New Editor-in-Chief Thomas Swannet to Lead Sports Network Sporza


Thomas Swannet. — © vrt

Thomas Swannet is a thoroughbred Sporza employee who will head the sports network. He has a busy agenda ahead of him.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 6:25 PM

Thomas Swannet (45) will take over as the new editor-in-chief of Sporza, the sports service of the VRT, from April 1. Swannet has a track record of more than twenty years with the VRT. After studying political and social sciences, he started in 2001 as an editor and journalist at the sports department, which later became Sporza. There he worked on programs such as the Sports Gala and the Sports Year Overview. Since 2009, as editor-in-chief, he has coordinated Vive le vélo, Extra time, God in France and broadcasts around the European and World Cup football.

His appointment comes at a crucial time given the challenges facing the sports service. Important sports rights must be retained in an increasingly competitive market and the VRT must survive in a rapidly changing media landscape. He himself talks about “challenging years” ahead. “Sports rights are becoming more expensive, commercial channels are increasingly recognizing the importance of live sports broadcasts and the digital change is a fact,” says Swannet. “Sporza has already taken important steps in this regard, but we will have to focus even more on this in the coming years.”

Liesbet Vrieleman, general editor-in-chief of information at VRT, calls the challenges “gigantic”, with a reference to the fight for sports rights and the upcoming Olympic Games and the European Football Championship. “I’m afraid he won’t get a hundred days to settle in quietly,” said Vrieleman.

Swannet’s appointment follows the departure of Pieter De Windt. The previous editor-in-chief closed the door of VRT at the end of last year after eighteen years, to start working as media director at the ProLeague, the organization of professional football clubs.


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