All discretionary spending at RTÉ to be stopped, broadcaster announces

By Stephen Porzio

September 13, 2023 at 2:41pm


A total recruitment freeze has also been announced.

RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst has announced that all discretionary spending at the broadcaster will be stopped. 'The steep fall in the licence fee' was cited as one of the reasons for the move.

The news comes as Bakhurst and several other members of the RTÉ Board will be quizzed by the Oireachtas Committee on Media on Wednesday afternoon (13 September) regarding the organisation's finances.

The broadcaster has been embroiled in controversy since it emerged in June that the annual earnings of one of its star presenters, Ryan Tubridy, had been underreported.

As per RTÉ News, Bakhurst announced a stop to discretionary spending at the organisation, as well as a total recruitment freeze.

In a statement emailed to staff, the Director General expressed "regrets" about the changes due to the impact they will have on the broadcaster's coverage and its investment in digital plans and equipment.


Director General of  RTÉ Kevin Bakhurst announces stop to discretionary spending

However, he added that it was the "only responsible thing" that RTÉ could do "given the steep fall in the licence fee and the uncertainty over interim funding".

RTÉ News also states that Chair of RTÉ Board, Siún Ní Raghallaigh, will tell senators and TDs in her opening statement to the Oireachtas Committee on Media on Wednesday that the broadcaster is, across a number of fronts, under intense pressure.

She will also reportedly highlight how Bakhurst and his interim leadership team will soon complete a strategic review of the organisation and that she expects this review will "then shape what will be a costed restructuring plan".

"Hard decisions must be made in order to achieve a fit for purpose public service broadcaster. These decisions may not be popular with stakeholders and policy makers, including perhaps this committee," Ní Raghallaigh will say about this plan, according to reports.


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