‘We’ve All Been Had’


Top from left: Mike Murphy with Ryan Turbridy (back) Pat Kenny, Moya Doherty, John McColgan and Joe Duffy on a special live edition of The Late Late Show broadcast in tribute to Gay Byrne last Tuesday night on RTÉ One; Vanessa Foran

This might surprise you, but I am opening this RTÉ special with something I wrote about INM from back when;

The most important asset I have as someone who works in professional practice is my independence which includes the perception of that independence.

As a director you are responsible for the welfare of the company, followed by the shareholders, and you must make decisions in the best interests of the company, at all times, and you must never allow that be questioned or mistrusted.

Over the last day you have being caught up into a spin cycle about Dee Forbes and RTÉ operations, cuts, sell offs, closures and NUJ crying games.

Yet all I see is a cloud of silt rising from the boots of shop floor employees as it poises a murky veil around the failure of its board.

You may think that it’s current board weren’t around when ridiculous salaries were being signed off, and their mandate for news and current affairs programming got riddled with propaganda, and you might be inclined to rebut me with it’s not their fault.

Yet you would be wrong, the board and every single one of its directors assume the responsibility of Stewardship and Governance when they accept the baton in a Going Concern entity.

Stewardship and Governance of both a State Asset and a Responsibility.  RTÉ got the gift of their infrastructure and their licence to operate as they liked for free.  RTÉ are responsible for public service broadcasting, specifically news reporting and current affairs; and its board of directors are responsible for RTÉ.

They have failed.

Over the weekend just past, I attended an event where the PRA and the Central Bank gave presentations about Governance and the roles and responsibilities of both Directors and Board Oversight/ Supervisors.  I accept regulated financial institutions are not the point here, but Governance is, and one very simple but significant point the PRA were keen to establish was about Relatives.

Relatives on a board of directors, or relatives of senior management, or indeed employees at any level within the operations of the organisation, or relatives of material suppliers, contributors and stakeholders on a Board of Directors is bad Governance.

It is harmful Governance and it puts organisations at risk, and way beyond what we should accept as a naturally occurring consequence of our feckless attitude to Conflict of Interest.

The jobs-for-the-boys norm we’ve all adjusted to can be blamed for the damage to this Country and its future, yet in RTÉ we are being charged a licence fee to watch it from our own front rooms.

RTÉ is not a family business.

Stop whimpering over job losses and the end of an era, it is time to accept that its failure, and it happened on our watch, that its failure starts and ends at its Governance level.

I don’t care how sexy it is to talk about Dee Forbes’ salary and car allowance, its board of directors at some point bred a Celtic Tiger culture into the organisation that it hasn’t shifted, it’s like the crash was only something that happened to other people, so they just tipped their hat at it by reporting it as it unfolded for ten years.

Over this week we are been fed reels and reels of archive footage containing Gay Byrne and maybe some of us might have dawdled some thoughts about what RTÉ might have been without him.  Or indeed this Country.  We could still be watching reruns of the Papal Visit while Fr D’Arcy hosts the Late Debate.

So let me say this; those great moments in television and the trigger for change they were to become don’t deserve to be used as cover for the abject and shameless failure of RTÉ.

The failure is both Financial and Operational; and it was all under the jurisdiction of its strategic level decision makers, its board of directors.

They agreed the current Strategy while Dee Forbes is employed to implement it.

Look up and note again what I said about relatives; Renewing RTÉ for the next generation was doomed to fail by page three; RTÉ will be outward looking, creative, respectful, sustainable and accountable, collaborative and transparent.

It’s hard to know if they had their fingers crossed when adopted it into the minutes, or whether they were laughing, or whether they were just too full of themselves for their next appointment to know it never stood a chance.

I commented on their Financial Statements here for Year Ends 2016 2017 and 2018 ; and I think I can get away with saying that everything I flagged here over those three columns is coming home to roost today.

Yet that expensive looking strategy wasn’t just a road map for RTÉ and DG Dee Forbes, it was also a promise to us, the Licence Payer, The Viewer, The Citizen, that they were going to get it right and do right my us.

We’ve all been had. 

And there is no gaudier example than the Late Wake Tribute last Tuesday; the current Chair of the RTÉ board and her husband, right in the centre of proceedings.

