February 17, 2016


ABC Hires First Black President of a Major Network

David Livingston/Getty Images for TheWrap
David Livingston/Getty Images for TheWrap

ABC Entertainment received a major shake-up on Wednesday (February 17), as Channing Dungey has been named the network's new president. This marks the first time the major network, or any of the major networks, has been headed by a black president. 

The announcement comes after Paul Lee, the former chief, left ABC after almost six years. He shared this statement:

“Leading ABC has been a fantastic experience. 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. Together, we’ve transformed ABC into one of the strongest brands in television, with shows like ‘Scandal,’ ‘Blackish,’ ‘Once Upon a Time,’ ‘How to Get Away with Murder,’ ‘The Goldbergs,’ ‘Revenge,’ ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ ‘Quantico,’ ‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ and ‘American Crime’. I wish Channing and Patrick all the best."

Dungey, who was previously ABC's drama chief, is best known for her work on popular television series like How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, Quantico and Criminal Minds. She will now report to Ben Sherwood, who is the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney|ABC Television Group. After becoming Lee's boss last year, he and Sherwood reportedly butted heads when it came to decisions like strategy and programming choices.

Despite the entertainment industry currently being in the midst of pilot season, Dungey's well-seasoned experience with ABC should put the network at ease as she makes a historic career move.