Friday 23 March 2018

RTE staff warned cuts on the way as losses to hit €20m

Communications Minister Denis Naughten Photo: Steve Humphreys
Communications Minister Denis Naughten Photo: Steve Humphreys
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

RTE staff are bracing themselves for a range of cost-cutting measures, as losses for the year approach €20m.

RTE has carried several high-cost events this year, such as the General Election coverage, 1916 commemorations and the Olympics, while advertising revenue growth has been below expectations. In recent weeks, advertisers - many of whom are based in London - have reduced spending in the wake of the Brexit vote, and senior ad agency executives believe spending on TV advertising could be down by 20pc next month.

Last week, senior managers at RTE briefed employees to warn them of the worsening financial position and flag the possibility of redundancies and other cuts.

New director general, Dee Forbes, has outlined RTE's deteriorating financial position to Minister for Communications Denis Naughten in recent days.

Naughten has ruled out an increase in the licence fee but plans to bring in measures to tackle evasion, which costs the broadcaster as much as €40m a year.

A spokesman for RTE said although the organisation had forecast a deficit for 2016 some time ago, the year was proving to be "very challenging".

Sunday Independent

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