The EBU has announced the appointment of Martin Österdahl as executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) and Junior Eurovision Song Contest (JESC).
A senior TV executive with two decades of experience, Österdahl was executive producer for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013 and 2016 when the event was hosted by Swedish EBU Member SVT in Malmö and Stockholm, and was a member of the ESC Reference Group between 2012 and 2018.
The decision was made by the EBU director of media Jean Philip De Tender, together with the chair of the ESC Reference Group, the Contest’s governing board, ZDF’s Dr Frank Dieter Freiling.
Österdahl will take over from Jon Ola Sand, who is stepping down after 10 years in the role, following the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.
”The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event and the longest-running show on television. Its ability to entertain and unite people across Europe and beyond is unique and something that should never be taken for granted,” said Österdahl. “I feel greatly honoured to be given the opportunity to strive for its continued evolvement and popularity into the future. I’m looking forward to joining the team in Geneva in May and can’t wait to get started.”
“Martin is the perfect candidate to continue and build on the exceptional work done by Jon Ola Sand over the past decade,” added EBU director of media Jean Philip De Tender. “The Eurovision Song Contest has been transformed under Jon Ola’s guidance, setting new standards in world-class television production.
“Martin is a great creative talent and has invaluable experience from his work as executive producer of two exceptional Contests and numerous other successful entertainment shows. He is an excellent leader and storyteller, which is core for us to work closely with EBU Members to develop and grow the world’s largest live music event in the next decade and beyond.”
The executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest oversees the preparation and organisation of the event on behalf of the EBU. Together with their team, they provide the main point of contact for over 40 participating EBU Members and are in charge of the operation on their behalf, ensuring the Song Contest is delivered annually by the Host Broadcaster in accordance with the ESC rules.
Österdahl will begin working on the Eurovision Song Contest at the end of April and take over the executive supervisor role immediately after this year’s Grand Final on 16th May. He will also oversee the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, now in its 18th year, which is expected to take place in November.
Jon Ola Sand will return to his native Norway to begin a new role at the head office of NRK.