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Channing Dungey Replaces Paul Lee As Head Of ABC Entertainment

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In a quick turnover of events, ABC Entertainment has replaced their chief Paul Lee with ABC’s former Drama head Channing Dungey. Dungey is now the first African American woman to have become the head of a large TV network.

Lee, who has been in charge since 2010, was known for being a front-runner in the attempt to bring racially diverse sitcoms on screen, backing shows like Fresh Off the Boat and Quantico. His hasty removal came as a surprise to many, as reported by The New York Times. According to the report, Lee was ousted because of internal clashes with Ben Sherwood (Disney-ABC Television Group chairman). However San Fransisco Gate mentions in their report that a source has denied that Lee was pushed out, claiming instead that “it was simply time for a change.”

Dungey, who will now report to Sherwood, has said in a statement that she is ‘thrilled and humbled’ to have been given the job, while calling Lee a ‘valued mentor and friend’.

I’m thrilled and humbled that Ben has entrusted me with this tremendous opportunity. And I am truly grateful to Paul for being a valued mentor and friend. I’ve had the great honor of working alongside the talented team at ABC for many years and look forward to starting this exciting new chapter with them.

Meanwhile, Dungey’s new boss Sherwood said the following:

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. We thank Paul for his many accomplishments at ABC and his devotion to the ABC brand, and we wish him continued success in the future.

Lee seems to have no bad blood with ABC or Dungey, wishing her the best in the following 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,’” he continued. “I wish Channing and Patrick all the best.

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