Editor's note: Some of the Tabloid Baby staff have been busy the past week or so, providing material for our pals over at TVgasm.com (and if you think it's hard getting comments when you're from "Tabloid Baby," try saying you represent "TVgasm"). What follows is an example of what we're doing in a different field:
The shocking secret
Rich Ross, the president of Disney Channel Worldwide, may be the most powerful television executive in the world when it comes to molding the minds of young viewers. But he has a secret that every parent-- and every kid-- should know.
The New York Times reveals it at the end of a glowing tribute to the executive in Sunday's Arts & Leisure section.
Ross heads 62 Disney channels and their offshoots, and according to the Times, "probably has more influence than anyone else on the television that young children and adolescents are watching these days-- not just in this country, but also in many of the 100 other nations that now carry Disney Channel programming... His shows aren't just big children's shows. They're among the biggest shows, period. In fact, Disney Channel is responsible for all but two of the 30 highest-rated television movies, specials and shows on cable television in 2005-6 among viewers ages 6 to 14, according to Nielsen Media Research..."
So how does he do it?
The Times points put that Ross didn't create or conceive of any of the shows like High School Musical, Lizzie McGuire or Hannah Montana. His genius is in coordinating "different parts of the Disney machine, from radio stations to Disney-branded magazines to Web sites, and his uncanny connection to young people's sensibilities."
The Times saves Ross' secret for the tail end of the story. And it's not that he's a gay male, in a childless relationship with his "partner of nearly 20 years." The paper does tell us that, but the outing is no surprise, this being Disney and the NY Times. It's the words that follow-- the explanation for how this childless gay Hollywood male is able to gauge the interests of kids worldwide: For the past decade, he's been getting all his ideas approved by a little kid!
"She is Alexis Teixeira, age 11, of Connecticut, who is the daughter of his law school roommate," the Times reveals. "Mr. Ross has been soliciting Alexis's opinion since she was 4, when he asked her to critique Bear in the Big Blue House... Most recently he sent her a version of Cheetah Girls 2 in Spanish with English subtitles. Their discussions take place by e-mail, sometimes daily..."
"I always tell him the truth," Alexis tells the Times. "I've never told him I didn't like something. I might have given him advice on how something wasn't perfect."
Now wait a minute! We're pretty sure we've already seen that Disney movie. But if we haven't, Rich Ross oughta get the scriptwriters busy now: A middle-aged executive suddenly has his finger on the pulse of young America, and no one understands how he's doing it. No one knows he's just a beard, relaying the words of an 11 year old girl! But then comes the big surprise meeting. He's on the spot... and she's stuck in class, taking an English test...
There's more TVcentric material like that. Visit TVgasm.com to check it out.