RTÉ staff expect to meet chiefs on deficit

Staff at RTÉ say they expect to meet with management to discuss methods of plugging a €50m deficit in its finances.

RTÉ has come under pressure to break even by the start of 2013 after Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte told the Dáil this week the €50m deficit was “an unconscionable sum”.

Yesterday, National Union of Journalists’ representative Mary Curtin said staff would wait for management to bring forward plans for cutting costs and that staff would also put forward proposals.

The discussions will take place after the announcement that RTÉ’s London office will close. Mr Rabbitte described the move as a “regrettable”, but said: “We have to assume control of the runaway finances.”

It is believed staff expect a meeting with management this month, having been informed by director general Noel Curran that every aspect of the organisation is under review.

Ms Curtin said any discussions would likely prove the beginning of “a pretty tight and pretty demanding process”.

She said staff were aware of the pressures on RTÉ due to a fall in advertising revenue and the impact of the 2010 budget and the 2009 Broadcasting Act.

However, she said that staff were shocked at the decision regarding the London office and would still be challenging it.


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