Channing Dungey Becomes ABC Entertainment's First Black Network President
Didn’t we tell you that Black History Month was going to be insanely good this year?
Making history today is Channing Dungey, who, according to Deadline, will serve ABC Entertainment as its new (see: first) broadcast network president.
“Channing is a gifted leader and a proven magnet for top creative talent, with an impressive record of developing compelling, breakthrough programming that resonates with viewers,” Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney | ABC Television Group, said in a statement on Wednesday. Dungy will be replacing Paul Lee, who resigned from his post recently.
Reports place that Sherwood pushed Lee out due to his soft ratings and Dungey’s close relationship with hit TV maker, Shonda Rhimes. Dungey, who has produced in film (Showtime, Queen of the Damned) and helped usher “Shondaland” on ABC, has overseen popular shows such as Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Quantico to name a few.
“I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity,” Dungey said. “And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I have had the great honor of working alongside the talented team at ABC for many years and look forward to starting this exciting new chapter with them.” Diversity, which has been on the lips of many in the entertainment business, has found a home at ABC with shows like Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat and Mr. Ken leading the charge.
Other networks are following in ABC’s footsteps in an attempt to buoy their lagging slates.
Rumors were bandied about Lee possibly Leaving ABC ever since Sherwood was named as Anne Sweeney’s replacement in spring of 2014. Lee surprised many in the business by re-upping his contract, and went on to preside over one of the most successful broadcast seasons in recent years. Previously, Lee headed ABC Family before taking over ABC in 2010 after Steve McPherson resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.