Rich Ross Named Discovery Channel President

Earlier on Tuesday, news broke of Ross’s departure as CEO of Shine America

Rich Ross

Well, that didn’t take very long.

Just a few hours after news broke of Rich Ross departing as Shine America’s CEO for a likely top-level Discovery position, the cable channel named him its new president.

Ross will join Discovery Communications at the Los Angeles office in January, where he will oversee creative and brand strategy, development, production, marketing and all day-to-day operations for its Discovery Channel. He will report to David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.

Also read: Shine America CEO Rich Ross Exiting Company

Ross left Shine America almost two years to the day that he was selected by founder Elisabeth Murdoch to succeed Carl Fennessy in the role. Ross was also previously at Nickelodeon, FX Networks and Disney.

Shine is undergoing a big change of its own, as the media company will be combined with Endemol and Core Media in a joint venture, owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo. On Monday, Endemol President Tim Hincks was named president of the new entity.

Also read: Endemol Prez Tim Hincks Tapped as President of New Shine-Core-Endemol Group

“Rich is one of the most creative storytellers, ratings drivers, brand builders and TV executives in the industry today,” said Zaslav. “On top of being just a great guy, Rich also is mission driven, with a commitment to quality, blue-chip programming and is a terrific fit with Discovery. I am confident that with his experience, relationships and creative leadership, Rich can lead Discovery to its next great chapter in innovative, groundbreaking television.”

“I am so excited to join David and the great team at Discovery,” added Ross. “This network is the gold standard of programmers and to be able to add to its depth of great content with new stories and new characters is simply thrilling.”

Also read: 21st Century Fox, Apollo Finalize Deal Combining Endemol, Shine Group and Core Media

Marjorie Kaplan, who has served as interim Discovery Channel president, will continue in the job until Ross’ arrival. Afterwards, she will remain group president of TLC and Animal Planet, also taking over Velocity.

Zaslav continued: “A special thanks to Marjorie Kaplan. She is one of our most talented and dedicated leaders. Marjorie stepped in over the past 60 days without missing a beat to provide tremendous leadership, continuity and creative energy for the Discovery Channel during an important transition period.

“All those who have worked with Marjorie know how collaborative, creative and passionate she is about every project she touches, and I am so appreciative of her jumping in during this interim period and to now have her back full time providing steadiness and creative leadership to TLC, Animal Planet and her entire portfolio,” he concluded.