I don’t begrudge them a bit of their success so don’t pick on it.  But I do take their very presence on our national screen to lick themselves while Moya Doherty chaired the organisation into what ye are seeing today; and she was paid to do it.

I am particularly irritated by an itch that can’t be scratched; RTÉ served all those it employed and engaged, fattened flattered and flaunted, far better than it served any of us, its strategy or is mandated function.

RTÉ are supposed to answer to its Licence Payers and its viewers, and most of all its Public Broadcasting Mandate.  And it doesn’t.

So when DG Dee Forbes says the future of public service broadcasting is at risk, I find myself insulted. Do not blame the source of over half your income (YE18 56%) the Licence Payer,  for the collapse of the organisation both financially and operationally.  

Look again at that Renewing RTÉ for the the next generation , the most important Strategic Plan in the lifetime of the organisation, that within two years has been replaced by “A Plan.”

So even when it was developed, adopted, and probably got a fancy launch; it never stood a chance.  You really have to ask what sort of projections they were playing around with when the Board developed that Strategic Plan and signed it off.

The weekend ahead is going to be filled with Gay Byrne eulogies and RTÉ crisis management spin; and most of it from people who would either qualify as Relatives or Related Parties.

So from this someone, who is a no-one really, but can promise you independence that you could stir your tea with; here is my RTÉ Reboot Receipe

  • All Board and Board Oversight (if any) should be Voluntary

  • All Board and Board Oversight are banned from any programming, unless it is Board / Governance related reporting

  • All Department Heads have to go, and agree not to seek further opportunity from the organisation

  • Relocate the entire facility in Montrose out of Dublin 4

  • Immediately ban News and Current Affairs staff/ contractors from appearing in any Entertainment Division programming, and vice versa.

  • No outside employment for any staff member engaged in any programming department and or division

  • Future HR Ban on employment of Relatives and Related Parties unless signed off by external Auditors

  • Salary Cap of 145K for senior management

  • Dump everyone on over €100k on the wireless, and cap Names; Tubridy, O’Callaghan etc to €225K

  • Move all sports, both News & Current Affairs, and Special Events onto Network 2 & 2fm; SpórTÉ or something

  • Ban on all purchased content from other Television Networks.

  • No series renewal unless export market identified

  • RTÉ 1 and Radio 1 to be main news and current affairs, and special event telly, ie Debates, Toy Show, Elections; introduce more music.  Ban on employees working both divisions, unless engaged in special event, and signed off by two senior producers and DG.

Can it be done; of course it can.

Vanessa Foran is a principal at Recovery Partners.


Yesterday: Everything Must Go

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111 thoughts on “‘We’ve All Been Had’

    1. george

      There is literally no analysis here.

      What does it cost to make versus buy in a programme?
      Which programmes are most popular and bring in the most revenue?
      RTE will never sell Fair City abroad but it is the most watched programme with one of the highest ad revenues.
      If you remove sport updates from Radio1 news people will switch station and revenue will plummet.

      1. Rob_G

        Fair City is sold abroad, Ros na Rún too; you’d be surprised how well soap formats travel, lots of eastern block countries show Turkish and south American soaps.

      2. :-Joe

        Have a listen to newstalk yesterday evening, I forget the name but an experienced ex-rte, independent producer explains the basic breakdown of what rte needs to do to get back to reality, succeed and
        sustain itself.

        Vanessa Foran’s points above align closely with that accurate rough and basic blueprint and why I correctly referred to it as being her “analysis”.


      3. :-Joe

        RTE needs to get back to reality by focusing on news, current affairs and investigative journalism for holding the state powers accountable to it’s citizens.

        Apart from supporting the Irish language and the arts, everything else it gets invloved in commercially should not be funded by the taxpayer or a licence fee.


        1. Cian

          Should it only broadcast for 120 minutes each day?
          Or should it be like sky news and repeat the same news, current affairs on the half hour, every half hour?

    2. Tea And Brexits

      +101% + Ban RTE ermployees and contractors from publishing/writing books about their experiences in RTE and profiting from the publication (and obtaining tax breaks).

      Did Doherty and co use any RTE resources to create Riverdance, by the way?

      What other employer would tolerate staff using the employment resources for private gain?

