There was a bit of drama to spice up our collective Mondays today as a batch of Ukrainian television officials resigned or left their posts at the newly created public broadcaster, UA:PBC.
Executive producers of the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Victoria Romanova and Oleksandr Kharebin have resigned from their roles in organising the next edition of the competition, alongside the resignations of Commercial Director Iryna Asman, Event Manager Denys Bloshchynskyi and Head of Security Oleksii Karaban. Thus, five of the major figures in organising the rapidly approaching Ukrainian hosting have left the broadcaster and their roles in one fell swoop.
Following the news, the EBU rushed to release a statement addressing the surprising resignations;
“Victoria Romanova, Oleksandr Kharebin, Iryna Asman, Denys Bloshchynski and his team and Oleksii Karaban informed the EBU on 10th February that they were resigning from their roles for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The group felt they were not able to continue work on the project owing to staffing matters at UA:PBC, which the EBU cannot fully comment on.
The team have been instrumental in the planning for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and we thank them for their hard work. We have reiterated to UA:PBC the importance of a speedy and efficient implementation of plans already agreed, despite staff changes, and that we stick to the timeline and milestones that have been established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May.
Further information regarding the core team of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be released in due course. The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Kyiv’s International Exhibition Centre on 9th, 11th and 13th May. Last year Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 1944 performed by Jamala.”
Obviously, the news has been distressing for Eurovision fans who had hoped to see the problems arising around Ukraine’s hosting behind them and look forward to the contest. But what does this leave for the rest of the competition’s organisation?
With the announcement of ticket sales from the EBU immediately after the announcement, it would perhaps suggest that the EBU has taken back some of the reigns temporarily in organising the competition and are trying to steer things back on track for a successful show in a few months time, but until a confirmation of the new personnel and a direction for Kiev’s hosting are announced, fans of the contest will be left feeling anxious and concerned over whether the contest can go off without a hitch in May. We of course hope that this will be the case, and wish the EBU and UA:PBC all the best in overcoming the delays and putting on a great show!
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