ABC's New President Channing Dungey Is The First Black Person To Lead A Major Network

Channing Dungey helped launch shows like "Scandal," "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Nashville."
Channing Dungey was named president of ABC Entertainment on Wednesday.
Channing Dungey was named president of ABC Entertainment on Wednesday.
Tibrina Hobson via Getty Images

Channing Dungey has been named president of ABC Entertainment Group, the network announced Wednesday.

Dungey is the first black person to lead a major broadcast network. She replaces outgoing president Paul Lee, who has helmed ABC programming since 2010 and pushed for more diversity at the network.

"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," Disney-ABC Television Group chairman Ben Sherwood said in a statement.

Dungey, previously an executive vice president responsible for ABC's drama development, helped launch many of the network's most popular shows, including "Scandal," "How to Get Away with Murder," "Once Upon a Time" and "Nashville."

Lee's resignation and Dungey's promotion reportedly came after a power struggle at the network. According to a New York Times report, Lee and Sherwood disagreed over programming strategy:

Mr. Lee and Mr. Sherwood have repeatedly clashed over control of ABC’s creative pipeline. Mr. Sherwood, whose background is in television news, wanted to be more involved in ABC’s affairs than Mr. Lee allowed. Mr. Sherwood also wanted ABC to focus more on CBS-style procedural crime series like “N.C.I.S.,” while Mr. Lee continued to back serialized dramas like “Scandal” and “American Crime.”

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