      1. Tim Nelligan

        It is important to note that the RTÉ “Director of Strategy” is a brother of Tánaiste Simon Coveney (Rory), and his “Strategy” appears to be about as successful as the brother’s “Housing/Homelessness Strategy”.

        “It’s a big CLUB, and you aint in it!” (George Carlin).

      2. Rob_G

        “Ban RTE ermployees and contractors from publishing/writing books about their experiences in RTE and profiting from the publication”

        – this is mental; what on earth would that do to help RTÉ’s finances? Also, they aren’t spies…

  1. george

    So someone who knows nothing about the media has the answers.

    “Move all sports, both News & Current Affairs, and Special Events onto Network 2 & 2fm; SpórTÉ or something” – I don’t like sports myself but this would be a disaster for Radio 1

    “No series renewal unless export market identified” – right, yeah. That would mean many of the most watched shows would get axed. Also a show like Ireland’s Fittest Families is developed by a private company and sold to RTE. The company then sells the format abroad and it is made for another market. The income for RTE from this would be minimal

    “Ban on all purchased content from other Television Networks.” – Tv programmes are expensive to make.

    1. george

      I’ve just realised something: Don’t import programmes; export our programmes; no examination of the actual figures. It is the Donald Trump method.

  2. Pip

    Very much so.
    But they’re likely advised by the sort who say, thanks for keeping us on, now what was that advice you wanted?
    Rather like the legals who ask what kind of opinion would suit you, my good wo/man.

  3. newsjustin

    “RTÉ is not a family business. Stop whimpering over job losses and the end of an era.”

    Hear, hear.

    Some good suggestions to think about here but….
    “Ban on all purchased content from other Television Networks”
    That seems like a crazy suggestion. RTE cannot make absolutely everything it shows, or even Irish production companies. Frankly, it’s a lot more sensible to just buy and show (some) foreign shows as they are, rather than spending an absolute fortune buying the rights and then making not-quite-as-good Irish versions. Examples that spring to mind ( maybe not all RTE) – Bake Off, Who wants to be a millionaire (Sorry Gay), First Dates, etc, etc

      1. some old queen

        But what are the viewing figures V? Does the revenue generated from something like Eastenders make a profit or loss? That is what it comes down to after all.

        Just on that point- is there any viewing figures per programme available anywhere?

        1. Clampers Outside

          Medialive. ie (free, but requires a login)

          TAMIreland. ie

          will both give figs, but likely not drill down enough

        2. V

          My take on it was introduced here over two years ago, and I even provided the link in the main piece above
          But for convenience here is an extract from that 2016 YE review I did
          In 2016, Licence Fee Income was reported as €179.1 million.
          Of that 57.4% [€102,803,400] was allocated to television (RTÉ 1 & 2).

          Of the €25.7 million allocated to private providers, 14% of total taxpayers’ finance, €22.6 million of it is paid to suppliers outside of our national broadcaster’s jurisdiction or, if you like, Tax Take area.

          That’s €22.6 million = 12.6 % of the Irish taxpayers’ 2016 contribution to our national broadcaster.

          Money that could go to up and coming screen writers, pilots, animation development, wildlife programming – all sorts of Irish stuff. It might even introduce some new faces to the RTÉ canteen, which I feel confident and competent enough to assume is something we would all like to see.

          As a viewer myself, and a taxpayer, I would prefer to see more of this, the above, even if it is awful, than see RTÉ pay for and host repeats of shows I can already get on ITV or TLC, or YouTube.

          For comparison, as that’s a requirement of any accountant’s report, the sum spent by our national broadcaster on acquiring programming from Irish suppliers was €3.1 million (1.7%)… €3.1m v €22.6m…1.7% v 12.6%.

          While today’s piece above is intended to focus on Governance and Strategic failures; my historic point remains
          For RTÉ to remain relevant in its jurisdiction, and loyal to its remit and its principal source of funds, it needs to invest in local indigenous content
          Not spend money in the six figure region for content already available to most licence payers via their own private subscription services and or online – like eir or Virgin Media

          Strategically RTÉ should have been investing in itself, ie RTÉPlayer and creative programming that it can export
          Rather than contribute significant sums of money to the BBC’s (for example) income lines.

