Channing Dungey has been named chairwoman at Warner Bros. Television Group, making her the first Black person to hold this position.
Dungey’s historic news comes after Peter Roth’s decision to step down after 22 years. She’ll take the helm in early 2021 and report directly to Ann Saranoff, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group Chair and CEO.
“This is a homecoming of sorts for Channing, who was a production executive at Warner Bros. early in her career, and we’re excited to have her rejoin the studio,” Sarnoff said in a press release. “Channing is one of the most talented, visionary, creative and respected executives working in television today. She has impeccable taste, a breadth of experience covering all platforms and genres, incredible relationships across the creative community and a keen sense of what’s next and how best to get it to audiences. She’s a great choice to lead the television group as it continues to grow its production operations for HBO Max, while also maintaining its standing as the industry’s leading independent supplier of programming to all outlets.”
Dungey will rejoin Warner Bros., after spending 20 months at Netflix as vice president of original content. As chairwoman of Warner Bros. Television Group, she will manage WB Pictures Group, HBO and HBO Max, DC, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Wizarding World and consumer products, experiences, and gaming units.
“The Warner Bros. Television Group is the recognized industry leader in content creation and a true destination for talent based on its ability to produce across all genres and for all outlets,” Dungey said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to be joining the company at such a pivotal time in its history and look forward to working with my new colleagues at Warner Bros. and across the Studios and Networks Group to build on the incredible work of my predecessor, Peter Roth. This is such an electric time in our industry, and we have so much opportunity available to us between Warner Bros.’ core businesses and HBO Max.”
While at Netflix, Dungey was responsible for bolstering the streaming platforms drama series bringing Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker and Shonda Rhimes’ upcoming Bridgerton to the platform. She’s brought Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to Netflix and brokered several overall deals with high-profile names including Rhimes, Kenya Barris, Regina King, Mara Brock Akil, and former U.S. President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions.
Before going to Netflix, she blazed a trail at ABC where she was the first Black executive to run an entertainment division at a major network. While head of drama at the network, she helped build Rhimes Shondaland Empire, developing Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder and green lighting popular shows including The Good Doctor, Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19, Speechless, and the Roseanne revival. However, she led the charge in cancelling the show after Roseanne Barr’s racist Twitter rant in May 2018, which opened the doors for the recent spinoff, The Conners.
Dungey graduated magna cum laude from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, and has been a visiting professor at the school while working on the school’s Executive Board. She is also a founding and current board member of Step Up and a board member of Children’s Institute. She is a Los Angeles member of BAFTA and serves on the Motion Picture Television Foundation Board of Governors.