Entertainment TV fest takes a break in 2011

Europe’s longest-running TV festival, the Rose d’Or, will not be held next year — the first time in 50 years the Swiss event has been canceled.

Fest, which has latterly struggled to maintain its once high profile following a move from Montreux to Lucerne in 2004, has undergone several changes of ownership and leadership in recent years.

In 2009 it was taken over by Swiss multinational media company Ringier, which has attempted to revive the fest and restore its prestige. Its efforts have met with mixed results. The Rose d’Or was once a must-attend for U.K. TV toppers, whose programs won the lion’s share of awards, but the fest’s presence has waned in more cost-conscious times.

It hit a low point during this year’s 50th anniversary event when honoree Simon Cowell failed to attend.

A spokeswoman said that due to the timing of the 2010 fest — held for the first time in September instead of its usual May date — there was not enough time left to stage an event in its regular spring slot in 2011. The 51st Rose d’Or will be held in Lucerne May 6-10, 2012.

Fest director Rolf Probala, who took the helm of the Rose d’Or in December 2009 at short notice, is ankling and will be succeeded by Markus Helbling, who became managing director and co-manager of Rose d’Or AG last month.

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