RTÉ 'insolvent' by early 2024 without government funding, says Kevin Bakhurst 4 months ago

RTÉ 'insolvent' by early 2024 without government funding, says Kevin Bakhurst

"We've done various scenarios."

RTÉ director general Kevin Bakhurst has dropped a shocking update on the future of the national broadcaster, revealing that it could be insolvent by next Spring, without additional funding by the government.

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Speaking in the Dáil this week, Bakhurst told the Public Accounts Committee that RTÉ is facing a loss of between €10-12 million in 2023, which could rise to over €20 million by the end of the year.

It was also revealed that the broadcaster has a cash reserve of around €68 million and has borrowed €65 million of its €100 million borrowing limit.

Speaking about when the cut-off point would be for government support to come through, Bakhurst said, "We've done various scenarios. We need it by early spring next year. But I understand the timetable is earlier than that."

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Asked if RTÉ would be insolvent by that point, the director general replied: "Yes, and I've made that point. We are managing our cash as carefully as we can because we have a responsibility to do that for that reason.

"If we didn't get this cash, we would run out of cash, that's for sure."

Licence fee drop-off a major element of RTÉ's losses

RTÉ have experienced major financial issues since the fallout of the payments scandal which ripped through the broadcaster, originated with discrepancies in then-outgoing Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy's salary.

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The crisis has since deepened with many across the country refusing to pay their licence fee in an ever-increasing distrust of the organisation.

The broadcaster has reported losses and heightening figures of unpaid licence fees month-on-month since the fallout began earlier in the year.

In Thursday's meeting, Bakhurst said that licence fee payments were down by 39% last week.

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Selling parts of Montrose a possibility, says Kevin Bakhurst

In his opening statement to the Oireachtas, Bakhurst said that a complete sale of the RTÉ campus in Donnybrook is unlikely, however putting parts of it up for sale is still a possibility.

"Among the [financial remodeling] elements being explored is the sale of more of the campus," he said. "An issue that I know several of you have expressed an interest in.

"We are awaiting more up-to-date valuations but early indications are that a complete sale of the Donnybrook campus is unlikely and the repurposing of the current site will not be without challenges and significant costs."

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