Tuesday 21 November 2017

RTÉ already having its cake and eating it - now it wants a slice from people with no TV

RTÉ’s director general Dee Forbes who said the service provided by the broadcaster was worth twice the licence fee of €160. Photo: David Conachy
RTÉ’s director general Dee Forbes who said the service provided by the broadcaster was worth twice the licence fee of €160. Photo: David Conachy
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

As Dee Forbes approaches the end of her first year in the job, any performance review she conducts on herself will surely be framed along the lines of 'be careful what you wish for'.

While it's the most important job in Irish broadcasting, being RTÉ director general is also a poisoned chalice, as she has discovered to her cost. The first external appointment to that position, she arrived with the reputation of a reformer but as her recent, much-derided comments about the licence fee reminded us, it doesn't take long for even the most independent spirit to start drinking the Montrose Kool-Aid.

While she subsequently tried to roll her comments back, her assertion that the €160 we are legally obliged to pay would still be good value at twice the price was a wince-inducing gaffe that enraged many punters who feel that they are already paying too much.

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