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Monday 20 November 2017

RTE editor lambasts staff over tweets to new boss

Miriam O'Callaghan
Miriam O'Callaghan
Kevin Bakhurst
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A SENIOR RTE journalist has lambasted his colleagues for sending a series of gushing messages welcoming a new boss.

Kevin Bakhurst, the broadcaster's new head of news and current affairs, is not due to start until September.

But chief news editor Ray Burke felt obliged to send an email to news and current affairs staff asking them to rein in their "effusive tweets to the next boss" following the string of messages on Twitter earlier this week.

"If RTE journalists could devote as much energy to writing copy as some of them are devoting to sending effusive tweets to the next boss, RTE News might be able to offer a better news service to the Irish people between now and September," he wrote.

His stinging words were sent through RTE's internal email system at 10.45am on Wednesday -- and they seem to have had the desired effect.

While Miriam O'Callaghan and Richard Dowling had pushed out the welcome mat for Mr Bakhurst before then, there was a noticeable cessation of the love-bombing after Mr Burke's message.

Mr Bakhurst's reputation as a cost-cutter may have prompted staffers to fire a pre-emptive strike as the broadcaster looks to shed staff and slash costs by €25m.

'Prime Time' presenter Ms O'Callaghan said: "Mega congrats.. you'll be very happy here and we'll all make sure you are."

Midlands correspondent Ciaran Mullooly wrote: "Best wishes on your appointment today. Looking forward to meeting you in September."

Irish Independent

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