Channing Dungey Exits ABC Network
Channing Dungey, the first African American to lead a U.S. broadcast network, has departed her role as president of ABC Entertainment. She is seen here attending Glamour x Tory Burch Women To Watch Lunch on September 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California – Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images North America.
Channing Dungey, the first African American to lead a U.S. broadcast network, has departed her role as president of ABC Entertainment, according to senior TV reporter Daniel Holloway of the well known entertainment industry news magazine Variety. Karey Burke, head of original programming for cable channel Freeform, has been tapped to replace her.
Dungey’s departure comes as corporate parent Disney prepares for a massive overhaul of its television business units tied to the pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Last month, Disney announced that Fox executive Peter Rice would take over the entirety of Disney’s non-sports TV operations, with fellow Fox veteran Dana Walden tapped to oversee ABC, Freeform, and Disney’s television-studio operations. The arrangement would have seen Channing Dungey report to Walden, who had been co-head of Fox Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox Television.
“I’m grateful to Channing for her significant contributions and unwavering dedication to the success of ABC over the past 14 years,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with and mentor Channing; her curiosity, passion and creativity will ensure she is successful in whatever path she chooses going forward.”
Iger added, “Over the past four years at Freeform, and throughout her career, Karey has proven herself a gifted leader with a strong track record of developing unique programming. Karey’s attention to, and intimate knowledge of, the audience, and a commitment to quality will be a great addition to the creative team at ABC.”
A 14-year ABC veteran, Channing Dungey was tapped to head the network in 2016 after leading the network’s drama development team — shepherding series such as Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, which came to define the network’s brand. However, Rhimes exited her deal with ABC Studios last year for a lucrative pact with Netflix, with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris following suit earlier this year. Dungey’s stature in the industry grew this year when she made the decision to cancel the revival of Roseanne, television’s highest rated program, following racist comments made by series star Roseanne Barr.
Channing Dungey, who will reports to Walden, was named head of development at Freeform in 2014. Her replacement at the youth-skewing cable channel has not been named. Prior to joining Freeform, Burke was partnered with director Todd Holland in Dark Toy Entertainment, which they created in 2010. Channing Dungey also worked with Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg as the third partner in their company, Katalyst Films. Burke oversaw the television division and a busy slate of scripted and reality programming, including Miss Guided and The Beautiful Life, in addition to the digital series Blah Girls and Katalyst HQ.