      2. Rob_G

        So you want RTÉ to make a profit (or at the very least, break even), yet you want to deprive them of one of their most profitable streams of revenue…

    1. holy moly

      TG4 has produced some of the best Irish TV on a shoe string. Further, production technology as advanced since the seventies. An entirely home grown stable of programmes is possbile its just that the one eye brigade favour Huberman (paid 40k a quarter to write the script of “her” own book) & O’Callaghan. If BBC Brimingham can produce content for a similar size audience by paying their “stars” 60k then we can to.

      1. Clampers Outside

        You appear to imply BbC Birmingham fills a schedule for the week, rack week. How much programming does BBC Birmingham actually produce?

        1. holy moly

          Fortunately, I am not responsible for your education. If you wish to make a point maybe you should know what it is before boring the rest of us with your waffle

          1. Clampers Outside

            Well, I’m quite sure that RTE don’t pay many people in various programmes €60k, and many in Fair City would attest to that. If I am still misreading, please elaborate.

    2. Pat

      The Irish First Dates is brilliant though.

      Some of your ‘not quite so good’ shows would be Dancing With The Stars or Dragons Den

      1. Clampers Outside

        That’s just judgement by personal viewing preference and certainly not a metric to operate a TV station programming selection or production by.

        1. Pat

          Clamps, I’m just saying Irish First Dates is a bad example of a show that is ‘not as good as’ the original. Because in my humble worthless opinion beggin your pardon your Grace, it’s brilliant.

          I’m saying nothing about metrics or whatnot

      2. Cian

        The problem is that you don’t know if an Irish version will be well received.

        Does anyone know how the costs compare? How much does it cost to buy a show (e.g. Great British Bake Off) Vs getting the rights + producing an Irish version (e.g. Great Irish Bake Off).

  4. Qwerty123

    Ever tried to use RTE player v BBC? The incompetence in RTE means it is doomed in all reality.

    The good thing it does, current affairs, (the creche prime time story this year as an eg) is definitely in the public interest, but it doesn’t mean it has to be RTE that makes it.
    Vanessa makes a good point in that failed management is at fault, not the license fee.

    Scrap the license fee, have a central pot for public service broadcasting, and let all stations apply for funding on this.
    I don’t think the skill set to make nationwide is concentrated in montrose!!

    1. Clampers Outside

      There already is a central pot, the TV licence, that every radio and TV station can apply to, and do apply to, for funding programming.

      1. Clampers Outside

        It should be noted that a portion of the TV licence also goes toward Euronews.
        As does a portion of monies raised by all EU public broadcasters.

        To make matters on that even more peculiar, Euronews is effectively a privately owned business. Look that one up! it’s an eye opener.

      2. Qwerty123

        What % of them get it? majority goes to RTE. My point was to scrap license fee altogether, too expensive to collect and non payment rates larger every year as people, correctly, question why they should be paying for a service they don’t consume.

        No point RTE siting on 100mil of land value in D4, let them compete with the rest of them.

        That prime time expose had huge viewers and in the public interest.

        Irish people compare themselves and service to the brits all the time, but you cant compare the BBC to RTE in terms of funding.

        1. Clampers Outside

          BAI website will give u the details u r looking for with regard to TV fee percentages.

          I’ve always contended that comparison of programme output and salaries of of the BBC to RTE is silly.

  5. holy moly

    One of the better assessments of RTE. However it is too generous. Once the boomers are gone, so is RTE.

  6. Clampers Outside

    There was a programme on RTE Radio 1 last night about the achievements of two of Europe’s most successful public broadcasters in pulling in younger audiences, the BBC and the Finnish equivalent.

    What was the most notable driver mentioned?
    Room to fail at producing successful programming.
    Where does the money come from?
    Direct taxes on the Finnish and licence fees on the British.

    Where does this analyses even come close to looking at this accomodation for failure to produce popular, audience growing programming? As an analysis, it doesn’t.

    While I agree with much of your cost cutting ideas and salary caps, this analysis is full of holes, in fairness.

    I would also like to add a question. Bar the couple at the top, on the board/chair, that you mention, where else is this nepotism that is implied to be rife? You cannot make such an accusation without providing evidence, and a single anecdote, is certainly not evidence of what is so heavily implied.

    That analysis needs an editor, in fairness. It comes across as just another gripe, rather than actual analysis, and that ruins any of the decent points made within it.

