Thursday 23 November 2017

'It's hard to see friends lose their jobs... and so close to Christmas' - RTE's Blathnaid Treacy

Blathnaid Treacy
Blathnaid Treacy
Blathnaid Treacy

Sean O'Grady

TV star Blathnaid Treacy has lamented RTE’s “dreadful” decision to outsource their young people’s television to independent production companies.

The broadcaster released a statement claiming they made the decision due to a “challenging financial environment”.

“Yesterday the Young People’s Programming Department (YPP) was given dreadful news, that RTE would be outsourcing all children’s TV programming to the independent sector,” the TV star said.

The Two Tube presenter said she had learnt so much during her time at RTE and was saddened by the news.

Balthnaid Treacy
Balthnaid Treacy

“Working in this department was like doing a Master’s degree in presenting, researching and working in broadcasting in general.”

Blathnaid revealed she and co-host Stephen Byrne were gearing up to leave the programme in the new year anyway but she feels terrible for the people who are set to lose their jobs when changes come into affect at the end of the year.

“Stephen and I had decided we would be moving on from Two Tube in the New Year, but it’s still incredibly hard to see friends and colleagues lose their jobs and so close to Christmas, too.

“I am forever indebted to YPP for guiding me, giving me so many opportunities and for giving me some amazing friends for life,” she said.

Read more: 'End of an era' - RTÉ confirms it will outsource all of its Young People's TV

While the Dublin woman may have been upset by the news, former RTE star Ian Dempsey (inset) commended the station for the move.

The Today FM host cut his teeth in young people’s television and doesn’t see much of a difference to how things were run when he was in Montrose.

“Having worked at RTE both in front of the camera and behind the camera, I thought that’s the way they were doing it all the time anyway. Any programme I have worked on, I’ve always had an independent producer. They have a lot of talented people in there and the world has changed.

“I think it’s going to be a good thing,” he told the Herald.

Ian reckons the move will pay off for both RTE and the companies who will be producing their content.

“I think the big worry people have is that it’s not going to nurture any young, new talent anymore because they won’t have the space to do that but I think it will be great,” he said.

“There are very good production companies and there’s a lot of good people out there.

“RTE are trying to save money and it’s probably a clever thing to do.”

The radio host called the controversial move a pragmatic decision for RTE.

“They probably need to cut down on staff a bit. I think it’s quite a sensible thing,” he said.


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