EBU appoints new executive board, outlines future vision

EBU General AssemblyThe European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has named the remaining nine members of its executive board and said its priority for the coming years will be balancing cost efficiencies and modernisation.

Members attending the 73rd General Assembly in Geneva elected the nine new members, eight of whom were appointed from the out-going board, while Petr Dvořák, the director general of CT Czech Republic, joins for the first time.

The nine members will assist the EBU’s incumbent president, the CEO of Belgian public broadcaster RTBF Jean-Paul Philippot, who was re-elected at the Summer General Assembly in Naples, and Anna-Maria Tarantola from RAI Italy who replaces Claudio Cappon as vice-president. The latter is stepping down after seven years.

Philippot said for the next two-year term, the EBU board’s priority would be to maintain a balance between achieving cost efficiencies while promoting improvement and modernisation of services to the EBU community.

He said the organisation would focus on three areas: lobbying for public service media; creating added value and synergies for members; and providing members with more value for less money.

“Today our Union and its spirit of solidarity are more necessary than ever,” said Philippot.

“In an increasingly difficult environment in which competitors and political pressures challenge our raison d’etre, we need our Union to actively and continually promote to decision-makers and our audiences, the distinctiveness and shared values of public service media  – universality, independence, excellence, diversity, accountability and innovation.”

The news comes after the EBU published a report earlier this week claiming that total income for public service media across the EBU community dipped by 1.9% in 2013, “intensifying a disturbing trend that has seen total public service media income fall by 8.7% in real value over 5 years.”

Not including the president and vice-president, the nine new members of the EBU executive board are: Cilla Benko from SR in Sweden; Petr Dvorak (CT, Czech Republic); Petr Fedorov (RTR, Russia); Rachid Faïçal Laraichi (SNRT, Morocco); Remy Pflimlin (FT, France); Peter Salmon (BBC, United Kingdom); Andrzej Siezieniewski (PR, Poland); Ulrich Wilhelm (ARD, Germany); Alexander Wrabetz (ORF, Austria)

The EBU has 73 active members in 56 countries operating 913 TV services and 854 radio services broadcasting in 96 languages.