By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — One of the top Black women executives in the entertainment industry has a major new job. Channing Dungey, formerly vice president of originals at Netflix, will succeed Peter Roth as chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group when he steps down in early 2021. The announcement was carried Monday in various entertainment publications and on multiple websites, though initially reported in Variety.
“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,” WarnerMedia studios and networks group chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said. “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’s new role is part of an overall restructuring at the WBTV group by the parent WarnerMedia. It was initiated by newly installed WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. The company in recent months has shifted its emphasis to direct-to-consumer services — HBO Max entered the streaming melee in May — and hundreds of layoffs across Warner Bros., HBO, DC Entertainment and other media brands.
“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. “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, I cannot wait to dive in.”
While at Netflix, Dungey brought them “Game of Thrones”‘ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and inked overall producing deals with Regina King, Mara Brock Akil, Bill Prady, Michael Green, and Gina Rodriguez. Among the series she shepherded during her time at Netflix were the Octavia Spencer special “Self Made: Inspired By The Life of Madam CJ Walker,” Hilary Swank’s “Away,” and Shonda Rhimes’ “Bridgerton,” plus a yet-to-be-titled series about conwoman Anna Delvey. Dungey also was involved in the acquisition of Darren Star’s “Emily in Paris.”