Tag Archives: Dee Forbes

This morning/afternoon.

Public Accounts Committee.

Seemed to go well.

RTÉ in talks with Google about payment for its content, but household broadcasting charge faces boycott (Independent.ie)


RTÊ Director General Dee Forbes


This morning.

Further to Rtegate…

…Via RTÉ:

Chair of the Oireachtas Communications Committee Niamh Smyth has said events surrounding a retirement gathering at RTÉ are of huge concern and clarity and a forthright statement from the organisation is needed.

She told RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne she did not accept that it was an “impromptu” event and she said that the Communications Committee has a responsibility to ask questions about how this event happened in the first place.

We are in Level 5 lockdown, she said, “and this is an indoor social gathering”.

‘Clarity’ needed from RTÉ over social distancing breach (RTÉ)



Saturday: Crimecall

RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes

This morning.

“I think this is fair value for 44c-a-day per-household; especially in comparison with the subscription costs to other media services; none of which offer anywhere near this level of Irish perspective or output.”

Part of RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes’ opening statement to be read out at an Oireachtas Communications Committee meeting this afternoon.

RTE boss Dee Forbes insists RTÉ amounts to ‘fair value’ compared to likes of Netflix (Independent.ie)


Last night.

Fine Gael Senator Kieran O’Donnell, from Limerick, announced that he had written to the Oireachtas communications committee and asked it to invite RTÉ Board chair Moya Doherty and RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes to appear before the committee and answer questions about the future of Lyric FM.

It follows the Limerick Leader exclusively reporting yesterday that, in late September, the University of Limerick president Dr Des Fitzgerald wrote to Ms Forbes offering to “help sustain” Lyric FM by accommodating the station on the university’s campus.

EXCLUSIVE: University of Limerick offered to accommodate RTE Lyric FM on-campus (Fintan Walsh, Limerick Leader)

Yesterday: Moya’s Merry Dance


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

RTE Director General Dee Forbes


Director General of RTÉ Dee Forbes appeared before the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Ms Forbes’ appearance follows the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland saying RTÉ should get an immediate injection of €30million in funding.

In The Times Ireland edition, Catherine Sanz and Kate O’Neill report:

It was suggested to Ms Forbes by Hildegarde Naughton, the committee’s chairwoman, that with a licence evasion rate of 14.6 per cent, if the revenue from unpaid licence fees were recouped it would generate €40 million, surpassing the BAI’s recommendation.

However, Ms Forbes said that efforts were already being made to collect fees from households claiming not to have a television and watching programmes online, but that the broadcaster needed funding now because it was in crisis.

…Ms O’Keeffe said that RTÉ’s operating costs were reduced by 30 per cent between 2008 and 2013, which was achieved through pay cuts averaging between 2.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent, in addition to a suspension of bonuses that has not yet been restored. Pay cuts had been reversed.

She told the committee that the cuts were not sustainable with maintaining quality. “In order to make good content, you have to spend money; our competitors are. For very high quality programming you have to invest.”

Ms Forbes also said:

“Our urgency is also reflected in the industry…Our commissioning levels to Irish production companies have halved over the last number of years. We were spending €80million on commissioned programmes. We’re now spending €40million.”


In response to a question about RTÉ’s workers’ different salaries, and pay grades, and transparency about the same

Director of Human Resources Eimear Cusack said:

“Again, much of it is down to legacy issues, in terms of how grades have built up over time and how different roles have morphed into different roles.

“You know we have an employee base of almost 1,800 employees, most of whom are governed by grades. So I think in the new model – because grades are tied to union agreements, etc, so in the new model, we would have, I suppose greater simplification and, I suppose, greater transparency because there will be less to look at.”

You can say that again.

Watch back in full here

RTÉ crisis ‘can’t be solved just by catching licence cheats’ (The Times Ireland edition)

Yesterday: Staying In This Afternoon?

A Shabby Sense Of Entitlement

This afternoon (approx 5pm)

The Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment will hear from RTE Director General Dee Forbes.

Via The Times Ireland Edition:

Dee Forbes will tell TDs on the Oireachtas communications committee this morning that the regime is “broken”, and that licence-fee evasion costs the state broadcaster €40 million a year.

“We would once again put on record our concern that the need for reform is urgent,” Ms Forbes will say. “Without it, there will be far-reaching consequences for our journalism, for national cultural and creative expression, and for employment in the broader media.”


Watch live here (approx 5pm)

‘Broken’ licence fee harming TV output (Catherine Sanz, The Times ireland edition)

Yesterday: A Shabby Sense Of Entitlement

RTÉ Director general Dee Forbes and 2015 salaries paid to the station’s top presenters

Ms Forbes told TDs that RTÉ currently has “inadequate resources” and seen a drop of more than €100m in the annual funds available to it between the years 2008 and 2016.

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said the list of top 10 earners gave “the impression that RTÉ has shedloads of money” adding that it was difficult to argue that RTÉ was “short of money”.

Ms Forbes defended the sums paid, saying it was 1pc of RTÉ’s total cost base. She pointed out that it was incumbent on presenters to ensure strong audiences in order to be attractive to advertisers.

Ms Forbes also said there was a “competitive market place” for broadcasters who may go elsewhere…

Good times.

RTÉ chief defends paying salaries of up to €495k to stars (Cormnac Quinn, Independent.ie)

Pic via RTÉ

Savills has concluded the sale of just under 9 acres of land on RTÈs Donnybrook campus to Cairn Homes Plc.

“RTÉ is happy to confirm the sale of land on our Donnybrook site. Our decision to sell this land was driven by the fact that, since 2008, RTÉ has been operating with vastly reduced commercial and licence fee income, approximately €100m annually.

As a result, we have been under-investing in the organisation for almost a decade, a situation that is unsustainable.

The funds raised will now be invested in capital projects, including much-needed technology upgrades and key digital infrastructure, and in making important changes to our organisational structure, essential workplace improvements, and reducing debt levels.

RTÉ is playing catch-up in an industry and market that is evolving rapidly, as Irish audiences embrace new technologies which are influencing how and when they consume content, including RTE content.

The investment which has been enabled by this land sale, along with further restructuring of the organisation, will allow us to better serve the needs of our audiences.”

Dee Forbes, Director-General RTÉ, this afternoon.

How much?





The Montrose site in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, from the 1960s (top) to today (middle); under-utiised land (above) on the campus now for sale.


RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes has confirmed that 200 or more jobs will be lost as the company undergoes restructuring.


 Dee Forbes announced to staff “some significant changes to RTÉ’s organisational structure”, changes that will “secure RTÉ’s relevance and survival as it becomes a smaller, more nimble organisation over the next 18 months”.

Wide-ranging changes to RTÉ’s executive management structure will see new content divisions replace existing radio, television and digital divisions.

As part of these changes, a voluntary exit programme phased over two years will be introduced in the near future. Full details are still to be finalised.

RTÉ also today announced that almost 9 acres of under-utilised land on the Donnybrook campus has been put on the market, with a guide price of €75m, and that Savills will manage the sale.

Ms Forbes added:

“All of the changes and investment being planned are directly related to the necessary evolution of RTÉ to enable it to collaborate much more successfully, to compete realistically in a challenging market, and to better serve our audiences.”


RTÉ to cut about 200 jobs as part of restructuring (RTÉ)

Pics: RTÉ