BY Julie Bolcer
October 06 2009 12:15 PM ET
Rich Ross, the out president of Disney Channels Worldwide, has been appointed to run Walt Disney Studios. The acclaimed television executive will make the transition to movies, where he has the support of the powerful DreamWorks team of Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider.
“Steven and I are totally supportive of Rich,” Snider, the chief executive of DreamWorks, said in a telephone interview with The New York Times. “What he has done for the channel is extraordinary. You can’t help but notice the creativity and the robust effort that has gone into making that brand ubiquitous.”
In his 13 years with the Disney Channel, Ross pioneered the “tween” programming that appeals primarily to young audiences between the ages of 9 and 14. He is the force behind young stars and programming such as Zac Efron of High School Musical, Miley Cyrus of Hannah Montana, and the Jonas Brothers.
A profile of Ross in the Los Angeles Times this June mentioned his personal life with his long-term partner, Adam Sanderson.
“The 47-year-old Ross and his partner of more than 20 years, Adam Sanderson, live in the Hollywood Hills and have no children of their own,” reported the Los Angeles Times. “However, he maintains a close relationship with the 14- and 10-year-old daughters of his former roommate and best friend from Fordham Law, who serve as an informal focus group. He described Alexis and Dominique Teixeira as ‘truth meters.’”