, the first black executive to run the entertainment division at a major network, is leaving ABC, the company said Friday.
The move was announced just a few months before the Walt Disney Company, ABC’s corporate parent, is scheduled to finish its acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox, which will greatly increase the company’s television holdings. The expanded Disney television empire will be overseen by incoming Fox executives.
Ms. Dungey, who took over the struggling broadcast network in February 2016, will be replaced by Karey Burke, a programming executive at the youth-oriented cable network Freeform. Ms. Burke will become the fourth person in eight years to hold the title of president of ABC entertainment.
Ms. Dungey was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year — an unusual spot for the publicity-shy executive — when the network made the sudden decision to cancel its biggest hit, “Roseanne,” after the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, sent a racist tweet. Ms. Dungey was widely praised — including by Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay and Viola Davis — for her public comments that referred to Ms. Barr’s tweet as “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.” But ABC has also struggled mightily in the ratings during Ms. Dungey’s tenure as the network’s entertainment president. It is once again in last place among the broadcast networks. In Ms. Dungey’s time at the network, ABC also lost Ms. Rhimes, the creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” and Kenya Barris, the creator of “black-ish.” Both signed lucrative deals with Netflix.
Still, the decision to leave was Ms. Dungey’s, and she will stay with the company for an unspecified amount of time to help with the transition. Her contract was set to expire early next year.