    1. Clampers Outside

      As an aside, considering the anecdotal evidence given, could you not replace “jobs for the boys” with “jobs for the girls and boys” in fairness like.

      1. V

        You know Clamps when I wrote that I knew you would pick on it

        However, whether you like it or not, or whether if fits with your particular set of grudges that you display here week in week out
        Jobs for the Boys is a generally accepted expression that encompasses all connected parties.

        While unfortunately, well for me mostly, I haven’t yet managed to forget the nasty vindictive falsehoods you posted here about me on a particular Sunday last year, I will in future attempt to soothe your raw angst on gender issues, and so from now on adopt the expression Pull
        Just for you

        1. Clampers Outside

          Ah now V, we could both get sore over past posts by either of us, truth be told, and in ALL fairness.

          Glad you took my comment on board all the same, regardless of your reading of my mood or hyperbole of my comment activity on here.

          1. V

            How dare you
            I NEVER posted lies about you
            Or anyone else here

            You attempted to bully me
            With Lies

            I stand over every post I ever made here
            Everyone of them

          2. Clampers Outside

            Stick those lies up your hoop Frilly.

            I’m not taking any more baiting today, thank you.

      2. some old queen

        Oh come on Clamps- connections is RTE’s second name and also- a big part of it’s current problems. .

        1. Clampers Outside

          Connections? The point was made specifically with regard to “family” connections, ie, nepotism.

          I see no examples being offered of such that evidence what is implied Tobe a ride practice of same. I await any such evidence…

          1. Lilly

            I know a brother and sister who are employed by RTE. Their father also worked there. Quelle coincidence.

          2. Clampers Outside

            On its own, that’s an anecdote. I’m simply asking for evidence that what is claimed is an issue that is rife as per the implication of the piece.

            By the way, the fact that multiple generations have worked at Guinness, does that mean it is rife with nepotism? …don’t think so. But it’s a known fact there are generations of families working at Guinness.

          3. Clampers Outside

            Not sure why you’re asking me, as I’m not the one making the assertion, but seeing as you ask…
            Whatever you have to make the assertion viable and robust* should do.

            (* although at this stage even something to take the idea to a conspiracy level would do to get the ball rolling… like 10 to 15 examples of nepotism.)

          4. Clampers Outside

            That’s a really really, really low bar considering there are maybe 1,500+ working in RTE (1,800 in 2013)

          5. Lilly

            How about a few more ‘anecdotes’ off the top of my head:

            Noel & Richard Curran
            Gerry & Lottie Ryan
            Tom McGuirke & Miriam O’Callaghan
            Ryan Tubridy & David McSavage

          6. Clampers Outside

            Getting there, not exactly a “family” yet…. 4 relationship connections, 1 person dead years ago, out of 1,500+…

            ….family business? …rife?

            *slaps knee*

          7. Lilly

            You’re being deliberately obtuse. As an observation from a distance from one person who has never worked there, I’d say we’re looking at nepotism. Add to that the father/siblings combo I mentioned earlier – I’m not prepared to name them as they’re not ‘stars’ – and a definite picture emerges.

          8. Clampers Outside

            That maybe, and I can user your point, certainly…. but is it as rife and operated to that degree of nepotism as to be described as a “family business” as the piece does?

            Simple answer, I believe, is clearly a resounding… ‘no’.

        2. shayna

          To be fair – nepotism is de riguer. I’m a freelance type – I’ve never been offered anything by RTÉ – I’ve worked for everyone else. I don’t have an Uncle Seamus, or the like @RTÉ.

          1. italia'90

            Hi Shayna,

            I’ve been meaning to reply to you for ages it seems

            You need to have poiticaI connections in RTE I’m afraid

            And you do

            Bit of a leap here but,

            my famiy can trace ourselves back to The O’Neill thru Alice{Alicia}O’Neill who was the daughter of one of his siblings iirc, she was traded/married off to one of Edward Longshanks’ Uncles/Cousins who’s family name became Fortesque thru marraige and heirs etc, they played a significant role in Irish/Ulster and Dublin history until the 20th century – but we haven’t gone away you know ;)

            Check out Ryan Tubridys Who do you think you are episode and you will see how you may be related to the Pembroke Dynasty that has ruled Montrose since the beginning of RTE

            link to John Fortescue in here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithful_Fortescue
            Apologies I don’t have all the relavent links to hand atm

            You’re royalty Shayna haha

            There are lots of people sucking off the teat that is RTE thru being the sons or daughters of former/current Irish politicians

          2. shayna

            Jesus, Italia ’90 – a tad harsh on Shayna – calling herself royalty. Also Qwerty 123 – freelancers have to sell themselves – RTÉ just didn’t buy me?

