Sonar Entertainment Appoints New CEO (Exclusive)

David Ellender will take over for Tom Lesinski, who will become director of the indie studio's board of directors.
Courtesy of Sonar Entertainment
David Ellender (left) and Tom Lesinski

There's a change at the top of Sonar Entertainment.

Former CEO Tom Lesinski is transitioning to a new position as director of the indie studio's board of directors. In his place, former president of global distribution and co-productions David Ellender has been appointed new CEO.

"David's promotion to CEO is a testament to the transformative spirit he's brought to Sonar and represents our belief in his ability to continue to evolve our company," Sonar chairman Gabriel de Alba said. "He has tremendous experience and understanding of the nuances and opportunities specific to the independent studio model."

Since joining Sonar in 2016, Ellender has led worldwide program sales and landed series pickups such as Tom Hardy starrer Taboo (awaiting word on its second season at FX) and AMC's Pierce Brosnan drama The Son (which wrapped its second and final season earlier this year).

At Sonar, exec vp and chief strategy officer Scott Packman, exec vp development and production Matt Loze, senior vp finance Chan Park and family and factual entertainment president Andrea Gorfolova will all now report to Ellender.

"As I move on to a new opportunity in the coming weeks, I am proud of the last five years of building Sonar into one of the leading independent TV production companies," Lesinski said. "With strong leadership, great talent and an exciting slate of new shows, we have positioned Sonar as a leader in creating premium scripted content for global audiences. David has been fundamental to Sonar's success, and I am confident he will excel in this new role and elevate the company further alongside Scott, Matt, Chan and Andrea. I look forward to continuing to support the new team as an active director of the board."

During his tenure as CEO, Lesinski was active in developing The Shannara Chronicles, Mr. Mercedes, The Hunt, Lorena and Das Boot, among other shows, and expanded the company's family content through the acquisition of Tricon Films and Television.

Before joining Sonar, Ellender served as CEO and was a board member at Slingshot Global Media as well as a former Fremantlemedia CEO.

Sonar is currently in production on Amazon's The Hunt.