Friday 22 September 2017

Station faces new cut in share of licence fee

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

RTE'S share of the TV licence is in danger of being further diluted in the wake of Colm McCarthy's reports.

At the moment, 7pc of the licence fee is allocated to a broadcasting fund, which other stations apply to for cash.

Mr McCarthy's report says the portion of the licence going into this fund should be increased substantially "to better equalise conditions of competition between RTE and private broadcasters".

Meanwhile, RTE director general Noel Curran has warned that the state broadcaster must "adapt to new economic realities" and ensure the organisation does not "stagnate in "difficult times". In his first statement on station strategy since taking up his post on February 1, the 46-year-old told employees that "the biggest single issue" RTE faces is a "financial one".

In an email seen by the Irish Independent, Mr Curran said: "Clearly the economic climate is the most difficult in several generations. As you know, the reduction in our public funding and the downturn in commercial revenue have left the organisation facing a substantial deficit this year.''

He claimed a significant amount of progress had been made in the last two years in cutting spending. There would be more this year and next.

Mr Curran accepted a basic salary of €250,000 when taking up his new role -- €11,000 less than his predecessor Cathal Goan.

Irish Independent

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