Thinkfactory Media CEO Leslie Greif is departing the production company, which he launched in 2011. The move comes as ITV PLC has acquired the remainder of Thinkfactory Media five years after Greif sold a 65% stake to the UK-based media conglom. He will launch a new entertainment venture.
Adam Reed, a 14-year Thinkfactory Media veteran, has been named new CEO. Likely in preparation for the transition, Greif promoted Reed to President of Thiunkfactory in 2016. Overseeing all aspects of production, creative and business development for the company, Reed has helped grow its footprint.
It is common practice for the owners of independent production companies who sell a majority stake to stay on for the mandated five years after the sale, until the buyer exercises an option to acquire the rest, before they move on to launch another company they could sell one day.
Greif, who founded what was originally The Greif Company in 1992, has produced a wide range of TV series, from CBS’ long-running martial arts drama Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris, and History’s Emmy-winning and highly rated miniseries Hatfields & McCoys starring Kevin Costner as well as its followup, Texas Rising starring Bill Paxton, to CMT’s period drama Sun Records and a slew of unscripted shows.
Thinkfactory’s unscripted slate includes WE tv’s ratings record-breaking Mama June: From Not to Hot, the long-running Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars (coming off its 11th season), and Million Dollar Matchmaker; A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels (which Greif and Reed created with Gene Simmons); TV One’s franchise R&B Divas; and Lifetime’s biopic Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge and Michel’le, as well as the network’s newest series My Great Big Live Wedding with David Tutera, which will premiere in early 2019. Over the course of their tenure, Greif and Reed have produced content in nearly every genre of television.
“Thinkfactory Media is one of the most unique and successful shops in our business – the legacy of Leslie Greif is undisputed and we know his next endeavor will be an immensely successful one,” said ITV America CEO David George. “We could not be more confident in Adam’s creative and business acumen, and leadership, as he takes the reins of the company. Thinkfactory is beautifully positioned to embark with ITV America on its next chapter and we’re extremely bullish on the future.”
Added Greif, “I have loved every minute I’ve spent building Thinkfactory and creating our shows, and working with ITV, an incredible partner. There is always sadness to leave your ‘baby’ but, at the same time, I feel great in leaving the company on a high note, with a robust slate and in the talented, capable hands of Adam Reed. I have full belief and confidence in him and David George to nurture the next generation of Thinkfactory, as I go full tilt into the future.”
Reed has executive-produced Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, including spinoffs Mama June: From Hot to Not and Family Boot Camp, R&B Divas and spinoff R&B Divas: Los Angeles (TV One); Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le (Lifetime), Million Dollar Matchmaker (WE tv), Married by Mom & Dad (TLC), Preachers’ Daughters (Lifetime), 4th and Loud (AMC), Big Giant Swords (Discovery), and Teach: Tony Danza (A&E). Prior to joining Thinkfactory, Reed created and directed the largest campaign in the history of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and was shortlisted at the Cannes International Advertising Festival for a spot he directed for the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It’s been a glorious 14 years at Thinkfactory, and to be given the chance to take the kind of creative risks that can change how entertainment content is made, and even defined, is an amazing gift,” Reed said. “I am grateful to Leslie who is an incomparable creative, as well as mentor and friend, and am so proud of everything we have accomplished. Looking forward, I am eager and excited to collaborate with my core team, as well as the talented team at ITV America, as we grow Thinkfactory into its next iteration during a time of unprecedented opportunity in the content business.”