Ex-RTÉ boss Noel Curran to lead European Broadcasting Union

‘Candidate of choice’ appointed to oversee organisation best known for Eurovision

Former RTÉ director-general Noel Curran is to lead the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the alliance of public service media organisations.

Mr Curran, who stepped down from his RTÉ role last year, succeeds Ingrid Deltenre as director-general of the EBU and will take up the position in September, the EBU said.

Mr Curran said the EBU represented some of the finest media organisations, content-makers and journalists in the world.

“There is now, more than ever, a compelling case for what public service media does, and what the members of the European Broadcasting Union do, day in, day out.”


He added that he would work with its members to “move ahead with the changes necessary to secure the future of public service media” and serve its audiences’ needs.

Operational experience

“We are delighted to welcome Noel Curran as the new director-general of the EBU,” said EBU president Jean-Paul Philippot.

“Noel was the candidate of choice in what was an extremely strong list of candidates. He impressed us with his sound public service values, his operational experience and his understanding of the public service media ecosystem within today’s rapidly evolving media environment.”

The EBU has 73 members in 56 countries in Europe and an additional 34 associates in Asia, Africa and North and South America.

It is perhaps best known among viewers for organising the Eurovision Song Contest, but it also negotiates for sports rights on behalf of members and lobbies to promote and protect public media funding and freedoms.

Mr Curran is a former managing director of RTÉ Television and was the executive producer of the Eurovision Song Contest when it was held in Dublin in 1997. He is married to singer Eimear Quinn, who won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland in 1996.

He became director-general of RTÉ in late 2010 as the organisation was entering into a financial crisis prompted by a sharp fall in advertising revenue. Shortly before leaving RTÉ, he was appointed adjunct professor of journalism at Dublin City University.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics