Contest gets new (Swedish) guvnor

Martin Österdahl
Martin Österdahl

In 2011 Romanian group Hotel FM implored the Düsseldorf audience to change the world. Change is in the air today as the European Broadcasting Union names their new Eurovision Song Contest executive supervisor, taking over from Jon Ola Sand, who steps down after the 65th contest in Rotterdam.

Keeping things Swedish, the job has gone to Martin Österdahl Martin, a senior TV executive who previously acted as executive producer for the contest in 2013 and 2016 and was a member of the 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.

“Martin is the perfect candidate to continue and build on the exceptional work done by Jon Ola Sand over the past decade,” said EBU Director of Media Jean Philip De Tender. He continued: “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.”

Martin was previously Programme Director and Commissioner of Entertainment & Sport at SVT. He has written novels that have been translated into 10 languages and his non-fiction work includes a scintillating tome on project leadership. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to share Jon Ola’s love for shapeless polo shirts, tending more towards an unstructured blazer.