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15th Sep 2019

Richard Bruton responds to reports of sale of RTÉ’s Cork studio and closure of Lyric FM

Rory Cashin

RTE staff covid-19

It follows an internal report which stated RTÉ “will no longer be possible to continue” as we know it.

Last week, an internal report in RTÉ told staff that “while the decision by Government to tender for licence collection services was welcome, the decision to defer implementation of a revised media charge means a crisis in the funding of public service media will continue.”

Today (Sunday 15 September), the Mail On Sunday reported that RTÉ is apparently looking to sell its southern regional studio, on Fr Matthew Street in Cork, as well as selling more of the Dublin 4 campus, in order to raise funds to support its output.

This comes just a few days after it was revealed on Prime Time that RTÉ are also said to be considering the future of Lyric FM in the face of the budget concerns.

Following the report from the Mail On Sunday, Communications Minister Richard Bruton spoke to RTÉ Radio One’s This Week, and had the following to say:

“There’s no doubt we have to see RTÉ respond with routes that will build its digital content and digital platforms. It’s up to RTÉ to decide what’s the optimum strategy. We’ll have to kick the wheels on any strategy developed by RTÉ.

“Ordinary listeners and viewers are changing their behaviour. We have to respond to these changes. They need to build digital audiences, and younger audiences.

“We do have to see RTE find routes to respond (to challenges). They have to devise a strategy – how do they develop public services broadcasting in this new environment.”

Minister Bruton was also asked whether or not the salaries paid to RTÉ presenters need to be revisited, and whether or not presenters should be paid more than the Taoiseach, who earns over €180,000 a year, to which he responded: “I think the Oireachtas has voiced its concern around this.”