Tag Archives: Noel Curran

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


RTÉ Director General Noel Curran( top right) and former RTÉ chairman  Tom Savage and with Michael Noonan at Radio Centre last week

“It has been my privilege to lead RTÉ through a time of considerable challenge, change, upheaval and innovation – both internally and in the wider market,” he said.
“While many more challenges remain, I think the organisation is well placed to meet them. There is still a lot of work to be done before my departure in May.
“Through the considerable efforts of staff, management and independent producers the organisation is on a more stable footing.
“Most importantly, through all their combined talents, RTÉ continues to produce strong programming, continues to innovate, and has made the transition to a modern digital media organisation.”

Noel Curran confirming he will step down as director general of RTÉ in May.

Director-General of RTÉ to step down (RTÉ)

Previously: Chain Of Command



Live stream here

RTE Chairman Tom Savage Comes Under Attack At Dail Committee Hearing (Lyndsey Telford, irish Independent)


Early on in the Fr Reynolds libel story RTE Board chairman Tom Savage (top) insisted the ultimate responsibility lay with Ed Mulhall, director of news and current Affairs.

Mulhall was the “ultimate court of judgment and appeal” on Prime Time content, said Mr Savage before the results of three separate investigations became known.

Significantly he took great efforts to exonerate RTE Director General Noel Curran (above).

Stephen Price, writing in yesterday’s Sunday Times (behind paywall), points out a few nagging questions:

“Now [Aoife] Kavanagh , [Brian] Páircéir and [Ken] O’Shea seem to be claiming the BAI reached conclusions on matters they weren’t questioned about. One might be tempted to dismiss such complaints as sour grapes by journalists who screwed up, if other gaping holes did not remain in the sequence.

For example we have have been told little about how the chain of command at RTE functioned (or malfunctioned) in this instance .

How did Kavanagh justify her story to her producer and executive producer, in spite of the denials from Reynolds.? How did [Mark] Lappin [the show’s producer] and Páircéir then justify the programme to their boss O’Shea?

How did O’Shea convince his boss [Ed] Mulhall?

Did the buck really stop with Mulhall – or did he never discuss the programme with his boss, [Noel] Curran?


Meanwhile: RTÉ Chairman Will Face Fresh Calls To Quit at Oireachtas Committee Hearing (Ronan McGreevy, irish Times)

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

Noel Curran (above with RTE Authority Chairman Tom Savage, right) writes [to RTE staff]:

Once again I have some important announcements to bring to you all today, concerning both our Current Affairs journalism and our editorial standards generally, and also concerning two of our senior staff.

As you may have heard on bulletins yesterday, the BAI has confirmed that it has reached a decision on foot of the Investigation under Section 53 of the Broadcasting Act into the Prime Time Investigates documentary “A Mission to Prey”.  We are now awaiting receipt of the formal notification of decision and, in due course, of the finalised BAI Report.

While we must wait for the conclusion of the BAI process, RTÉ must also deal with issues which have arisen in respect of Current Affairs programming. RTÉ will make an announcement today regarding decisions that have been taken at personnel level. As well as announcing these new structures within News and Current Affairs, we will also announce the publication of new guidelines.

I hope that this is a key step in an important direction. The range of measures in today’s announcement represents RTÉ’s determination to make our journalism stronger, fairer and more transparent, and to reiterate our commitment to journalism as a core public service.

Mistakes will happen in broadcasting and in journalism, no matter what changes are made. Programme makers must be and will be supported in making challenging programming but the standards we set for ourselves as the national broadcaster must be very high, as I know they are in so much of what we currently do.

Through these new measures and structures and their robust operation, programme makers from the most junior to the highest level will clearly understand and accept their responsibility and role in rebuilding RTÉ’s reputation for very high quality journalism. It is only through great programming that we will rebuild the trust we have lost with our audiences. We are determined to achieve that.

The following will form a core part of today’s announcement:

·         The retirement of Ed Mulhall from RTÉ; the resignation of Ken O’Shea as Editor of Current Affairs.

·         Investigative journalism is confirmed as a continuing core element of RTÉ public service content, with a new Current Affairs Investigations Unit to provide key journalistic output on a multi-media basis for the first time, supplying Television, Radio and Online.

·         Prime Time Investigates will not return to air.

·         There will be a full restructuring of Television Current Affairs management and structures in line with improved editorial controls.

·         Arising from this and from the departure of two senior executives, five senior posts in Television News and Current Affairs management, including two new editorial management posts, will be filled. There will be external recruitment but no net additions to RTÉ headcount.

·        All RTÉ editorial staff will be issued with and trained in new Journalism Guidelines.

·         A new Editorial Standards Board will oversee standards, and will take a role in a revised Complaints procedure.

I wish to thank Ed Mulhall for his dedication, professionalism and commitment to RTÉ and to its core public broadcast services in Newsand Current Affairs and to the management of its Newsroom operations and staff. Ed’s expertise and wisdom have made an invaluable contribution to our organisation and I personally offer my sincere
gratitude to him for all that he has done.

Ed made a significant contribution to work recently set in train to produce new Journalism Guidelines for RTÉ editorial staff and provided detailed responses to issues arising from current affairs programming.

I am meeting today with both Current Affairs and News staff to go through the changes with them. Over the coming weeks I will meet with other divisions to go through today’s announcements and some of the other challenges that we are addressing at present.

For now, may I thank you for your attention and commitment.

Noel Curran, Director General, RTÉ

Thanks Pat S