Eamon Delaney: Why can't generously funded RTE stand on its own two feet?
RTE may get more public funding in the near future to make up for its continuing financial shortfalls, says Pat Rabbitte. This will create alarm among those in commercial media who feel RTE already has an unfair advantage with both licence fee and advertising revenue. Mr Rabbitte still believes RTE has a public service function that is not catered for by the broader media.
Either way, the media landscape is changing rapidly, and in a way that recognises no borders or public service remit. People are watching TV from all over their world on their tablets and phones without a care for its origin or viability. One thus has sympathy for RTE. It has imposed rounds of pay cuts and voluntary job losses. From its days of over-manning and bureaucratic dead wood, it has got itself back into shape for the new world, and then watched the advertising revenue disappear overseas.
Those RTE reforms, incidentally, are in marked contrast to the other commercial state companies, most of which have not imposed pay cuts over the past three years. Indeed, many of these have been paying increments and bonuses. Annual