Wednesday 24 January 2018

Miriam’s tweet to new RTE boss: You’ll be very happy here...and we’ll all make sure you are

Kevin Bakhurst, the former BBC deputy head of news, was appointed to the RTE job on Tuesday but will not take up the role until September
Kevin Bakhurst, the former BBC deputy head of news, was appointed to the RTE job on Tuesday but will not take up the role until September
Miriam O'Callaghan. Photo: Collins
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

HE doesn't start his new job until September, but already the great and the good of RTE have wasted no time in rolling out the welcome mat for Kevin Bakhurst.

The broadcaster's new head of news and current affairs secured a reputation as a cost cutter in his previous job with the BBC -- and is likely to need those skills at cash-strapped RTE.

But he has been inundated with a flood of gushing congratulatory messages from his new staff.

Leading the charge on Twitter was 'Prime Time' host Miriam O'Callaghan who wrote: "Mega congratulations on your new appointment -- our big gain. I know you'll be very happy here -- and we'll all make sure you are."

Chopping

Various regional news correspondents, who could find their patch on the chopping block as RTE attempts to slash its regional spend, also took to the website to pass on their congratulations to the new top man.

"Best wishes on your appointment today. Looking forward to meeting you in September," posted Midlands correspondent Ciaran Mullolly.

His north-east colleague, Richard Dowling, added his voice to the clamour of congratulations writing: "Am sure you're probably sick of tweets about you're (sic) move but anyway . . . Welcome to RTE!! Looking forward to meeting you soon."

Head of 2FM, John McMahon sent his congratulations telling Mr Bakhurst "welcome aboard".

"All of us on @RTE2fm are looking forward to working with you," he added.

And 2FM presenter Rick O'Shea also got in on the act with a deferent posting: "Best of luck with the new job, sir."

Former RTE correspondent Mark Little, who left the broadcaster in 2009 to launch his own business, expressed his approval for the appointment tweeting: "Smart guy. Smart choice."

However, it remains to be seen how long the goodwill will last. Mr Bakhurst joins RTE at a crucial juncture as it seeks to cut running costs by €25m and secure voluntary redundancies.

Morale at the national broadcaster is also said to be at an all-time low in the wake of the Fr Kevin Reynolds libel scandal and Mr Bakhurst will have to grapple with an overhaul of its approach to investigative reporting.

Meanwhile, many of Mr Bakhurst's colleagues at the BBC will be sorry to see him go.

News presenter Jeremy Vine wrote: "Very sad that BBC News is losing award-winning @kevinbakhurst who has experience going back years and mega-talent. It is RTE's gain though."

BBC's loss will be RTE's gain - comment, Page 26

Irish Independent

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