Shock as RTE axes current affairs programme Morning Edition
* RTE's current affairs boss Kevin Bakhurst informed staff of the decision this morning
* Programme will not be returning in January
RTE’s current affairs programme ‘Morning Edition’ has been axed.
Staff working on the programme, which is presented by Keelin Shanley, were told it would not be returning to the RTE One schedule next January.
It’s understood staff were told the news this morning by RTE’s current affairs boss Kevin Bakhurst.
An email was then circulated amongst staff telling officially telling them the news.
It’s understood financial cuts at the broadcaster played a role in the programme getting the axe.
In a statement, RTE said the programme would end it's current run this year after a two year period on-air.
"The decision has been made due to ongoing financial pressures," the statement said.
"Presenter Keelin Shanley will move to present RTÉ’s Radio 1’s popular late night news and current affairs programme The Late Debate from January, in addition to her role as presenter of RTÉ One’s The Consumer Show.
"Other staff will continue working with RTÉ News and will be redeployed within RTÉ’s online and television news operations."
"RTÉ News will continue to broadcast morning news headline bulletins on RTÉ News Now," it concluded.
‘Morning Edition’ was launched amid a blaze of publicity in January 2013.
Keelin (45), an experienced and well-respected current affairs presenter who worked as a reporter on ‘Primetime’, was drafted in to front the programme.
Recently, Keelin has stepped in for Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio One’s flagship ‘Today’ programme.
The show aired on RTE One between 9am and 11am, comprising a mix of, news, analysis and commentary.
RTE stayed in-house to produce the show – alongside Keelin Shanley was editor Anthony Murnane and reporter Aisling O’Riordan.
In June 2013, the programme’s average audience was recorded as 13,600.
At the time, RTE claimed this represented a substantial increase on the programmes which previously inhabited the slot, attracting an average audience of 8,900.
After ‘Morning Edition’ was launched, TV3’s ‘Ireland AM’ increased the length of their show, broadcasting from 7am to 10.45am.
However, the show later went back to the broadcasting hours of 7am to 10am.
It’s not clear at this stage whether RTE will replace Morning Edition with another Irish programme.
UTV Ireland is due to launch in January – and it’s believed they are looking at launching a mid morning magazine programme.