TV & Radio

Tuesday 29 July 2014

TV3 in turmoil as staff offered voluntary redundancy

Joyce Fegan and Caitlin McBride

Published 03/04/2014|08:11

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Xpose presenters (L to R) Lisa Cannon, Karen Koster and Aisling O'Loughlin are three of Ireland's best known tv stars

TV3 is seeking voluntary redundancies in news, content and broadcast areas as part of their "strategy for 2015".

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This morning a spokesperson from the commercial TV station confirmed the voluntary redundancy scheme in place at the broadcaster and said that it would be limited to a specific number of places.

However, the spokesperson said it is something they do every year and only applies to certain departments.

“The content model in TV3 will involve considerable change as we implement our strategy for 2015. We are aware that such an environment is not for everyone so we have decided to run a voluntary leaver scheme for the content, news and broadcast areas,” said the station’s spokeswoman.

“It will be at the company’s discretion to accept requests for voluntary redundancies based on the role and there will be a limited number of places,” she said. 

It's the latest move in a dramatic start to the year for the station.

It has just lost its GAA broadcasting rights to Sky Sports while UTV, which is launching an Irish base next year, has been headhunting staff members.

The new UTV station is also set to take some of the biggest shows from TV3 - including 'Coronation Street' - which will heap further pressure on station bosses.

UTV Ireland's newly appointed MD Michael Wilson said the decision to start a Dublin-based station came when TV3 "dropped the ball" for its ITV contract for Coronation Street.

"I think it's highly unlikely TV3 will be the number two player in the market once we're there," Wilson said.

"There are very few programmes that people have as 'appointment to view' and there are very few programmes that deliver the volume of audience and advertising that programmes such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale do," Mr Wilson said.

UTV will employ more than 100 people. Wilson said that he would be "staggered" if resources at regional radio are not shared with the new station.

According to reports, two senior staff members gave their resignation this week, although their names and positions have not yet been made public.

Despite the adversity it faces, the Ballymount station says it is focusing on producing more original and unique content and they will be also be hiring for its home-grown soap.

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