On September 30 Norwegian TV executive Jon Ola Sand revealed that he’s stepping down from his position as the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest and Head of Live Events for Eurovision. Now, as he prepares for his final edition of the song contest in Rotterdam, the EBU is busy searching for the lucky person who will step into his shoes. The job listing is now up and it’s time to throw your hat into the ring.
The application period closes on November 14 and the salary is said to be competitive. Sadly, a love of Eurovision and an interest in the song contest is by no means enough to nab the position. They’re asking for a minimum of eight years in a broadcast environment. And they make it clear this role isn’t just about glitz and glam. It involves a lot of planning and trouble-shooting across a wide range of issues that go well beyond the glorious grand final — from financing to branding to making sure broadcasters follow the rules.
High-profile crises that Mr Sand had to face included accusations that the leaders of host nations were using the contest for political ends; the banning of contestants from host nations owing to political issues between governments; contestants waving banned flags during broadcasts; and the revelation that the jury vote had been calculated and presented inaccurately during the grand final. The list, of course, is endless and unpredictable.
Eurovision Executive Supervisor: The Job Description
“The ESC Executive Supervisor is the person who on behalf of the EBU has the overall accountability for the ESC Brand. This includes the fields of member relations, content, production, transmission, finance, legal, logistic, security and communication & PR.”
“As the ESC is an apolitical event but with a potential political impact, overall and political stakeholder management is a key role for the Executive Supervisor.”
“He/she is responsible for bringing all relevant information related to the development and progress of each year’s ESC to the EBU management, in addition to general related ESC matters that might be of importance or can cause reputational damage to the ESC brand and the EBU.”
“He/she is managing the EBU team overseeing the yearly ESC preparation and operation, and responsible for ensuring that the Host Broadcaster (HB) team, in charge of the ESC operation on behalf of the co-producing Members, delivers the ESC event in accordance with the ESC Rules and the ESC HB Agreement. Regular visits to the HB and the Host City (HC).”
“He/she manages the relation to the ESC external partners in the field the of the ESC official website & intranet, marketing & sponsoring, televoting & jury set-up, music rights & sales, security advise & accreditation.”
“He/she manages the relation to the different EBU and Eurovision Services departments involved in ESC like Legal, Finance, Operations and Engineering, News,T&I, Member Relations and Communication.”
“He/she is the main responsible for ensuring that the Participating Broadcasters (PBs) enter and perform in the ESC in accordance with the ESC Rules.”
“He/she maintains broad contact with all the Public Broadcasters and is available for advice, consultation and support throughout the year, also by visiting the PBs on their preferred location.”
“He/she develops networks to senior and recognised leaders in the industry, international organisations and Members.”
“He/she is the main responsible for driving innovation and identify opportunities for new studies, trends, development and new services related to ESC.”
“He/she is in charge of the long-term strategic development of the ESC, its brand and brand related initiatives.”
Executive Supervisor: Job Requirements
“The ESC Executive Supervisor must have background as a high-level media professional. Comprehensive experience in complex entertainment TV productions, events, digital development and storytelling.”
“He/she must be able to work in an international environment and have strong cultural and political understanding, being able to mitigate strong conflicts in the field.”
“He/she must have senior management experience, with a broad knowledge of the role of PSM.”
“He/she must be a strong communicator with a fluent knowledge of English and preferably French.”
“He/she must be a strong team player able to work in shifting environments and in different work cultures.”
“Frequent visits and meetings in the HC throughout the year. On site in the HC from approximately 4 weeks prior to the Event Weeks (EW). Short notice travels and work during evenings, weekends and holidays are expected.”
“8+ Years of experience in the broadcasting environment”
“5+ Years of experience in People Management (Proven track record)”
Jon Ola Sand steps down as Eurovision boss
Famous for his catchphrase “take it away”, the Norwegian has played a crucial role in the contest since 2010. By virtue of his upper management skills and his charm, he also became a beloved character within the bubble. But Rotterdam will be the last Eurovision under his leadership. He will leave after the 2020 contest.
The official Eurovision site’s announcement explained that the beloved Norwegian isn’t retiring altogether. He will take up a new role at NRK, the Norwegian national broadcaster where Sand last worked before joining the EBU. It is unclear at the moment who will replace Sand as the Executive Supervisor starting 2021. Soon, the EBU will conduct a search to find Jon Ola’s successor.
There has been speculation that Swedish TV producer Christer Björkman may be interested in the role. The Swedish producer will be leaving Melodifestivalen after the 2021 edition, making the timing right for a new role in Switzerland. However, Björkman has previously said that he is not interested in the Executive Supervisor role as he’s much more interested in the creative aspects of Eurovision as oppose to the bureaucratic ones. Björkman is currently working on developing the “American Song Contest” project.
So are you going to apply for Jon Ola’s gig? Which of the current Heads of Delegation could you see running the show? Let us know down below!