RTE to replace publishing division

Noel Curran

RTE Publishing is to be replaced by a new digital division and each of the TV, radio and news divisions will be responsible for their own online output, RTE director general Noel Curran (above) has said. The digital division will be phased in over time and will manage all merchandising and e-commerce activities on RTE.ie.

RTE may proceed with more voluntary redundancies after the latest scheme was considerably oversubscribed. The national broadcaster sought at least 75 redundancies but received between two and three times that number when applications closed last week. RTE expects to make a loss of €17 million this year.

Curran told staff yesterday that revenues had dropped further again this year and “difficult choices” will have to be made. The redundancy package was originally costed at €16m and would save RTE €5m a year, but has since been revised upwards due to the interest involved in the agreements.

The package is aimed mainly at staff approaching retirement, with those over 55 receiving an ex-gratia lump sum of up to €60,000. Plans to cut the salaries of RTE’s top ten presenters by 30 per cent were underway.

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