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Italy: RAI appoints Simona Martorelli as Italian Head of Delegation

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 341 views

RAI, the Italian national broadcaster, has appointed Ms. Simona Martorelli as the new Italian Head of Delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest, she will be replacing Nicola Cagliore who left his position after for 9 years.

Italy is one of the many countries to have appointed a new Head of Delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest. The new Italian HoD, Ms. Simona Martorelli, is the new Head of International and European Relations at RAI.

Simona was set to lead the Italian delegation at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will see her heading the Italian Delegation in Rotterdam at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

About Simona Martorelli

Born in Rome in 1959, she has a degree in political science. She obtained a Master of Arts in “United Nations and International Studies” from New York University with a Fulbright scholarship.


She was hired by RAI in November 1984 as an employee (graduate) at the 1st Television Network where she manages the activities relating to co-productions and sponsorships; in this working environment, in January 1992, she was assigned the function “Purchase of filmed materials“, obtaining the relevant official qualification.

In 1994 she became head of the department that deals with co-productions at the Management of Fiction Rights: Productions, Co-productions, Procurement Department and in 1995 she took over  the Coordination of contracts and International Relations Department within the Marketing and Rights Structure. Archives of the Commercial Development Department.

In 1997 she was appointed as Head of Contracts at the Contracts, Administration and Competitions Department of the Activities Department for Public Administrations where she was awarded the F / Super level.

She was appointed manager in February 1999 with the position of head of the “Regulations and Contracts” organizational position of the Production Management for Subscriptions and Activities for the Public Administration.

In September of the same year, she was transferred to the RAI offices in Brussels, reporting directly to the Institutional Relations Department, with the task of following relations with the European Commission – with particular regard to the problems of the broadcasting sector – and with other institutions.

She also collaborated with the Production Management of Subscriptions and Activities for Public Administrations, for the development of international projects and conventions, as well as for the study and monitoring of regulations on subscription fees at European level.

From 2001 to 2004, without prejudice to the posting at the RAI offices in Brussels, she worked directly under the Director of the Institutional Relations Department.

From June 2005 until May 2008 she carried out the functions of national expert seconded to the “Information Society” General Directorate of the European Commission and in April 2008 she was assigned to the Technological Strategies Department with the task of following the international technological innovation projects on the information product.

Since December 2008, she has also overseen some international activities at the EBU offices in Brussels within the aforementioned Department, also collaborating with the Development and Commercial Coordination Department for the enhancement of initiatives of corporate interest.

Since 2014 she has been working within the Institutional and International Relations Department, exclusively in Brussels, to monitor  EBU-related activities and EU funding programs, as well as overseeing institutional relations with the European Parliament and the European Commission.

In 2016, she assumed responsibility for the “International Relations” organizational unit with the title of Deputy Director within the Communication, External, Institutional and International Relations Department.

In May 2019 she was appointed as the Director of the International Relations Department, which from last November was renamed International Relations and European Affairs Department.

Italy in Eurovision

Italy is one of the founder members of the Eurovision Song Contest having debuted in the very first contest in 1956. The country has won the event twice with Gigliola Cinquetti (1964)and Toto Cutugno (1990).

The country has been represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by its most celebrated and internationally acclaimed artists throughout its Eurovision history: Ana Oxa, Domenico Modugno, Albano, Romina Power, Franco Batiatto, Umberto Tozzi, Matia Bazar, Marco Mengoni, Emma Marrone, Il Volo, Francesco Gabbani, Raphael Gualazzi, Massimo Ranieri, Ricardo Fogli, etc.

Italy withdrew from the competition in 1998 and returned to Eurovision in 2011 after a 13 year hiatus. Since their return to the contest the Italians have enjoyed great success in the event placing 7 times in the top 10 of the scoreboard.

The southern European country has partaken 45 times in Europe’s favourite television show.

Mahmood was crowned the winner of Sanremo 2019 and won the right to represent Italy at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest with his entry Soldi. The multi talented Italian star achieved an honorable 2nd place in the Grand Final in Tel Aviv.

In 2020 Diodato was set to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with his entry ‘Fai Rumore‘,  but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus global outbreak.

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