Anne Sweeney
Title: Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group
Age: 49
Years in Industry: “Quite a few.”
Years left in Industry: “Plenty.”

Rich Ross
Title: President, Disney Channel Worldwide
Age: 46
Years in Industry: 21

Gary Marsh
Title: President, entertainment, Disney Channel Worldwide
Years in Industry: 23
Years left in Industry: “Just enough.”

Why Them? After the Disney gang landed in the number one slot in ’06 on the heels of the “High School Musical” phenomenon, we didn’t expect Sweeney to lead yet another galactic rebellion. But then “High School Musical 2” premiered on Disney Channel, breaking just about every cable programming record in the universe. And we just had to put her in the top 5 yet again. HSM is unstoppable: Some 2K high schools in the U.S. (and hundreds internationally) are producing school-play versions (that’s a play within a play within a play, right?). Meanwhile, the phenom has spurred albums, online communities… you name it. Furthermore, Sweeney has deftly managed a finely tuned marketing machine that uses all of Disney’s properties to maximize profits under each banner—whether HSM, “Cheetah Girls,” “Hannah Montana” or the scores of other influential Disney franchises that just keep on giving to the bottom line. Rich Ross and Gary Marsh continue to mind the Disney Channel store, using HSM’s success to promote other Disney Channel properties in the U.S. and all over the world. With the dollar weakening in the U.S., that international reach helps Disney pad its profits with foreign currency—all while extending the Disney brand everywhere there’s a TV set, music store, movie house or computer. Remember back in the ’80s when Disney was a faltering cartoon clearinghouse that had lost its way? Before it owned ABC, ESPN and seemingly half the media universe? And, of course, before Anne Sweeney and her excellent team took the Disney brand to the next level? Yeah, we don’t remember either. Disney is a major force, folks. And it’s here to stay.  MG

Anne Sweeney
I knew the cable industry was for me when: “I got my first job and realized we could
make it up as we went along.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Follow the viewers, not the rules.”
The coolest new cable tech is: “VOD with fast forward feature disabled.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Cable Hall of Fame.”
Person (other than my current boss) who I’d most like to work for: “I already work for the guy everyone wants to work for.”
Favorite restaurant: “It’s still the one with the best wireless reception.”
In my free time, I like to: “Answer CableFAX questionnaires.” (And we love ya for it, Anne!)
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Phil, Chris and Rosie.”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Phil, Chris, Rosie and I are on a desert island…”
Person I most admire in cable and why: “Jim Robbins… no need to ask why, everyone already knows.”

Rich Ross
Favorite restaurant: “The Ivy in London”
Favorite city: “New York”
Favorite TV show: “Top Chef”
In my free time, I like to: “Go out to eat (do you see a pattern here?)”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Getting two Mondays off in a row!”
Favorite sports team: “The Wildcats” (Editor’s Note: If you don’t get that, you must not have kids).
The three most played songs on my iPod are: “Entire Albums by Mika, Jill and Bruce Springsteen”

Gary Marsh
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Steven Colbert. He entertains half his audience and goofs on the other half .”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “That there isn’t a High School Musical Channel… yet.”    
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Record setting ratings performance of High School Musical 2.”   
In my free time, I like to: “Go to Daddy and Me.”
Favorite restaurant: “Any place with high chairs.”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Jody (my wife), Zoey (my daughter) and  LaLa (a stuffed animal given to Zoey by Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. It goes everywhere with us),”
Favorite song: “You Are The Music In Me” (from HSM2)  
The three most played songs on my iPod are: “Delilah,” by Plain White Tees;
“Where , Oh Where, Is My  Underwear,” by Barney Saltzberg; “Ready, Set, Don’t Go,” by Billy Ray Cyrus
The world would be a better place if: “No one  sent or  received e-mails after 8 pm (at least  that’s what my wife tells me!)”

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