Karey Burke, current head of Freeform original programming development, has been named president of ABC Entertainment, after the decision by Channing Dungey to step down from the role.
Ms. Burke will be responsible for all development, programming, casting, marketing, business affairs and scheduling operations for ABC prime time and late-night. Upon completion of the 21st Century Fox acquisition, Ms. Burke will then report to Dana Walden, chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment. Her replacement at Freeform will be announced at a later date.
Bob Iger, chairman, and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, said “I’m grateful to Channing for her significant contributions and unwavering dedication to the success of ABC over the past 14 years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to work with and mentor Channing. Her curiosity, passion, and creativity will ensure she is successful in whatever path she chooses going forward.” Mr. Iger continued, “Over the past four years at Freeform, and throughout her career, Karey has proven herself a gifted leader with a strong track record of developing unique programming. Karey’s attention to, and intimate knowledge of, the audience, and a commitment to quality will be a great addition to the creative team at ABC.”
Ms. Burke added, “I am thrilled to be joining the wonderful team at ABC and look forward to working with them to create groundbreaking and memorable television together. ABC is a beloved brand, and I am honored to continue the legacy left by Channing of excellent storytelling that touches so many people’s hearts. As for Freeform, we are coming off our strongest and most profitable year yet, and I am deeply proud of our bold, inclusive programming and brand. Moreover, the team at Freeform is as good as they come. I will miss them massively and will be cheering them on loudly from down the street.”
Ms. Burke was named executive vice president, Programming and Development at Freeform in October 2014, where she was charged with overseeing all scripted and unscripted development and current original programming, in addition to casting and talent development. Ms. Burke was also responsible for creating and executing a cohesive programming strategy for multiplatform distribution, and accelerating and amplifying the high-quality, brand-defining content for which Freeform is known. During her tenure, she had great success building on Freeform’s strong foundation, delivering the No. 1 new cable comedy and No. 1 new cable drama of 2018 for the network’s target audience of W18-34 with “grown-ish” and “Siren.” She also continued Freeform’s dominance as the No. 1 most social cable channel with buzz-worthy shows like “The Bold Type” and “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.”
Prior to joining the network, Ms. Burke partnered with director Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle,” “The Larry Sanders Show”) in Dark Toy Entertainment, which they created in 2010, producing “Free Agents” for NBC, as well as Matthew Perry’s comedy “Go On.” Previously, she joined forces with Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg as the third partner in their company, Katalyst Films. Ms. Burke oversaw the television division and a busy slate of scripted and reality programming, including “Miss Guided” and “The Beautiful Life,” in addition to the groundbreaking digital series “Blah Girls” and “Katalyst HQ.”
n discussing her decision to leave, Ms. Dungey stated, “I’m incredibly proud of what the team and I have accomplished over the years, and all the meaningful and impactful programming we’ve developed. This job has been the highlight of my career. While I’ve loved every moment and knew I could call ABC home for many years to come, I’m excited to tackle new challenges. The toughest thing about this choice is leaving all the immensely talented people I’ve grown to admire and care for; from Bob Iger, the best leader and mentor that anyone could have, to my peers and colleagues, to my talented team, whom I will miss enormously. But knowing that Karey is taking over, a person that I like and respect so deeply makes passing the baton a lot easier. I know that, together, under Peter and Dana’s leadership, they are going to achieve great things and I will be rooting for their success.”
Ms. Dungey will stay through a transition period as Ms. Burke assumes her new role.
During her time at ABC, Ms. Dungey built a home for talented and provocative producers to realize their vision. Pushing the envelope was encouraged. As such, she enjoyed great success, helping identify and shepherd a wide variety of award-winning, critically acclaimed and fan-favorite programming that includes “The Good Doctor,” “The Rookie,” “Single Parents,” “Speechless,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Black-ish,” “Designated Survivor,” “American Crime,” “Nashville,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Private Practice,” “Criminal Minds” and many others.
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