Eurovision press chief resigns following Aftonbladet probe
Av: Torbjörn Ek
Jarmo Siim notified friends on Facebook - resignation confirmed by the Eurovision event manager
Eurovision press chief resigns following Aftonbladet probe.
Jarmo Siim has revealed on his Facebook page that he has resigned - but doesn’t mention that Aftonbladet tried to confront him with more damaging details on Monday.
Over the course of several reports, Aftonbladet has shown that the Facebook account of Eurovision communications coordinator Jarmo Siim was used to send inappropriate messages to a journalist.
Last Friday, Aftonbladet offered the EBU - organiser of the Eurovision Song Contest - the chance to examine the evidence through an independent IT expert from the EBU’s own auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
However, late on Monday evening Siim announced he was resigning as Eurovision press chief and editor-in-chief of Eurovision.tv.
Announced on Facebook
Siim announced his resignation in an emotional post on his Facebook page, which Aftonbladet has seen.
In the post, he continues to assert his innocence - but also emphasises that he does not want his message quoted by the media.
What Siim fails to mention is that earlier on Monday, Aftonbladet had tried to contact him about further allegations concerning the fact that his ethical conduct had been questioned long before the original Facebook message.
Eurovision boss Jon Ola Sand told Aftonbladet on Friday that Siim never appeared to be biased against any acts in the Eurovision Song Contest before - so the EBU didn’t want to believe that he had done so this time.
However, Aftonbladet’s investigation reveals that Siim has been accused of unethical behaviour at least twice before while part of the Eurovision team.
Siim’s conduct came into question in 2013 as the subject of an EBU internal report distributed widely in the organisation, as well as to Sand, the Junior Eurovision steering group, the EBU’s top management and communications department.
Aftonbladet has read the report, which claims that Siim used his position as Eurovision communications coordinator and editor-in-chief of Eurovision.tv to promote his own private business.
It is also alleged in the report that Siim had made unfounded accusations about a Eurovision supporter, and warned his colleagues about that supporter.
However, according to the EBU report, Siim’s allegations were totally without foundation.
Aftonbladet tried to confront Siim yesterday about the allegations in the report, but received no response to phone calls, text messages or emails.
Later in the evening, Siim announced his resignation.
Siim’s resignation was confirmed on Facebook by Eurovision event manager Sietse Bakker. Bakker is also the managing director of Wow Works, the PR agency which formerly employed Siim on behalf of the EBU as the communications coordinator for Eurovision - so Bakker is Siim’s immediate boss.
Eurovision Song Contest executives
Jon Ola Sand
Official title: Executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest
Employed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as the boss of the Eurovision Song Contest. Seen on screen during the Contest as the man who verifies that the voting results are valid.
Official title: Communications coordinator and editor-in-chief of Eurovision’s official website, eurovision.tv
Deals with press enquiries and communications for Eurovision on behalf of the EBU. Employed by PR agency Wow Works, which is contracted by the EBU to deal with these matters. Wow Works’ CEO is Sietse Bakker.
Official title: Event supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest
Since 2011, the event supervisor deals with everything not related to the actual broadcast. Bakker is also CEO of PR agency Wow Works, which is contracted by the EBU to provide various services in relation to the Eurovision Song Contest. Wow Works employs Jarmo Siim to deal with press relations and communications for the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU.