Latest: We have to 'adapt or die', says RTÉ boss amid reports of job losses

Latest: We have to 'adapt or die', says RTÉ boss amid reports of job losses

Update 10.50am: Director-General of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, has said the national broadcaster has to "adapt or die" in efforts to restructure.

It comes after reports that RTÉ may have to shed up to 200 jobs and could sell an eight-acre site at its Donnybrook campus for €75m.

Staff at the State broadcaster have been told the redundancies will be voluntary and are expected to be completed over the next two years as it aims to improve its finances.

Estate agents Savills have said the site could be used to build up to 500 housing units.

RTE director general Dee Forbes said the broadcaster has lost €100m since 2008 and also warned about the drop in income from licence fees and advertising.

She said: "The exact numbers are not yet known. It will be in the region of two to three hundred (jobs)."

Ms Forbes told RTÉ Radio One's Today with Sean O'Rourke show that the industry is "going through huge change", and RTÉ needs to adapt.

This morning she said: "Today I will be outlining how we will be organised. Radio and television will merge under one head of content.

"Our finances haven't been so critical, but we have to make hard choices.

"It is a case of adapt or die."

Update 8.45am: RTÉ is to sell an eight acre site at its Donnybrook campus for €75m.

Estate agents Savills have said the site could be used to build up to 500 housing units.

Latest: We have to 'adapt or die', says RTÉ boss amid reports of job losses

The sale comes as the state broadcaster is expected to embark on a massive cost-cutting drive.

The lands being sold represent a quarter of the overall 32-acre site owned by the company.

RTÉ Director-General Dee Forbes is to address staff later today, with reports of up to 200 job losses due to restructuring. Initial reports suggest the losses will be voluntary.

Earlier: RTÉ has put up for sale almost nine acres of land at its Montrose base with an asking price of €75m, writes Pádraig Hoare.

The sale by the national broadcaster has been on the cards for some time and means the street set of the popular soap ‘Fair City’ will have to find a new home somewhere across the D4 campus.

RTÉ has occupied its 32-acre site in Donnybrook since 1961.

In her first public engagement with politicians last November, new RTÉ director general Dee Forbes told the Oireachtas Communications Committee the broadcaster was under “very serious financial strain” which had been exacerbated by a drop in broadcasting advertising in the wake of the Brexit vote last June.

She said RTÉ had agreed with a report published in 2015 on the station’s efficiency which suggested options regarding the use of the RTÉ site in Donnybrook should be explored as a source of funds for capital investment by the broadcaster.

Latest: We have to 'adapt or die', says RTÉ boss amid reports of job losses

Property firm Savills hailed the sale of the almost nine-acre plot, calling it “the much-anticipated sale of prime development lands in Donnybrook”.

The firm said the site provided an incoming purchaser with the opportunity to develop a housing scheme of up to 500 units comprising apartments and houses.

The single land holding is being sold with a detailed feasibility study for a high-quality housing scheme, which has been designed by O’Mahony Pike Architects.

Savills added it “represents one of the largest, predominantly residential, development opportunities in Dublin 4”. The property extends to an area of approximately nine acres, forming part of the existing RTÉ Montrose complex.

The site also accommodates one protected structure called Mount Errol House, dating from the 19th century, which is currently used as office accommodation and for training.

Director at Savills Ireland Mark Reynolds said: “This area of Dublin is synonymous with exclusive high-quality apartments and period houses, but supply has been limited due to the lack of appropriate development sites. Therefore, we see Project Montrose as a once in a generation opportunity to be part of a truly transformative development story in one of Dublin’s most affluent and fashionable areas.”

He said there was “pent-up demand” from buyers and renters for quality apartments in prime locations such as Dublin 4.

“Coupled with the backdrop of limited competing supply, it would ensure a successful sales campaign for the scheme when completed,” Mr Reynolds added.

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