Friday 20 October 2017

RTE hopes to raise a laugh with new comedy chief

Brendan O'Carroll's Mrs Brown
Brendan O'Carroll's Mrs Brown

Eimear Rabbitte

ARE you having a laugh, RTE? The national broadcaster is undergoing a major rehaul in the laughs department with the appointment of the newly created head of comedy.

RTE Two Commissioning Editor Eddie Doyle will take the position of head of comedy, music and talent development for TV and digital.

They are not known for their award-winning comic shows, but the Montrose station has identified comedy as a new priority within the station.

Doyle is one in a series of appointments that will take place as part of a major reshuffling within RTE.

Managing Director Glen Killane has revealed that all commissioning editors will now become heads of genre. The positions will bring additional responsibility for delivering digital as well as TV content.

RTE are also appointing a head of entertainment, which will be advertised within the station shortly.

Doyle was appointed to his current position of commissioning editor for RTE Two in May 2011 following an internal competition. The role involved commissioning programming for RTE Two's prime time schedule and Doyle was the driving force behind flagship entertainment show The Craig Doyle Show.

The show first began as The Social in 2011 before being renamed as Craig Doyle Live in 2012 and the Craig Doyle Show later that year.

In November 2012, Craig revealed that his RTE chat show would not be returning to TV screens amid criticism that the series had fallen flat with viewers.

Doyle has worked in RTÉ since 1999, initially in News & Current Affairs producing Prime Time and then as an executive producer on Prime Time Investigates.

He was appointed Commissioning Editor for Entertainment & Music in 2007, where he commissioned Brendan O' Carroll's award-winning comedy series Mrs Brown's Boys.

In this role, Doyle also commissioned entertainment series' such as Do the Right Thing and Living with Lucy, which ran for three seasons before being cancelled in 2010.

RTE say the changes are aimed at making the station more competitive in the digital sector with a renewed focus on digital content.

The restructuring follows George Dixon and Bill Malone taking up their positions as channel controllers for RTE One and RTE Two respectively.

RTE's director of programmes Steve Carson, the husband of RTE star Miriam O'Callaghan, will take up the position of chief editorial advisor and director of factual group.

Carson will also be head of regulatory affairs for television and responsible for maintaining an overview of content strategy for factual programming.

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