Channing Dungey shattered a racial barrier today when she was named the new president of ABC Entertainment. She is the first African-American in the highest echelon of leadership at a major network.
The management shakeup at ABC comes in the wake of widespread rumors regarding clashes between Dungey and outgoing president Paul Lee. Dungey will report directly to Ben Sherwood, the president of Disney ABC-television group.
According to the New York Times, Lee resigned under pressure to make way for new leadership. ABC’s lagging ratings helped Sherwood make a compelling case to “shake up management” to get more creative direction from the position. Dungey has been with ABC for seven years, and has been involved in the development of “Shondaland” hit shows like Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder.
Dungey has had a long career in Tinseltown. As a production executive with Warner Bros., she was involved in the release of many hit movies such as Bridges of Madison County, Heat, The Matrix, Twister, Devil’s Advocate, City of Angels, Conspiracy Theory, Rosewood, Space Jam and Practical Magic.
Dungey’s elevation to such a prominent position in the television industry comes amid widespread pressure to increase diversity on and off screen. Hollywood has a well-publicized diversity deficit that many people feel isn’t being addressed. A public outcry after only white actors were nominated for the Academy Awards has meant the issue has taken center-stage recently. In the age #Oscarsowhite, this will be a welcomed development for the entertainment industry.
David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.