Jon Ola Sand

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Jon Ola Sand
JESC 2018. Jon Ola Sand during press conference (2) (cropped).jpg
Sand in Minsk, during a press conference for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Born (1961-12-21) 21 December 1961 (age 58)
Oslo, Norway[1]
OccupationTelevision executive
Years active1980–present
TitleEx-Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest
Parent(s)Bjørn Sand
Unni Bernhoft
RelativesBias Bernhoft (grandfather)
Simen Sand [no] (brother)

Jon Ola Sand (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈjoːn ˈûːɭɑ ˈsɑn]; born 21 December 1961), is a Norwegian television executive, who was the European Broadcasting Union's Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Personal life[edit]

He is the son of revue writer and actor Bjørn Sand and actress Unni Bernhoft. He grew up at Vinderen in Oslo,[2][3] and has a brother and a sister.[4] His brother, Simen [nn], is an actor and author.[5]

As of May 2010, Sand was in a cohabiting relationship with the Swedish choreographer Mattias Carlsson.[6][7] Sand lives in Geneva, Switzerland.[8]

In October 2010, Sand was a passenger on the train that derailed at Skotterud in Hedmark, Norway.[9] The incident resulted in some 40 people being injured.[10]


Sand appeared in a minor role in the 1980 film At dere tør!,[11] having graduated the same year from the music branch of his local upper secondary school.[1] As a teenager he played the drums in a hard rock band, which eventually led him being hired by NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation as a researcher for a music TV programme.[8] He started his television career in NRK in 1981, and advanced via programme secretary to producer and project leader, eventually leading major productions and co-productions at NRK. He had a stint in the competing channel TV 2 from 1992 to 1996. Sand is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.[2][12]

Television shows produced or directed by Sand include the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, the Amanda Award show and Melodi Grand Prix.[13][14] In the years 1998 to 2005 he led the Norwegian delegation to the Eurovision Song Contest.[8]


Sand (2nd left) on the red carpet at the opening ceremony for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

In 2010, Sand was appointed as the Executive Producer of the 55th Eurovision Song Contest 2010, held in Oslo, Norway.[3] Sand is a television producer for the Norwegian television channel NRK, which was responsible for holding the festival in 2010, when Sand was the chief of production for the event.[12]

On 26 November 2010, Sand was appointed as the European Broadcasting Union's Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, after Svante Stockselius resigned from the role, the new position began on 1 January 2011.[14] Sand reportedly edged out 39 other applicants.[15] As Executive Supervisor, Sand has the last call with regards to the production of the Eurovision Song Contest, with the ability to overrule the producers, and instruct. He is also responsible for the organization of the voting system of the contest.[8] He made his debut as Executive Supervisor at the Eurovision in Düsseldorf in 2011. Sand was later appointed as the Executive Supervisor for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016.[16] He has been on leave from NRK since being appointed Executive Supervisor.[12]

In an interview with the news agency Reuters in 2011, Sand launched the idea of extending the Eurovision Song Contest to a Worldvision Song Contest.[17][18] In May 2015, Sand stated to the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK that the Worldvision idea was likely not moving forward, due to a lack of interest among countries outside Europe. He also cited the large cost of a worldwide song contest.[19] In a 2016 interview with The Guardian he stated, "We are not looking at a sort of ‘Worldvision’ because that’s too complicated (...)".[20] Sand stated to Danish media in 2016 that the European Broadcasting Union was instead developing plans to export the Eurovision concept by launching separate versions of the song contest in Asia and the United States, depending on the level of interest in the relevant countries.[21] He was featured in the newspaper Morgenbladet in May 2012, where the focus was on the song contest and international politics.[22]

On 30 September 2019, Sand announced his intention to step down as Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest after the 65th edition of the show in 2020 that would have been be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He will also leave the Head of Live Events post which oversees the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Young Musicians and Eurovision Choir competitions.[23] On 20 January 2020, it was announced that Swedish TV producer Martin Österdahl would succeed Sand as Executive Supervisor.[24]

On 17 May 2020, he was officially succeeded by Osterdahl as Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest after the one off show, Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light was aired.


  1. ^ a b Øy, Nils E., ed. (January 1998). "Sand, Jon Ola". Pressefolk 1997 (in Norwegian) (7th ed.). Fredrikstad: Institutt for journalistikk. p. 313. ISBN 8271471759. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Henriksen, Arve (20 June 2009). "Skal sjefe over neste års Grand Prix". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). p. 8.
  3. ^ a b Mauno, Hanne (22 May 2010). "MGP-generalen". Dagsavisen (in Norwegian). pp. 31–33.
  4. ^ Olsen, Bjørnar; Karlsen, Pål Johan, eds. (July 2010). "Psykologer i media". Tidsskrift for Norsk psykologforening (in Norwegian). Norsk psykologforening. 47 (7): 627. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Simen Sand". Filmfront (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  6. ^ Trus, Helena; Gustafsson, Martin (27 May 2010). ""Det är en oro"". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  7. ^ Rasch, Jonas Sverrisson (27 May 2010). "- Svenskene prøver å koke suppe på en spiker". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d Clarén, Ulf (4 May 2013). "Norsk styrman vid rodret". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Passasjer: - Voldsom oppbremsing og et smell". Stavanger Aftenblad (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  10. ^ Kessel, Dag; Kjæstad, Reidar (2 October 2010). "Minst 40 personer skadd i togulykke" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Jon Ola Sand". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  12. ^ a b c Fordal, Jon Annar (5 May 2014). "Sirkusdirektøren" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  13. ^ Sæby, Inger Marit Knap (26 May 2010). "Tar over som ny ESC-sjef" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  14. ^ a b Siim, Jarmo. "Jon Ola Sand new Executive Supervisor". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  15. ^ "Nordmann skal styre Eurovision Song Contest" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 26 November 2010.
  16. ^ "Malta to host the 14th Junior Eurovision Song Contest!". eurovision. 13 April 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  17. ^ Kirschbaum, Erik (16 May 2011). "Eurovision head says global contest a "challenge"". Reuters. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  18. ^ Falch-Nilsen, Kirsti (16 May 2011). "ESC-sjefen ønsker seg verdensfinale" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  19. ^ Zakariassen, Gaute; Fjelltveit, Ingvild (26 May 2016). "ESC-sjefen: Ikke aktuelt med "Worldvision"" (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  20. ^ Qvist, Bella (12 May 2016). "How Eurovision finally cracked America". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Eurovision vil have resten af verden med til melodifesten". Berlingske (in Danish). 12 May 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  22. ^ Olsen, Maren Næss (16 May 2012). "Sjefen for sang og storpolitikk". Morgenbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  23. ^ "Jon Ola Sand to step down as Executive Supervisor after Rotterdam 2020". 30 September 2019.
  24. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Jon Ola Sand at Wikimedia Commons

Media offices
Preceded by
Svante Stockselius
Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Martin Österdahl
Preceded by
Vladislav Yakovlev
Executive Supervisor of Junior Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Martin Österdahl