Flashy new look from RTE in €25k news makeover
RTE may be tightening its purse strings when it comes to paying out salaries for the talent, but it has given its television news bulletins a €25,000 facelift.
With rival station UTV arriving next year, bosses at the national broadcaster have "refreshed" various elements of the daily news programmes to offer viewers a higher standard of production.
The modernised versions include several updates such as opening and closing titles, new graphics during the bulletins and different graphic backdrops in studio bearing more colourful images of Dublin city, as well as a flashy looking digitally enhanced image of the RTE newsroom.
In addition, there have been some lighting changes, and the RTE News theme tune has been jazzed up.
The title music, written by Ronan Hardiman in 2009, has been reworked by the composer to sound more "upbeat".
The changes will be introduced on tonight's Six-One bulletin.
Veteran anchor Bryan Dobson said he was delighted with the improvements.
"We always refreshed sets, but there's no doubt that competition gives an extra impetus and that's good from our point of view in news and current affairs," he said.
"It means that when resources are being distributed and allocated in organisations like RTE, we can make a stronger case for a better share of those resources because we can say, 'Well, we've got to keep an eye on our competition'.
"I think what competition means is that more and more of what RTE spends ends up on the screen -- and we're always conscious of that. We'll be watching out to see what UTV are coming up with.
"I've been through several of these new looks, but because we now have virtual, electronically generated screens, you can do a lot more tweaking.
"The introduction of these graphic screens transformed what we could do in-studio, and it now needs to be freshened up.
"It's a lot warmer and there's a lot less of the blue background."
"It was time for us to return to literal imagery of the country instead of abstract shots -- this is a more modern look," said John O'Regan, executive producer of RTE News.
The last revamp was in February 2009, and previous revamps occurred every three years before that. The changes to the music and the studio graphics -- all external costs -- came to €25,000.