Could Fair City be next for axe as RTÉ looks at all areas in cost-cutting drive? (iIndependent,ie)



Mary Fitzgerald

RTÉ is at it again, selling off the family silver. First the lands around the RTÉ studios in Donnybrook, and now the jewel in the crown, children’s and young people’s television programmes.

As a former RTÉ children’s and young people’s television presenter in the 1980s and 1990s of very successful children’s shows, made in-house by great RTÉ production teams, I am very disappointed and sad to hear the news that RTÉ is outsourcing the making of children’s and young people’s television programmes to independent production companies.

Did anyone ask the children or young people what they think? Probably not. Their voices are always the last to be heard. Once again children’s interest are bottom of the pile, and the accountants win out. A very short-sighted decision.

Mary Fitzgerald

Irish Times Letters


54 thoughts on “This Dustin

  1. Christopher

    The programs will still be made except it will be by cheaper independent companies- I’m all in favour.

      1. edalicious

        In this situation it’s probably less about profit and more about the chronic public sector bloat that this country tends to suffer from.

        1. AlisonT

          most likely RTE management have picked the most liked and most beneficial part of the business so that they can get a political point across. There is a lot more political clout cutting a low paid presenter who is making public service programmes for kids than cutting an overpaid department where presenters are making 100s of thousands.
          RTE Jr is a great channel and it has no ads so it is purely public service.

        2. Nigel

          You can be almost absolutely certain that the bloat isn’t in the creative or production side of children’s television. Getting rid of one part of the organisation that makes actual television is retrogressive and a flalse economy.

          1. edalicious

            There’s inefficiencies all over the shop out there, in fairness but, yeah, you’re mostly correct.

          2. classter

            I can see the benefit of both sides here.

            Having an ecosystem of smaller independent companies who can do this sort of work is not necessarily a bad thing. They may work for RTE but they can also bid for work from other organisations – BBC NI, TV3, and further afield.

            And yes, it frees RTE from having to deal with the respective unions, who (and I support trade unions) have been particularly over the top in RTE

        1. Turgenev

          Yeah, we should teach our kids that paying people a decent wage for their work is a bad thing, and all arts workers should be freelance until they’re driven back into the mundane economy and become call centre agents.

      2. Vote Rep #1

        Being a kid must be great fun in davs gaff.

        Before sitting down to watch Ulysses 31, you get a big lecture on profit, loss and the role of the state broadcaster


        1. Holden MaGroin

          This comment made me laugh. So now I’m leaving a comment stating that fact.

          “No one esle can do the tings you doOOO!”


      3. Antoine D'Alton

        RTE is provincial muck, always was and always will be. Being forced to pay for the self-regarding rubbish they produce is infuriating. The sooner it is downsized and privatised, the better.

        1. scottser

          so you’re happy to pay for dumbed down, lowest common denominator muck, sandwiched between 10 minute ad breaks? go ahead – your kids will grow up as stupid as you.

  2. Eamonn Clancy

    RTÉ is over populated with people. Just listen to the “credits” at the end on a radio programme for a start. They send correspondents around the globe willy nilly, hire taxis as if they were free. More of these cuts please.

    1. classter

      It takes a lot of people to make TV. This is part of the challenge RTE has, ti is being compared with HBO etc. but have a fraction of the budget

  3. Yer Man


    The kids won’t care. They’re preoccupied nowadays with tamagotchis and watching snuff videos online.

  4. Jimmee

    “I am very disappointed and sad to hear the news that RTÉ is outsourcing the making of children’s and young people’s television programmes to independent production companies.”

    RTE have a monopoly on children’s TV production?

    I think it’s a marvellous idea to open this up to other companies. You know what Mary, it might actually improve the quality of the shows!

  5. edalicious

    Although I am sympathetic to those who will potentially lose their jobs, I think this is a great idea. RTÉ is absolutely not getting good value for money making these shows in-house. Ireland has a world class film and TV industry that RTÉ is lagging MILES behind so they’ll more than likely get a much better product for less money by outsourcing it.

    1. Jonsmoke

      because they spent all that money on huge salaries and a myriad of perks for a load of unnecessary employees.

    2. classter

      ‘Cause TV3 shows what you get for ad revenue alone & we don’t have the population (or the level of licence fee) which could support public broadcasting on its own.

  6. Nilbert

    the ‘Jewel’ in the ‘Crown’…… bwaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaah!!

    maybe they can spend the savings on more cutting edge comedy. I have some ideas:

    the Irish mammy
    culchies up in the big shmoke
    what were we LIKE in the 80’s?!!!!!
    Culchie Irish mammies, up in the big shmoke, during the ’80s.

    1. Frilly Keane

      Sur I could manage that meself .

      Any idea how many will be made redundant ( ha as if ) or pensioned off ( ha ha haaaaaa s’if)

      That lad Tony had it right on annuder thread

      The place is stocked with dowdy dungaree wearing lifers covering their arses to maintain the Permanent & Pensionable.

      BTW whatever happened with the Bullying complaint lodged by Afternooner Sheena Keane

  7. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    I gave up on RTÉ when they started putting the words ‘In Colour’ in the titles of their programmes.
    Everything was still in black ‘n’ white.

    Daithí Lacha was good, I’ll grant them that, but it’s been downhill ever since.
    I think…

    1. ReproBertie

      How would you know it’s been downhill since Daithí Lacha if you gave up on them back in the black and white switching to colour days?

  8. nellyb

    “1990s of very successful children’s shows” – ‘very successful’ on what scale and from whose perspective?

    90s children watched cable channels – Fairly Odd Parents, Sponge Bob, Dexters Lab – you name it. Whole generation had grown up outside of RTE already. My 2.5 yo nephew ‘steals’ mother’s phone from time to time to watch Shaun the Sheep if she doesn’t chromecast it to big screen. He is NO exception.

    1. classter

      Much of their 1990’s children’s tv shows were very successful. Bosc, The Den, etc. had an outsized cultural influence.

      1. Frilly Keane

        They were 80s start ups Classie

        Nelly is right Irish babies born from 96 on feasted on
        Barney, Rugrats, The Wiggles, Bananas in pajamas, Sponge Bob, Hannah Montana, I Carly, and ffs whatever Nickelodeon bundles where given away.

        Want t’know how “Awesome” replaced Savage/ Deadly …..

        RTE children’s telly have sat on their spoilt pampered wholes for the last 25 years and turned our kids inta swanks who put out the Garbage instead a’ the bins

  9. curmudgeon

    RTE is expected to post a loss of 20 million euro by the end of 2016. Net loss 2015 was 2.8m. Since the govt no longer has enough borrowed money to bribe every ps worker and quango anymore rte will have to operate much like a normal business, hence the new CEO and this decision.

  10. Bob

    Almost 2,000 staff in RTE according to the 2015 report – was 1,978 on 31st of December.

    As a comparison TG4 has 80.

    I know RTE have radio and some other bits and pieces but I really can’t shake the notion there is serious over-staffing going on there. That’s before you even start looking at the salaries paid there.

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