We Are Not Dinosaurs


Above from left: Noel Curran, Dee Forbes and Martijn van Dam

Yes, you are.


At the International Broadcasting Convention – the “world’s most influential media, entertainment and technology show” – in Amsterdam.

Director general of the European Broadcasting Union (and former Director General Of RTÉ) Noel Curran, Director-General at RTE Dee Forbes and Martijn van Dam, a member of Executive Board of the Dutch Public Broadcaster (NPO) were part of a panel in which they were asked about the future of public service broadcasting.

From the discussion:

Interviewer 1 (male): “Are you going to survive or are you dinosaurs, do you think?”

Noel Curran: “DINOSAURS? – dinosaurs who are leading the way in loads of technological developments? Dinosaurs that are restructuring, changing, dinosaurs that are following their audience? We are, all media organisations, are facing challenges.

This is unprecedented. We faced a lot of challenges before. We’ve changed, we’ve adapted. We know our audiences, our audiences trust us. We need big changes, particularly around younger audiences. But, yes, absolutely, we are going to survive, if we change and if we get support from Government.

“And if we maintain the incredible trust and the connection that we have with the audience.”


Interviewer 2 (female): “Dee, is that what was coming through in the session today? Cause I know you were very much looking forward to collaboration.”

Dee Forbes: “Yeah, I think, you know, what Noel said is absolutely right. We’re, you know, we’re fighting for our lives here because it’s important and the word I keep using and RTÉ is, we’re reinventing ourselves. And that’s actually exciting as well. Because, you know, every so often we all have to reinvent ourselves.

“And I think that’s where opportunity arises and challenge arises.

“So, as part of that, and I think this is something that all public broadcasters have done in the recent years is collaborate. We can’t do everything ourselves. We don’t have the money to – nor, quite honestly, should we anyway.

“Because collaborating is bringing, in its own right, great ideas, great partnerships, opportunity. Particularly, we’re seeing great opportunities in the content space. So we’re partnering with a number of public service broadcasters but other broadcasters as well.

“To bring, you know, drama to our screens, to bring other content to our screens. We’re partnering with our biggest sports organisation in Ireland to create a worldwide streaming service for the distribution of that content.

“We’ve created a digital lab at RTÉ, to find new voices, new talent, new ideas, new content.

So we’re experimenting, we’re changing, we’re partnering, you know, we’re doing a lot of things. And that is hugely exciting.”

Dee Forbes
: 300k a year.

European Broadcasting Union: 1million annually.

Martin van God Dam
: 7gajillion gilders.

Good times.

Watch in full here

Thanks Jack Jones

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22 thoughts on “We Are Not Dinosaurs

    1. Clampers Outside

      60% is low…. compared to? Can you elaborate?

      – – – –

      On another note, for those who call for the shutdown of RTE, do ye care to comment on the following….

      “The report notably found that countries that have popular, well-funded public service broadcasters encounter less rightwing extremism and corruption and have more press freedom.”
      from link above in previous comment.

    2. eoin

      How much “+” on the €200k?

      As you know, the EBU is a Swiss-based body which doesn’t publish audited accounts with traditional notes, like the remuneration of senior staff. I heard his package was worth more towards the €1m. He’s kinda like Sepp Blatter, though hopefully minus the shenanigans.

  1. Louis Lefronde

    My god, that woman Forbes is inarticulate, and that’s coming from a French man who’s second language is English?

    Perhaps this is evidence, if any were needed – that you don’t need either talent or brains to run a public broadcaster…. just more money from taxpayers.

  2. Mr.Fart

    “We know our audiences, our audiences trust us … and we abuse that trust by tailoring our programming and messaging to pro-government views”

  3. GiggidyGoo

    “But, yes, absolutely, we are going to survive, if we change and if we get support from Government.”
    If, if.
    Maybe “if” public Service excluded government spin, they might be taken seriously.
    “If we change” – no they won’t
    “If we get support from government ” – they do

    1. Mr.Fart

      exactly. both of them are absolutely waffling away there, barely any of it based in reality or fact, just trying to say all the right things to make the foreigners think they know what theyre at.

  4. eoin

    “We’re partnering with our biggest sports organisation in Ireland to create a worldwide streaming service for the distribution of that content”

    Yeah, the GAA and RTE were made for each other. Fuppin’ fat fupp stuffed shirt senior GAA management won’t even reveal their salaries, relying on a dodgy interpretation of an accounting standard, though they say they benchmark their management salaries against “similar organisations”. What “similar organisations” they won’t say, the FAI, FIFA?

  5. eoin

    “we’re fighting for our lives here”

    Yeah, supported by the likes of €495k Ryan Tubridy, €390k Joe Duffy, €300k Marian Finucane and my favorite on Morning Ireland, €199k Bryan Dobson who, in fairness, turns up each day in a suit and tie for radio but my God, is he not suited to that programme.

    1. Pip

      Dobbo is in a class of his own. And I don’t mean that in a nice way.
      Ghastly breathless urgency allover the place.

  6. eoin

    “all media organisations, are facing challenges”

    That’s right Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Hulu, you’re all facing challenges as you hover up audiences with your fiendish offering of quality programming which people want.

    And if RTE think they can justify their existence on €340m revenue a year, just to tell the national story, they can fupp away with themselves.

    [I think I need a nice decaf tea now]

  7. eoin

    Oh, and if anyone is keeping count, the audience for the Late Late last Friday was 404,000, down 10% from the season premier the week before. The previous season ended up with audiences of around 350,000, I think they’ll be lucky to keep it above 300,000 this season, it’s just a promo for those flogging their books, records and films and is aimed at the urinary incontinence brigade which RTE already “superserves” already.

    The Ray D’Arcy show premiered on Satuday with 208,000, which is, I believe a record low. Ray kept audiences above 200,000 last year, but I’d be surprised if his ends up above 150,000 this year. And that, RTE, is what €450,000 buys you, you utter incompetent eejits.

    1. curmudgeon

      Eoin, mate your on a roll. Keep up the good work, you’re single-handedly making the comments section a better place.

  8. Praetorian.

    D4bs is becoming a thorn in the side of Govt…pushing for money to fill a sinking ship,trying to force an unpopular tax…this wont end well for her.

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