EBU appoints director for new media department

The EBU (European Broadcast Union) is consolidating its radio and news services along with training and new media research activities in a new Media department over the coming months.

Some staff have yet to be recruited, but the key appointment was made with Annika Nyberg Frankenhaeuser taking over as the EBU’s first Media Director on Feb. 1. Her credentials look impeccable as she was appointed Director of Programs for Radio in 1997 at Finnish broadcaster YLE, taking over TV and Internet services as well in 2006. The EBU’s Director General, Ingrid Deltenre, stated that the new department had been set up in response to the “shifting face of the media landscape as platforms converge.”

Frankenhaeuser emphasized her belief that broadcasters must be capable of delivering quality content via several media platforms simultaneously to maximize their overall impact. She also pointed out that the distinctive features of radio, TV and the Internet are becoming more rather than less apparent, and that this needs to be taken into account by broadcasters.

One of Frankenhaeuser’s major tasks will be to oversee the EBU’s campaign to promote the HbbTV standard for hybrid services across Europe. This follows the EBU’s recent announcement that it is offering its member broadcasters a free platform to deploy HbbTV at the Eurovision Song Contest and then at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This announcement coincided with a Creative Content Workshop held in Geneva on Feb. 3 for EBU members to share experiences and ideas for hybrid applications. Members agreed on common approaches to issues relating to the deployment of successful hybrid TV services, such as color-coded buttons, and a common market for hybrid television applications.