Channing Dungey Named Chairman of Warner Bros. TV Group

Channing Dungey
Warner Bros. TV

Channing Dungey

Channing Dungey was not on the job market for long.

After leaving Netflix on Oct. 9, the executive has landed at Warner Bros., where she'll take over as chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group. She'll succeed Peter Roth, who is stepping down when his current contract ends early next year. She'll report directly to WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff.

"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," said Sarnoff. "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, a former president of ABC Entertainment, was rumored to be the primary contender for the Warner Bros. job after Susan Rovner left for the top programming gig at NBCUniversal. That speculation intensified when Dungey left Netflix after 20 months to "pursue another opportunity," sources told The Hollywood Reporter.

"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," said Dungey. "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."

In joining Warner Bros., Dungey is moving from one company whose executive structure is in flux to another. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar began a major restructuring in August that saw WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct to consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt as well as content chief and TNT, TBS and TruTV president Kevin Reilly depart the company; a round of heavy layoffs began soon after.

The TV group is part of WarnerMedia's new studios and networks group, which brings all of the conglomerate's content teams — the film and TV studios, HBO and HBO Max, DC, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoon Network Studios, WB Animation, TBS, TNT, TruTV, Wizarding World, consumer products, experiences and gaming — under one roof, with Sarnoff as head.

Dungey was most recently vp original series at Netflix. She joined the streamer after 14 years at ABC, the last two and a half of those as president of ABC Entertainment. During her time as head of drama at the broadcast network, she helped build Shonda Rhimes' TV empire. After rising to lead the network in 2016, she greenlit shows including The Good Doctor, Grey's Anatomy spinoff Station 19, Speechless and the Roseanne revival — subsequently cancelling the latter after Roseanne Barr's racist Twitter rant in May 2018, paving the way for current spinoff The Conners.

At Netflix, she oversaw drama series including Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker, Away and Rhimes' upcoming Bridgerton, and some of the company's high-profile (and high-dollar) overall deals, including those with Rhimes, Kenya Barris, Steven DeKnight, Regina King, Mara Brock Akil, Bill Prady, Michael Green, Gina Rodriguez, and former U.S. President and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions.

But Netflix has been making some changes within its TV group following content chief Ted Sarandos’s July promotion to co-CEO alongside founder Reed Hastings. Sarandos, sources familiar with the situation previously told THR, decided to shuffle the ranks on the TV side so that the organizational structure more closely aligned with that of the film group, where Scott Stuber is the global head of film.

Instead of promoting Holland, his longtime right hand and head of English-language episodic programming, into that role, he opted to install Bela Bajaria, who had been leading international productions. Holland subsequently departed Netflix.