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Eva Hamilton takes top job in Swedish Television

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12:10 CEST+02:00
Swedish Television's new managing director, Eva Hamilton, has said that she is not intending to focus more on youth viewers than others.

"We will not have any specific age groups as the primary focus," she said.

As she was presented as Christina Jutterström's replacement on Friday, Hamilton made a surprisingly strong statement about the state-owned channel's programming future. The emphasis on hunting younger viewers will change, she said.

"If we put all our focus on the young viewers, we risk making our faithful public feel that SVT is not for them. For me, all viewers are equally important," said Hamilton at a press conference.

Among the other points on her list was a committment to the fight to keep SVT financed by the television licence, and not by general taxation as favoured by the new culture minister Cecilia Stegö Chilò.

Eva Hamilton has also been given permission by the board of SVT to change the organisation's managment - a move which can be interpreted as marching orders for the current director of programming, Leif Jakobsson.

Hamilton described as "extremely troublesome" the government's desire to halve the broadcasting licence period, which comes into force at the end of the year.

She argued that it will reduce SVT's independence and pointed to other countries where politicians had tried to control television.

"In the countries where politicians have actively got involved, public service has declined. The commercial companies become totally dominant and naturally I don't think that is an desirable development.

According to the chairman of SVT, Lars Engqvist, several names have been linked with the job in the last year, but only Eva Hamilton was approached.

Hamilton has spent most of her career working in news broadcasting, but in recent years has headed up SVT's drama department.

"I haven't had it as a goal to be Swedish Television's managing director, but now that I am, I'm delighted, proud and a little nervous," she said.

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