Thomas Lesinski, who has served as interim CEO of Sonar Entertainment since September, has been named CEO for the company. Lesinski, a member of Sonar’s board of directors, stepped in as a temporary replacement for Gene Stein, who left to take the top post at Gaumont International TV, while the board was searching for a permanent successor.
“In the time that Tom has taken the helm as Sonar’s interim CEO, he has without question demonstrated how ideally suited he is to guide our ongoing growth and expansion,” said Gabriel de Alba, Chairman of Sonar Entertainment and Managing Director and Partner at the Catalyst Capital Group. “He has the vision and the leadership skills to ensure that the momentum the company currently enjoys will continue and accelerate moving forward.”
Known in the past mostly for longform fare, Sonar under Stein has shifted its focus to series and ramped up its output with shows that it finances. Those include MTV’s fantasy series The Shannara Chronicles, executive produced by Al Gough, Miles Millar and Jon Favreau, and the Eli Roth-helmed series South of Hell, produced by Blumhouse Productions, which aired on WE tv. The company also has the BBC/FX series Taboo, starring Tom Hardy with Ridley Scott producing.
The company’s development slate includes Mr. Mercedes, based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel and adapted by David E. Kelley with Jack Bender directing; an adaptation of The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, written by Vivek J. Tiwary; and Florida Roadkill, based on Tim Dorsey’s blackly comic Serge Storms crime novels.
Lesinski has served on the Sonar board since 2013. He was the CEO and founder of Energi Entertainment and is the former president of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment and president of Worldwide Home Entertainment for Paramount. Prior to that, he was at Warner Bros for 10 years, last serving as EVP & General Manager of the Home Entertainment Division.