Against all odds, Bob Ross became a streaming hero. Then people started to question how it happened.

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Against all odds, Bob Ross became a streaming hero. Then people started to question how it happened.

The move had been engineered by Joan Kowalski, aided by digital distributor Janson Media. Joan’s mother Annette Kowalski had discovered Ross in 1982 when she took his painting class in Clearwater, Fla; Annette and her husband, Walt, a former CIA officer, decided to back Ross workshops around the country. They soon created “Joy” with him for WIPB in Muncie, Ind., and also formed a company with him and his then-wife, Jane. Joan Kowalski, who had become president of the firm in 2012, saw Ross’s aging fan base and wanted to inject some youth.



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