Emmy Award-winning Producer, Director; Founder of Daily Xpress News and Pop Culture Blog
Shelley Ross is a three-time Emmy Award-winning producer who changed the landscape of morning, primetime and late night television over the course of her career. She is perhaps best known for her 17 years at ABC News where she won three Emmys, a Peabody award and other honors while she continually spiked the ratings and grew the audience with editorial decisions and unique marketing and promotion campaigns. As executive producer of Good Morning America, she came up with the idea to team Diane Sawyer with Charlie Gibson to launch true 24/7 news at ABC. At GMA , she added nearly a million viewers and greatly boosted income revenue by keeping a unique finger on the pulse of the public and creating big newsmaking events. She was the first ever to broadcast live from a battleship during wartime -- from the decks of U.S.S. Enterprise at an undisclosed location during the early months of the war on terror. She broadcast a 2-hour live special on school shootings from the White House with Bill and Hillary Clinton five weeks after Columbine. She was the first to originate a live tv show from the Vatican, commemorating the Pope’s 25th anniversary of his leadership; from the Pentagon, one year after 9/11 to reopen the wing destroyed by the hijackers; and from the Tower of London on the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne. For the day to day shows, Ross super-charged the pacing, format, graphics, and music along with creating award-winning promotion and marketing campaigns. Her morning trajectory continued even after she became executive producer of PrimeTime Llve and she was credited with driving GMA within 40,000 viewers of Today.
At ABC, Ross also executive produced David Blaine’s Drowned Alive, a week-long live event in Lincoln Center which ended with the successful live 2-hour televised ABC entertainment special which in the last half hour beat the season finale of “24,” one of toughest nights of the season.
In late 2007, CBS News hired Ross as senior executive producer to relaunch CBS News’ Early Show, at which time she changed the architecture of the studio, the set, music, graphics, editorial content, pacing of the show and more. During her 23-week tenure, she increased the key demographics of the show by 22%, adding 195,000 new viewers (25-54). This, during a news cycle where every other daily network news broadcast was down year to year. CBS’ Evening News with Katie Couric, sharing the same network resources, saw a demo loss of 340,000 viewers in those same weeks.
Ross’ directing debut was in 2010: a one-hour PBS concert Special, “4TROOPS: Live From the Intrepid” for Sony Masterworks. 4TROOPS, all combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, came together as performers to raise money for veterans in need and awareness of the sacrifices of all troops and their families.
On January 11, 2011, Ross launched daily Xpress, a news and pop culture blog with the dictum, “we put our name to it,” her personal note to anonymous bloggers whom she calls “anonymouses.”
Early in her career, Ross wrote sitcoms and variety shows. Three weeks into her first network television job, she booked and produced the first ever interview with Charles Manson for Tom Snyder and NBC’s Tomorrow Show. Back then, that interview more than tripled the ratings in the history of the time slot. (Average ratings were 2.2; Charles Manson interview was 6.9)
Before her television career, Ross worked as a reporter for the Miami Herald and Pompano Sun-Sentinel and Ft. Lauderdale News. At age 24, she became the youngest editor of the National Enquirer. Ross has also co-authored three editions of a medical book with a professor of clinical neurology at UCLA which The New England Journal of Medicine called “the best patient-oriented book on multiple sclerosis.” It was recently among the medical books selected for the launch of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s website, “Sharecare.”
She is also the author of a political history book, Fall From Grace: The History of Sex, Scandal and Corruption from 1702 to the Present (Ballantine 1988.) Fall From Grace has been published in South Korea, Germany and other countries around the world, including in the U.K. as Washington Babylon, which Sir Bob Geldof called “the world’s sexiest history book.” It has also received high praise from presidential historian Michael Beschloss and ABC News legend Sam Donaldson.
Shelley Ross lives in New York City and New Canaan, CT with her husband, a British- born music industry veteran.