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ABC Shakeup: Paul Lee Exits As President, Channing Dungey Named To Succeed Him

Nellie Andreeva | Deadline   in 
February 17, 2016

In a major executive upheaval in the middle of pilot season, ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee has abruptly left the network. ABC head of drama Channing Dungey has been named president of ABC Entertainment.

Ben Sherwood, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC Television Group, made today’s announcement. Dungey, who oversaw the development of such ABC shows as Scandal, Criminal Minds, How To Get Away With Murder, Quantico, Army Wives and Once Upon A Time, will report directly to Sherwood. Her replacement as EVP drama development, movies and minis was not named in the announcement. In addition, Patrick Moran, EVP, ABC Studios, will continue to oversee day-to-day operations, and report directly to Sherwood. It is unclear who will succeed Dungey as head of ABC’s drama department.

There had been rumors about Lee possibly leaving ABC ever since Sherwood was named to replace Anne Sweeney in spring of 2014. At the time, Lee re-upped his contract, and went on to preside over one of the most successful broadcast seasons in recent years, as ABC last season launched a number of strong series led by HTGAWM. But that did not quell speculation that Lee, who was named to his job in 2010, did not see eye to eye with Sherwood, who’d actually assumed his current post in February of ’15 when Sweeney stepped down.

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