Murdoch after he resigned from Disney, where he headed feature film for about two and a half years and enjoyed a successful career in its television division.

Last week, Shine announced plans to revive the game show Minute to Win It for GSN. The company has launched a Spanish-language version of the same show for MundoFox, also owned by News Corp, is developing a pilot for News Corp.'s FX network, and has The Face set to debut Tuesday on Oxygen. On that show, supermodels including Naomi Campbell lead the search for the face of a top beauty products brand.

Since joining the company, Ross has signed reality producer Nigel Lythgoe (American Idol) to develop “entertainment franchises” for the global marketplace.

Murdoch, the daughter of News Corp mogul Rupert Murdoch, sold Shine to her father’s company in 2011 for $674 million. Besides Shine America, which Ross now runs, there are Shine subsidiaries in Australia, Spain, Germany and more than two dozen other territories.


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