          3. Shayna O'Neill

            I worked at UTV for a few months as a boom operator – I dragged the high camera along to marked spots etc, Frank Mitchell – the weather guy said to me, “Oh, hello, you’re new” – I responded, ‘Not so much!’ – hoping that would be the end of it. He then asked me where I was from, because he couldn’t make out my accent. I told him, Coalisland. He just said, “Jesus!”?

    2. :-Joe

      “Room to fail at producing successful programming.”

      If you consider the piles of cash rte burns through relentlessly every year and over the past decade you could argue that as a state broadcaster and in terms of output from expenditure, it does not do any of this at all.


      1. Clampers Outside

        Considering the cost of original programming and the failure to success ratio*, which I understand to be very high, I wouldn’t be too certain of that…. to the best of my own understanding.

        * been a while since I looked this up

  7. Clampers Outside

    Your points about preventing staff working across different programming and across media – TV to Radio, etc – would mean an increase in staff numbers and everyone knows that staff salaries are the biggest cost.

    How exactly are these “bans” supposed to be a cost saver?

    1. V

      You know Clamps in the Public Sector not everything is a Financial decision
      And I think I was pretty explicit when I remarked above that the failures in addition to Governance, are both operational and financial

      In this particular ban you selected
      It would promise that the Late Late – RTÉ biggest home grown production asset btw, wouldn’t be filled with staffers
      And that’s just one example

      Another might be avoiding Miriam doing lite- entertainment talk shows

      1. Clampers Outside

        Genuinely asking, what does “filled with staffers” mean?

        And I’m not sure how stopping Miriam doing lite-ent saves costs?

        1. Cian

          I think she means things like show A (e.g. the Late Late) having another RTE presenter as a guest or when ex-news presenters (Charlie Bird) get their own shows not related.

          1. Clampers Outside

            How is that an issue of governance?

            I can see, as a viewer, an issue of boredom, but I don’t see a governance issue. Also,it is something practiced in both public service and commercial TV in every country where TV is produced, to the best of my knowledge….certainly does go in the UK, US, France, NZ, Australia… I could go on…

            I struggle to see how it is a governance issue?

          2. V

            Its a Strategic (plan if you like) Issue

            Therefore Strategic Level – And that’s up there at the Governance top table

            As is Policies and Procedures
            Like separation of duty
            Work Practices, and the like

            It is the Board of any organisation’s responsibility to review and ensure same, they sub it out to Internal Audit & Compliance – Risk etc to ensure they are being followed and implement
            But Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance would report to the Board, regularly

          3. Clampers Outside

            I don’t see a risk in such practice.

            if it were invented as a policy, what would be the beneficial intention of such a policy?

          4. V

            You know what Clampers
            How is it that you aren’t running RTÉ yourself
            Or at the very least not at the higher Exec level there

            You’d fit right in
            Certainly your interpretation of Governance, Risk Management, Compliance and Value-For-Money financial management has a perfect bed there

          5. Clampers Outside

            WTAF…. Jaysus, you’re some biscuit.

            You’ve jumped from starting a conversation, to personal insults, accusations and denials of your own past behaviour (as above).

            Get a grip.

            Have a conversation or don’t. But don’t go doolally in the comments when the conversation doesn’t follow your preferred flow…. Jaysus.

            As I said, no more bait to be taken today, I’m full up on these last two in your comments already

  8. Clampers Outside

    I hope I haven’t come across as attacking your effort, as my intention is more to ask questions to iron out creases, or fill in the holes in your own effort…. and fair dues to you V for your sincere effort(s) to continue conversations on our national broadcaster.

  9. Cian

    I’d agree with most of the structural/management points.
    Your points on programme selection are off the wall.

    There are 8,760 hours per channel per year to fill. You can’t fill all that with “main news and current affairs, and special event telly, ie Debates, Toy Show, Elections; introduce more music”. unless you want it to be like SkyNews with the same content repeated every 15 minutes.

