ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey Exits Amid Shakeup

Channing Dungey (Credit: Deposit Photos)

ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey is leaving the Disney-owned network, according to published reports.

Dungey — the first African-American woman to run the entertainment division at a major network — replaced Paul Lee when he left the company in 2016.

During her time in the role, she greenlit the Roseanne revival, oversaw the debut of the show’s spinoff, The Conners, and added The Good Doctor to ABC’s lineup, one of the network’s most popular dramas.

Dungey also earned widespread praise for her swift response to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett.

Read MoreRoseanne Barr Rips ‘The Conners’ for Killing Off Her Character

Dungey gave the green light to the "Roseanne" revival. (Credit: Deposit Photos)
Dungey gave the green light to the “Roseanne” revival. (Credit: Deposit Photos)

However, in recent months the network’s ratings have fallen and it has seen the departures of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris. Both left for lucrative production deals with Netflix.

Before Channing Dungey became ABC Entertainment president, she helped build Rhimes’ empire while working in the network’s drama division. She has been an employee with ABC since 2004.

The television executive and producer said in a statement to the media about her departure: “I’m incredibly proud of what the team and I have accomplished over the years, and all the meaningful and impactful programming we’ve developed. This job has been the highlight of my career.”

She continued: “While I’ve loved every moment, and knew I could call ABC home for many years to come, I’m excited to tackle new challenges. The toughest thing about this choice is leaving all the immensely talented people I’ve grown to admire and care for, from Bob Iger, the best leader and mentor that anyone could have; to my peers and colleagues; to my talented team, who I will miss enormously.”

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Dungey’s replacement is Karey Burke, the current head of programming at Disney’s youth-oriented cable network Freeform.  Burke — who will assume the position immediately — grew Freeform’s viewership with shows including Grownish, The Bold Type and Siren.

Burke joined Freeform in 2014, and was previously executive vice president of primetime series at NBC, overseeing shows such as Friends, Will and Grace, The West Wing, ER, Scrubs, Freaks and Geeks, Mad About You, to name a few.

She announced in a statement about her new role: “I am thrilled to be joining the wonderful team at ABC, and look forward to working with them to create groundbreaking, and memorable, television together.

“ABC is a beloved brand, and I am honored to continue the legacy left by Channing of excellent storytelling that touches so many people’s hearts.”

Burke will report to incoming Disney TV Studios chairman Dana Walden when the company officially acquires 21st Century Fox.