Four new members have joined the Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group this year, thus revamping the governing body of our beloved contest. The ten member committee will now consist of four ladies and six men who will be responsible to supervise the smooth running of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Four new members have joined the Reference Group this year: Ms. Ayala Misrachi ( KAN/Israel), Mr. Reto Peritz (SRF/Switzerland),Mr. Yuval Cohen (Creative Director ESC 2019/Israel) and Ms. Inge van de Weerd (AVROTROS-NOS-NPO/ The Netherlands) and will be thus replacing Ms. Emilie Sickinghe (AVROTROS/ Netherlands), Jan Lagermand Lundme (DR/Denmark) and Zivit Davidovitch (KAN/Israel).
The four new members
Reto Peritz (SRF/Switzerland) works for Swiss national broadcaster SRF and is the Swiss Head of Delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest. He is an elected member of the Reference Group as of March 2019.
Ayala Misrachi (KAN/Israel) was the Deputy Executive Producer at ESC 2019 in Tel Aviv. She currently works for the Israeli national broadcaster KAN.
Yuval Cohen ( ESC 2019 Creative Producer/Israel) has a rich experience in development, editing and directing of leading television productions and live events. Serving as Head of Programmes and Development in recent years at Channel Ten (10), he is a valued professional, who has been in charge of the Israeli adaptation of The Voice (as Chief Director and Editor), has edited Dancing with the Stars for 3 years, did the Israeli Eurovision National Selection in 2010 (Harel Skaat) on Channel 2 (Reshet), and has worked on variety of live tv events.
In addition, Cohen previously served as Reshet’s Editor in Chief for a variety of productions and genres, including drama, entertainment and reality programming, and has served as the Chief Editor of Gil Productions, an Israeli private leading production company, where he also directed and edited the highly successful docu-reality Baby Boom.
Inge van de Weerd (Executive Producer ESC 2020) has been working at NOS since 1995 and for more than 10 years has been Executive Producer on NOS productions for Prince’s Day, parliamentary elections, and National Commemorations. She was also involved in major national events such as the Royal Wedding of Willem-Alexander and Maxima, and promotions for Giro555. From 2007 to 2009, she was Head of Delegation for the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest.
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
- Mr. Reto Peritz (SRF/ Switzerland) – Elected member
- Ms. Ayala Mizrachi (KAN/Israel) (Deputy Executive Producer Eurovision 2019)
- Ms. Rachel Ashdown (BBC/ United Kingdom)- Appointed member
- Mr. Yuval Cohen (Israel) (Creative Director Eurovision 2019)
- Ms. Inge van de Weerd (NOS/AVROTROS -The Netherlands) ( Eurovision 2020 Executive Producer TV)
The current Reference Group includes the Heads of Delegation from Switzerland, 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 Rome this week during the Eurovision Workshop in order to supervise the ongoing preparations for the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest and will be meeting again in due course.