ABC shakeup: Paul Lee allegedly forced out, Channing Dungey promoted

Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 2:20:18 PM
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Paul Lee is out as ABC Entertainment president, and the company has named Channing Dungey as his replacement. She becomes the first African-American to head a major broadcast network.

ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee, who helped launch shows like How To Get Away With Murder and Scandal, has stepped down from the Walt Disney-owned broadcasting network.

The New York Times reports that the move was made due to Lee clashing with Ben Sherwood, the head of all of Disney's entertainment networks.

"Mr. Sherwood became Mr. Lee's boss early last year and has used ABC's soft standing in the overall ratings race to make a case inside Disney for a management shake-up at the network," states the NYT article.

ABC currently ranks third among the four major broadcast networks in the coveted 18-to-49 demographic.

Shortly after reports of Lee's resignation became public, ABC confirmed Lee's exit and announced that executive vice president of drama, Channing Dungey, will be his replacement.

Dungey becomes the first African-American to lead a major broadcast network. She was instrumental in the development of shows like Scandal, Criminal Minds, and How To Get Away With Murder.

"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," said Sherwood. "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 also made a statement about stepping down from the position he's held since 2010. "Leading ABC has been a fantastic experience," he said. "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."

At this time, it's unclear if or how Lee's departure might impact General Hospital, which is currently headed by ABC Executive Vice President Vicki Drummer.

What do you think about Lee allegedly being forced out of ABC? Do you think his exit could have an impact on GH, large or small? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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