EBU elects new president in Budapest

By Laszlo Kriston

    The European Broadcasting Union (EBU, www.ebu.ch) announced on July 4 the election of John-Paul Phillipot for a two year term as president at its General Assembly in Budapest.

    The new term takes effect January 2009, continuing through December 2010. Philippot, general administrator of Beltian broadcaster RTBF, will succeed Fritz Pleitgen of German broadcaster ARD. With two hundred top managers in attendance at the Assembly, the members appointed Richard Sambrook, head of BBC Global News, as vice president of the organization, who replaces Boris Bergant of RTVLSO of Slovenia.

    The Hungarian capital was chosen to be a location for the summit three years ago. Hungarian state broadcaster, Magyar Televizio's President, Zoltan Rudi (MTV, www.mtv.hu), who was instrumental in turning the ailing public channel around, from a money-losing entity into a cost-effective one, serves on the board of directors at EBU. Hungary became a member country of the EBU in 1993. MTV staffers are active in EBU committees: Pal Sipos, head of cultural programming at MTV was appointed to the EBU Television Committee in 2006, and Zoltan Vig is a member of the newly constructed News Committee.

    Founded in 1950, EBU is billed as the largest organization of national broadcasters. It offers technical, operational and legal services to its members and has 75 active members and 45 associate members from 56 countries, mostly European nations in addition to some North African and Middle-Eastern states. The EBU brand appears on broadcasts of the Eurovision Song Contests and the Olympic Games.