Channing Dungey, executive VP of drama at ABC, has been named entertainment president of ABC, replacing Paul Lee, who was ousted in a power struggle with Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television. She’s the first African-American to head programming at a major broadcast network. Dungey will now report directly to Sherwood.
“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,” said Sherwood. “We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.”
Dungey, who’s been with the network since 2009 (and its affiliated studio since 2004), is credited with developing many of the Alphabet’s successful dramas, including “Scandal,” “Quantico,” “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” “How to Get Away With Murder” and “American Crime.”
Dungey said: “I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity. And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I’ve 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.”
Lee has held the position of entertainment president since 2010, having moved over from ABC Family. “Leading ABC has been a fantastic experience,” he said. “I’m especially proud of the incredible team I built and the strategic, creative vision we established and successfully executed for both the network and studio.”
As part of the transition, Patrick Moran, executive VP of ABC Studios, will now oversee day-to-day operations. The well-liked exec is poised for a career boost as well. His contract is up at the end of this season, so a title bump is likely. He’ll now report directly to Sherwood, so a layer has been removed.
Dungey began her career as a development assistant for Davis Entertainment at 20th Century Fox. She then became story editor at Steamroller Productions, where she worked on the development and production of such films as “Under Siege” and “On Deadly Ground.” Following that, she joined Warner Bros. as a production executive, helping to develop films including “Bridges of Madison County,” “Heat,” “The Matrix” and “Practical Magic.”