RTÉ seeking up to 70 more redundancies to cut costs

Bid to slash up to €60m in costs over the next three years
RTÉ seeking up to 70 more redundancies to cut costs

RTE director general Dee Forbes is looking for a further 70 voluntary redundancies from January 11 next. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Financially-strapped national broadcaster RTÉ has encouraged up to 70 more voluntary redundancies in January in a bid to slash further costs.

Staff were told by director-general Dee Forbes that while it was on track to deliver its cost-cutting objectives for 2020, more measures were needed next year.

Between 60 and 70 employees will be given the option to leave of their own volition with severance packages from January 11, as part of a bid to slash up to €60m in costs over the next three years.

The broadcaster has been cutting headcounts and attempting to staunch the haemorrhaging of cash in recent years, announcing almost one year ago exactly that it was to cut 200 jobs.

Plans included some of its star presenters taking pay cuts, the closure of its Limerick studio, the RTÉ Guide being put up for sale, and digital radio studios shutting down.

In a memo to staff last week, Ms Forbes said: "This time last year we published a Revised Strategy for RTÉ, with the aim of ensuring RTÉ’s connection and relevance to people’s lives while returning the organisation to a sustainable financial position. 

"The plan was supported by the then Government, who reversed previous cuts to provide an additional €9m in public funding to RTÉ for 2020 and beyond.

"For our part, we committed to deliver €60m in sustainable cost reductions between 2020-2023. We are on track to meet our cost reduction targets for 2020, but must now begin planning a series of initiatives to make further savings in 2021 and beyond."

Ms Forbes said that following a review commissioned by RTÉ in 2018, the Government agreed in principle that the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) should come within the remit of the National Concert Hall (NCH). 

Some 73 employees will now be transferred to the NCH, with Ms Forbes saying RTÉ "will now do all we can to support a smooth and successful transition".

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