¡Hay movimiento! Spain’s state broadcaster RTVE is finally addressing Eurovision after Blas Cantó’s disappointing 24th place in Rotterdam this year. The broadcaster’s new Executive President José Manuel Pérez Tornero has spoken about the contest for the first time.
RTVE’s Executive President speaks out about Eurovision
In a press meeting reported by Yotele, Pérez Tornero explained: “We’re going to take Eurovision very seriously”. “We are the only public television [broadcaster] in Spain which is a part of the EBU and we’re interested in the event”, he further added.
Pérez Tornero also showed interest in keeping “contact with young people in their European context”. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the high interest coming from young viewers.
Eurovision 2021, for example, was particularly popular among the age group of 15-24, whose viewing share reached 52.8%. This was significantly higher than the general audience, whose share reached 40.5%.
Changes to Spain’s Eurovision delegation still possible
Pérez Tornero was elected to the role of RTVE’s Executive President at the end of March. Only two months later, and he’s already bid to be a part of the EBU’s Executive Board and has proposed a number of changes to the corporation.
These changes began last week. Last Wednesday, Pérez Tornero started restructuring the corporation’s highest levels. None of this currently affects the positions of those in charge of Eurovision (Head of Delegation and Head of Entertainment), but these could potentially be modified at a later date.
Fans paid particular attention to two new names. Firstly, there was a new Directorate for Education, Diversity, Culture and International Affairs, led by Ignacio Elguero. Diversity, Culture and International Affairs? You can’t get more Eurovision than that!
In addition, the new Content Director is Amalia Martínez de Velasco, who has previously worked in a number of private corporations related to communication.
As reported by Bluper, Martínez de Velasco – who has not yet started the job – has the Executive President’s full support to modify the personnel in RTVE’s entertainment section as she sees fit, with Pérez Tornero noting: “Me and my team are fully confident about her and she can make any changes she considers appropriate”.
This could include a change to RTVE’s Head of Entertainment, which is currently Toñi Prieto. Although Pérez Tornero does not plan to remove Prieto himself, since his restructuring was done at a more senior level, he does not rule out that Martínez de Velasco might decide to change things: “When the new manager analyses the situation, anything can happen: they may or may not remain. We will know in the near future.”
Europa Press also reports that the changes will be “gradual” but “profound”. A “renewed RTVE” is coming in September, after the summer period and the Olympics.
Bluper previously noted that both Spain’s Eurovision Head of Delegation, Ana María Bordás, and RTVE’s Head of Entertainment, Toñi Prieto, could potentially be leaving their jobs through the restructuring at the broadcaster.
Bordás joined the Spanish delegation in 2017, after the abrupt exit of Federico Llano following the heavy Eurodrama at Objetivo Eurovisión that year. She was supposed to handle the job temporarily, yet problems with RTVE’s renewal of direction have delayed her exit.
Despite the poor placings at Eurovision, Bordás has managed to bring Spain back to Junior Eurovision, where the country has achieved two top three results. She’s also recently been appointed to the EBU’s Television Committee.
Prieto, on the other hand, is usually signalled by Eurovision fans as the main problem within Spain’s delegation and RTVE’s inability to climb the scoreboard at Eurovision.
Are you excited for the changes at RTVE? Will Spain do well again at Eurovision, or do you fear it will not work? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!