David Ellender to Lead CSSE-Backed Halcyon


Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE) has set up the scripted production company Halcyon Television, to be led by industry veteran David Ellender.

CSSE will launch the scripted television studio with Ellender as CEO upon the closing of the previously announced Sonar asset acquisition. The closing of the 1,300 title television and film library, scripted development portfolio and the existing TV series drama production is expected to take place in the near future.

Ellender had been serving as CEO of Sonar. Prior to this, he was CEO at Slingshot Global Media and served as CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises.

Halcyon Television has a drama development pipeline of more than 20 projects, featuring library-based and original IP sourced in the U.S. and Europe. Halcyon Television will focus on development, financing and production in the U.S. as well as forging creative partnerships in Europe with financing backed by the company and distribution by Halcyon Television’s sister affiliate Screen Media.

William J. Rouhana Jr, CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, said: “The formation of Halcyon Television will help accelerate our company’s strategy to build the leading independent AVOD network in three ways. It will expand our original content development pipeline with high-end content, increase our IP rights ownership and provide a faster path to growing our international TV production and distribution activities.”

“We look forward to building a valued asset library for the company and creating a new vision for the future of TV while continuing the company’s mission of positive entertainment that lifts the human spirit,” said David Ellender, CEO of Halcyon Television.

Joining Ellender at Halcyon Television will be Matt Loze as president of scripted entertainment, as the first of a number of executives from Sonar who will be brought to Halcyon Television. Loze added, “Halcyon Television seems a fitting name to highlight a new commitment to supporting artist’s visions in telling moving stories that resonate globally.”