EBU: Reference Group revamped with three new members

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,400 views

Three new members have joined the Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group this year, thus revamping the governing body of our beloved contest. The nine member committee will now consist of four ladies and five men who will be responsible to supervise the smooth running of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Three new members have joined the Reference Group this year: Ms Carla Bugalho (RTP/Portugal), Ms. Zivit Davidovitch (KAN/Israel) and Ms. Rachel Ashdown (BBC/United Kingdom) and will be thus replacing  Mr. Edoardo Grassi (FT/France), Mr. Martin Österdahl  (SVT/Sweden) and Mr. João Nuno Nogueira (RTP/Portugal).

The three new members

Carla Bugalho Trindade (RTP) is the Portuguese Head of Delegation and she joined the Reference Group after Portugal won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Carla played a key role at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest as she was the the Show Producer and Deputy Executive Producer of the contest in Lisbon.

Rachel Ashdown (BBC) works in BBC Entertainment Commissioning Department and has been involved in the UK’S Eurovision Song Contest selection show and has worked on numerous BBC 1 Saturday night shows and series. She has worked as a freelance Executive Producer specialising in Entertainment Series and Events before joining the BBC. She was invited to join the Reference Group in 2018.
Zivit Davidovitch (KAN/IPBC) © Yossi Tzooker

Zivit Davidovitch (KAN/IPBC) has been appointed as the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest Executive Producer by host broadcaster KAN. She has been Vice President Content and Production, Head of Production (Chief Producer) and Vice President Production at Channel Ten in Israel.

The Reference Group’s Role

The Reference Group was formed by the European Broadcasting Union’s Television Committee in 1998. The Group meets up 5-6 times a year.

The main tasks of the body include approving format developments and changes to the rules, securing financing, modernizing the brand and raising awareness of the Eurovision Song Contest and overseeing the yearly preparation by the Host Broadcaster.

The Reference Group is composed of a Chairman, three members elected by the Heads of Delegation, two Executive Producers from previous host countries, as well as the Executive Producer of the current Host Broadcaster. The EBU’s Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor is also a member of the Reference Group.

The Reference Group has a possibility to invite up to 2 extra professionals to join the group.

The Reference Group currently consists of the following members:

  • Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling (ZDF/Germany)(Chairman)
  • Mr. Jon Ola Sand (EBU Representative)
  • Mr. Nicola Cagliore (RAI/Italy) – Elected member
  • Ms. Carla Bugalho –(RTP/Portugal) (Eurovision 2018 Executive Producer)
  • Mr. Aleksandar Radic (RTVSLO/Slovenia) – Elected member
  • Ms. Emilie Sickinghe (AVROTROS/Netherlands) – Elected member
  • Ms. Zivit Davidovitch (KAN/Israel) (Eurovison 2019 Executive Producer )
  • Ms. Rachel Ashdown (BBC/ United Kingdom)- Appointed member
  • Mr. Jan Lagermand Lundme (DR/Denmark)- Invited member

The current Reference Group includes the Heads of Delegation from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Italy and Portugal.

The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group is the executive Committee for all Members, its purpose being to control and guide the Eurovision Song Contest and meets four to five times each year on behalf of all Participating Broadcasters, and is required to take decisions in the general interest of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Reference Group met up in Tel Aviv last week in order to supervise the ongoing preparations for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest and will meet again in January during the 2019 Eurovision Host Insignia Handover Ceremony and the Semifinal Allocation Draw.

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