LA Times

New ABC Entertainment President’s Mission: To Make ABC More Successful and More Profitable

Feb 22, 2016  •  Post A Comment

The new network head at ABC opened up about the shakeup among the network’s top executives and what she plans to do in her new position. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Channing Dungey said of the sudden exit of Paul Lee: “I think the timing definitely came as a bit of a surprise. Paul has been a really great mentor to me over the years and I had always felt that there was a sense that I might be his successor should it come to that, but the timing of these things — one day, I was doing one job and the next day, I was doing a different one.”

The phone interview also included Dungey’s boss, Disney Media Networks Co-Chair Ben Sherwood, who pulled the trigger on the executive shakeup. Said Sherwood: “I get that drama and timing make for a good story. But I think that’s overblown. Paul did a lot for ABC. It was time for a change. And we need fresh air and new thinking. We all believe that ABC can do a lot better.” Sherwood added: “I think the mission that Channing has — that we all have here — is make ABC even stronger and to make ABC even more successful and to make ABC even more profitable.”

How to go about raising profits at a time when broadcast nets face shrinking audiences? Says Dungey: “Hopefully by making good television. Look, it is definitely a different landscape than it was when I joined the business. That said, there are still a ton of people watching television, they’re just watching it in different ways than they used to. We’re focused both on our linear model and then, also, looking at the different digital opportunities out there to share our stories with the world.”

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