Channing Dungey Appointed ABC Entertainment Chief, Makes History as First Black Broadcast-Network President

Channing Dungey

Making history. Channing Dungey was appointed ABC’s new entertainment president on Tuesday, February 17, becoming the first African-American to head programming at a major broadcast network. She replaces Paul Lee, who held the post for six years.

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Dungey, who has been with the network since 2009 and was executive VP of drama development, movies and miniseries, helped develop such ABC hits as Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Quantico and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

She said in a statement that she was “thrilled and humbled” to entrusted with “this tremendous opportunity.”

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Dungey’s appointment was announced by Disney Media Networks co-chairman Ben Sherwood, who according to The New York Times, had pushed for a change in leadership due to ABC’s sagging ratings (it’s currently in last place among the top four broadcast networks).  

Paul Lee
Paul Lee. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

“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,” he said in a statement. “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.”

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