Tuesday 20 November 2018

Cantwell quits six-month UTV Ireland deal for the 'security' of TV3

Alan Cantwell with his wife Denise
Alan Cantwell with his wife Denise
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Broadcaster Alan Cantwell has returned to TV3 as he feels the station offers him greater "security and certainty" than his current employer, UTV Ireland.

Cantwell was employed by UTV Ireland on a six-month maternity cover contract, working as late news editor.

He took up his position just three weeks ago but announced yesterday he would be leaving the station in the coming days to return to his "alma mater".

"I was on a six-month contract with UTV Ireland," he told the Irish Independent.

"And I was happy with that at the time, but when TV3 got in touch they were offering greater security and certainty so I went for it."

Earlier this week, it was announced that ITV had acquired UTV Ireland and UTV for a €136.6m deal.

"UTV Ireland are going through a lot of change and an uncertain time," Cantwell said. "But I know the station will do well."

News of Cantwell's departure comes shortly after Chris Donoghue announced he will vacate his position as co-anchor on Ireland Live this December.

Cantwell was keen to stress he had thoroughly enjoyed his brief time at UTV Ireland.

"I had a great experience in UTV Ireland, it is a great place filled with great people but I am very excited about returning to my alma mater TV3," he said.

Cantwell fronted TV3's news from the time the station launched in 1998 until 2012, when he decided to leave, saying he wanted a change. Over the past three years, Cantwell has worked on a variety of projects.

"I've been writing and doing corporate communications. I also took some time out to relax and think about what direction I want to go," he said.

Cantwell will re-join TV3 on October 28 fronting the main evening news: 'TV3 News at 8'. He will also have a predominant role in TV3's Election coverage.

"TV3 seems to be a station with great prospects and programming. I'm looking forward to being part of the station's evolution under the ownership of Virgin Media."

A UTV Ireland spokesman said Cantwell was offered a maternity cover position. "We fully understand that he chose a more permanent position and we wish him all the best," he added.

Irish Independent

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