EBU: Two new members join the Reference Group

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,782 views

Two new members have joined the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group thus replacing two former members who have stepped down.

The new Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor on behalf of the EBU, Mr. Martin  Osterdahl,will be replacing the former ESC Executive Supervisor Mr. Jon Ola Sand in the Reference Group. Whilst Ms. Inge van de Weerd (Eurovision 2020 Executive Producer/NOS)  will be replaced by Ms. Astrid Dutrenit (Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer/NOS).

About Martin Osterdahl

Martin Osterdahl (Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor/EBU)

Martin Österdahl is no new face when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest as he has been the Executive Producer of the last two Eurovision editions in Sweden organized by Swedish national broadcaster SVT (Malmo 2013 and Stockholm 2016). He has also served as a member of the ESC Reference Group between 2012 and 2018.

About Astrid Dutrenit

Astrid Dutrenit (Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer) Photo credit: NOS/NPO/AVROTROS

Astrid Dutrénit, who has worked at NOS since 2003, will fill the vacant position. Dutrenit graduated from the School of Journalism in Bordeaux and the Institut Francais de Presse in Paris. In the Netherlands she followed a Master Film & Television at the UVA in Amsterdam.

As a Senior Producer, she has been production responsible for major events in recent years, including ten years for the programs around the Tour de France, the European Athletics Championships (2016) and the Sports Gala (2011 – 2018). In addition, in her work at NOS she has frequently collaborated with the EBU, the European partnership of public broadcasters that supervises the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest, among other things. Last year, she worked in another position in the Dutch project organization of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Refence Group

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. Martin Osterdahl (EBU Representative)
  • Mr. David Tserunyan (AMPTV/Armenia)
  • 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. Astrid Dutrenit  (NOS/AVROTROS Eurovision 2021 Executive Producer TV)

The current Reference Group includes the Heads of Delegation from Switzerland, Slovenia, Armenia 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.

Source: EBU