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ABC Comedy Chief Jamila Hunter to Join Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society (EXCLUSIVE)

Jamila Hunter, ABC’s senior vice president of comedy development, is leaving the network for an executive position at Kenya Barris’ production company, Variety has learned exclusively.

Hunter will be president of television at Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society. The news comes two months after Barris exited his overall deal at ABC Studios for a reported $100 million deal at Netflix. Barris’ ABC deal was due to run through 2021, but the “Black-ish” creator began negotiating his exit earlier this year.

“Jamila has always understood my vision as a storyteller — and that was evident when she bought ‘Black-ish’ in the room five years ago,” Barris said. “She’s continued to be a champion of the work every day since that meeting, and I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to reunite with her in this chapter of Khalabo Ink Society. I consider her not only a personal friend, but a professional ally and someone I truly believe has one of the greatest taste meters in town.”

News of Hunter’s exit also comes as ABC is expecting to see more shakeups once Disney closes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Earlier this month, Disney named Fox TV leaders Peter Rice and Dana Walden to oversee the ABC network and the combined ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television operation, and more changes are expected after the deal closes early next year.

Hunter was promoted to senior VP at ABC in 2016 after having served as VP since 2011. During her time at the network, she helped shepherd hit shows such as Barris’ “Black-ish,” as well as “Fresh Off the Boat,” “The Real O’Neals,” and “Last Man Standing.”  In late 2015, her role was expanded with multi-platform comedy development added to her purview, thus working with talent who develop and produce original short-form content for ABC’s app, plus collaborating with the net’s digital team on marketing and launching each digital series.

Prior to ABC, Hunter was part of the creative team that launched Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, and before that, was senior VP of alternative and digital programming at NBC. From 2005 to 2008, she worked as VP of comedy development at 20th Century Fox Television where she was responsible for developing and overseeing new live-action and animated comedies. She also held the post of VP of development and production at Bravo where she re-branded the channel and was part of the launch teams on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Project Runway.” She began her career in entertainment at NBC in 1997.

Hunter is repped by attorney Jeanne Newman. Barris is repped by CAA, Artists First, and attorney Gregg Gellman.

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