    1. shayna

      Hmm, I used to work at SkyNews operating Autocue – 12 hour shifts, I did a 24 hr shift once – it was an overnight counting of votes for council elections in The UK presented by Adam Boulton, who at 5am ish admitted that he was so tired that he had no idea what he was thinking and couldn’t read the Autocue. Can you imagine working in rolling news? My therapist attributes most of my difficulties… no, not really. I hope RTÉ sort it out.

  10. :-Joe

    For the love of the possible existence of christ and after all those wasted taxpayers millions…

    I implore you, can we all pause for a minute’s silence and deep reflection for the abomination that is the rte player……





  11. dhod

    I’ve met McColgan a few times. Once many years ago while working in a city centre shoe shop. He came in with his two sons to buy them shoes. He shouted at them and cursed at them. It was all very uncomfortable. Eventually one son said eff this, got up off the trying on stool and legged it down south Anne at leaving an even angrier McColgan behind. He reminded me of Logan Roy. Other meetings with him have been official John on public duty – a very different man. Also, the absolute state of his glasses

  12. shayna

    Yikes, it looks like it’s all kicked off between Vanessa and Clampers? Could I forward a suggestion to RTÉ – QUIT! It’s clear it’s badly run. I don’t think RTÉ realise that we’re well into the 21st Century, The Web-site doesn’t really work, The Player doesn’t work very well. Last time I was in Donnybrook, I saw a RTÉ employee walking into the building wearing leather elbow patches on his coat and Moses sandals with socks. That perhaps, was groovy in the ’70s?

  13. Clampers Outside

    A further note… the idea of making RTE 2 a station that would be the sole carrier of sport was proposed many years ago (and tried, if I recall). It didn’t work, largely due to clashing sports schedules, particularly around times of World Cups in popular sports, Olympics, and so on clashing with regular sports live broadcasts… and sports broadcast live is the only way sports is of any televised value.

  14. Tea And Brexits

    And all this was on the Great British Bake Off this week? That Brexit is really messing with the head…

  15. Hector Ramirez

    Public service broadcasting is news current affairs and the weather, for which 179m is adequate. For everything else there’s masterc…, sorry… self financing.

  16. Lilly

    Hear hear V! They want to have their cake and eat it. If they want to be regarded as a Public Broadcasting Service, they should get their head around public service pay scales.

  17. Lilly

    Moya Doherty on Marian just now trotting out sound bites in a most patronising manner. She needs to go.

  18. GiggidyGoo

    And to put it into perspective.
    Ms. Finucane presents 4 hours of radio for, say, 46 weeks of the year and gets paid €300,000. 184 hours. Maybe allow her the same again to get herself prepared and then to wind down from the pressure. 368 hours. = 46 x 8 hour days equivalent. €300,000.

    Now your ordinary Joe Soap, average industrial pay €35000. takes him/her just short of 9 years to earn the equivalent of 48 DAYS of Finucane. (or 24 days of Darcy or the Stick Insect) Now, there are health professionals, there are binmen, there are Gardai on not much more than the average industrial pay. And these RTE stalwarts would have us believe that they are worth what we, (and it’s ‘we’) are paying them?

    Bull pschitt

    1. Cian

      Last season Messi played 75 hours of football and earned €85 million. Or more than 1million Euro per hour.

      Your average worker must work over 40 years to earn what he does in one match.

      1. Clampers Outside

        True dat too. But we don’t pay half his wages (licence fee being just over half of RTEs revenue).

        I’d love if RTE presenters were paid according to the ad revenue they pulled in, and that the licence fee was used for separate purposes from presenter/”celeb presenter” salaries… that would include news / current affairs “personalities” who choose to do MC/compere side jobs and “appearances”.

        1. some old queen

          Wages are obviously only one side of the story- advertising revenue is the other- how much would the ‘unbiased’ Claire Byrne cost to advertise before and after for example?

  19. some old queen

    Why is someone who can flip between fluff and politics not hosting the late late ? We are heading towards Justin Barret in government at this rate.There is a fast growing anger about young men who should be repatriated but are not- in what circumstances did they leave their families to come here.

    HOW did they arrive here?

    Gaybo would have tackled this issue head on ffs- long before now.

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