Despite endless rumours and countless reports of “he said, she said”, Israel’s preparations to host Eurovision 2019 are in full swing. Today the Israeli broadcaster KAN had a successful meeting with officials from the EBU and representatives of other European broadcasters in Geneva. They discussed all aspects of the contest — from potential host cities to staffing issues — and it’s apparently been a success. Scrolling through Instagram, we saw that Jan Lagermand Lundme, a TV executive from Denmark’s DR and a member of the Eurovision Reference Group, was confident things had gone smoothly. He shared a snap that said “Israel takes over Eurovision” along with a hand-holding-heart GIF. Awww.
While the host city and venue are yet to be determined, the Israeli portal “Walla” reports that KAN’s Chairman Gil Omer and CEO Eldad Koblenz held a series of working meetings with the EBU today. We’re sure they did their best to smooth over any tensions that may have resulted from certain politicians getting ahead of themselves in the host city debate (like Sport & Culture Minister Miri Regev, who recently said it’s “Jerusalem or nothing”).
Other than KAN and the EBU, attendees included representatives from the production of the contest in Portugal this year, as well as representatives from other countries that have hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in the past and experts in production from the UK, Italy, Sweden, Amsterdam and Switzerland. The topics presented in the meetings dealt with production, timetables, budget, regulations and laws governing Eurovision, security, logistics, marketing, advertising, sponsorships, communications and public relations. It was a long day to say the least.
“KAN” emphasized the independence of public broadcasting in Israel by law and promised that it would take all measures to maintain a worthy and honorable Eurovision that would meet all expectations.
The broadcaster also stated that info on potential host cities will be collected and finalised before a tender is published. As in every year, the EBU asks the host country to present more than one city as an option.
The EBU stressed the need to coordinate with the Israeli authorities on Israel’s security and the promotion of Israel in the world in order to encourage visitors to Israel but without any intervention in the production content.
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently stated that the government will not interfere in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, paving the way for KAN to work according to its own agenda rather than that of the ruling politicians.
The EBU published an official statement today regarding the preparations: “The Host City is due to be announced, along with official dates for the competition, by September.”
“KAN” has also started to hire the key people who will run Eurovision 2019.
Yuval Cohen has been appointed as the editor and main director of the competition.
In recent years he has been the director of programming and development for Channel 10, and he is responsible for the Israeli adaptation of “The Voice”. He’s also edited “Dancing with the Stars” for three seasons, oversaw Kdam Eurovision in 2010 (which produced Harel Skaat) and worked on a variety of live broadcasts. The man is experienced.
In addition, Cohen served as the editor-in-chief of “Reshet” (Channel 13) and worked across various productions and genres including drama, entertainment and reality, and served for several years as chief editor at “Gil Productions”, where he also directed and edited “Baby Boom”.
Cohen will soon be completing his current position as director of programs and content development at Channel 10, and will begin his work in KAN. He said: “I am very excited about the mission and am convinced that we will be able to create an unforgettable Eurovision Song Contest here. I am thankful for the home I had at Channel 10 and to the expression of trust I received in KAN.