Tuesday 19 November 2019

Bakhurst in the running for the top job at RTÉ

RTÉ’S deputy director-general Kevin Bakhurst. Photo: Tony Gavin
RTÉ’S deputy director-general Kevin Bakhurst. Photo: Tony Gavin
Outgoing: Noel Curran
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

RTÉ's deputy director-general Kevin Bakhurst and its managing director Glen Killane are believed to be in the running to replace the outgoing director-general Noel Curran.

Mr Curran, who was appointed to the role in 2010, said yesterday that it was the "right time for me and for RTÉ" as he announced his intention to step down. He will retire from the role in May 2016.

RTÉ's board, which is chaired by Moya Doherty, will consider potential candidates both externally and from within the organisation as they search for Mr Curran's sucessor.

However, RTÉ will not be commenting on Mr Curran's replacement until next year.

An RTÉ spokesperson told the Irish Independent: "It is a matter for the RTÉ board and will be handled in due course."

In an email circulated to staff, Mr Curran thanked his RTÉ colleagues and said the general election coverage would be a fitting "end point for someone who once considered himself addicted to live broadcasting".

The last five years have been an extremely turbulent time for the national broadcaster, with substantial financial cuts and hundreds of redundancies.

Mr Curran ackowledged that there may "have been easier times to have worked in RTÉ" than in recent years.

However, he said few periods in the State broadcaster's history had been "as important, given the financial and editorial challenges we faced".

Mr Curran said that he had invested a huge degree of energy and emotion into the role of director-general.

Compared to previous jobs he had held, Mr Curran said that he "got the most reward from (the director-general's job) - even though it didn't feel like that at various times over the last five years".

Mr Curran joined RTÉ in 1992, working as a business reporter. The Monaghan native was appointed to the position of executive producer of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997.

He completed two terms as editor of current affairs in the news division and was editor of the Mary Raftery documentaries 'Cardinal Secrets' and 'Broken Trust'.

Mr Curran joined RTÉ's executive as managing director of television in 2003.

In November 2010, Mr Curran was appointed director general by the RTÉ board, effective from 1 February 2011.

During his tenure, Mr Curran oversaw a restructuring programme within the station and led the organisation in the delivery of the digital free-to-air service, Saorview.

Moya Doherty said both Mr Curran's "experience and insight will be truly missed".

"He has been an accomplished director-general," Ms Doherty said.

"He is skilled in developing strategy, while leading the staff from the front and confronting difficult periods with courage, commitment, and a concern for those he represented. He has an acute sense of RTÉ's place in Irish society."

Irish Independent

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