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Saturday 23 August 2014

Brighter evenings here to stay in RTE newsroom revamp

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 26/04/2014 | 02:30

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Newsreader Eileen Dunne behind her new desk. Photo: Damien Eagers
RTE's new-look news studio. Picture: Damien Eagers
RTE's new-look news studio. Picture: Damien Eagers
Irish Independent journalists Laura Butler and Kirsty Blake Knox on the new RTE set
Irish Independent journalists Laura Butler and Kirsty Blake Knox on the new RTE set

RTE says that "subtle but significant" changes to the presentation of its news coverage is money well spent.

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The broadcaster will unveil new signature graphics and a theme tune, which cost €25,000, on 'RTE News Six One' this evening.

The Irish Independent got a look behind the scenes yesterday as newsreaders trialed the new brighter set.

RTE has moved away from the abstract vision of Dublin currently used as a background to something more literal.

Bosses described the changes as "subtle but significant" and are confident the updates "will ensure the newsroom remains contemporary and cutting-edge".

News anchor Bryan Dobson said he was very impressed with the changes.

"I'm just relieved they didn't get rid of me as part of the re-vamp," he joked.

"It's brighter and it's nice to give the place a new lick of paint."

Dobson also cited the competition from ITV Ireland as another reason to modernise the set.

"It always gives you a bit of incentive to up your game. It's always good to have a bit of competition. And it's nice when money is spent on something the viewers can see rather than managerial costs."

The refresh involves new opening and closing graphics, a new digital backdrop and subtle lighting changes. It is the first upgrade of the newsroom set since 2009.

RTE News commissioned Irish composer Ronan Hardiman to create the new theme tune for the news.

Hardiman is a prolific composer, having created the musical scores behind several of Michael Flatley's stage shows including 'Lord of the Dance', 'Feet of Flames' and 'Celtic Tiger'. He also worked on the IFTA-winning documentary series 'Waterways'.

This is the fourth time he has been asked to compose a suite of music for RTE News.

"There are specific overall requirements for a TV news theme," he said.

"The music has to be commanding, authoritative as well as attention-grabbing, with gravitas.

"The current news theme is my composition so I was very pleased to be in a position this time around to both tender and secure the commission for another season."

Irish Independent

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