Making a break in the entertainment industry takes hard work, careful attention, and a strong vision. Today we speak with a woman who achieved great heights in film and television. Channing Dungey is a TV executive and the first black American president of a major broadcast television network. In this rich and inspiring episode, we talk with Channing about her journey to the top and beyond. We open the show by hearing about her earliest years, as she tells listeners about how she has always been enchanted by stories. After graduating from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, Channing pursued a career in the industry. In the years that followed, she became a path maker and mold-breaker as she steadily climbed the ranks. We ask Channing how she made her way into television, as she touches on the ebbs and flows of the film industry of the early 2000s, and why she connected with the TV medium. Diving into deeper detail, Channing shares some of the attributes that make a good television show, noting emotional connection and the longevity of a captivating story told over several seasons. On her various professional roles, Channing walks listeners through her career path so far, as she shares anecdotes about working for Steven Seagal, her stints running a production company, and what ultimately led her to take on the role of President of Entertainment at ABC. Channing continues by explaining the details of her role, and why, after 15 years of fulfilling work with ABC, it was time to move onto a new challenge: Netflix. Toward the end of the show, Channing opens up about the importance of hiring people of color and embracing women in entertainment. She lays out how new stories can be told, and why more diverse production teams, casts, and stories can and must be championed. To hear more on empowering women and people of color, as well as Channing’s triumphant journey in television and film, be sure to join us.
Key Points From This Episode:
We introduce today’s special guest, television executive, Channing Dungey.
Channing tells us about her journey into film.
Hear about Channing’s first gig in the industry as a script reader and story editor.
Channing touches on the route she took to become the president of ABC.
How the film landscape was pushing writers into TV roles.
Channing shares details on her journey to become President of Entertainment at ABC.
We hear how Channing’s role has led her to get involved with a variety of content.
Some of the things Channing looks for in a good show.
What led Channing to continue her career with Netflix.
How to broadcast production differs from streaming.
Channing touches on how to get more diversity in TV shows.
Why, according to Channing, there is nothing more important than working with women.
The work-life balance for working moms in the entertainment industry.
Maintaining teamwork among partners who are working professionals.
What Channing hopes to achieve with her latest chapter in life.
What COVID means for the entertainment industry.
Channing’s advice for those wanting to get into the film industry.