For the First Time, an African American Woman Will Run One of TV's "Big Four" Networks


Breaking barriers in more than one way, Channing Dungey this year became the first African American president of ABC Entertainment Group. Glamour has more on the MAKERS women's leadership platform. - An African American executive has never held the top spot at one of television's "big four" broadcast networks—CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox—until now. And the programming whiz busting through that barrier is a woman: Channing Dungey, who was named president of ABC Entertainment yesterday afternoon.

Dungey, who began her Hollywood career as an assistant at 20th Century Fox, has been with ABC and ABC Studios since 2004. She's developed such drama hits as Army Wives, Criminal Minds, Private Practice, Nashville, Once Upon a Time, American Crime, and 2/3 of our beloved TGIT block: Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder.

The appointment of Dungey—pictured above at the 2015 Emmys with ABC Studios senior vice president of drama development Nne Ebong—is a gratifying bit of HR news, and not just because it rewards her track record and marks a historic moment for the business. Dungey will preside over a network that has proven, over the past several years, that audiences both crave and relate to series about nonwhite people. It's not just Shonda Rhimes' addictive hits—Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish, and American Crime have all proved to have staying power and broad appeal.

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