herald

Thursday 18 September 2014

Claire, Daithi and Maura won't be back

RTE daytime programmes 'The Daily Show' and 'Four Live' will not be returning in the Autumn in a bid to cut costs at the cash-strapped station.

It is not known what will happen to the shows' hosts Claire Byrne, Daithi O Se and Maura Derrane who face an uncertain future from March when their respective shows will stop being aired.

The two programmes will bear the brunt of the cuts being made at Montrose in a bid to meet tighter budgets for RTE in-house shows.

The daytime programmes took over from the long running The Afternoon Show last year.

The Daily Show, fronted by Byrne and O Se and Four Live, hosted by Derrane, will be dropped in March after a two-season stint on RTE One.

An insider told the Herald: "The two shows have only been commissioned until March 2.

"They've also been told that they are not in the mix for the autumn schedule.

"It's safe to say at this point that there are several other shows in the same boat.

"It's completely down to finances, like everything else at the moment money is tight and cuts have to be made. Everyone within RTE has been told it will be a difficult year but the bottom line in this case is money.

"It's not good news but it was expected."

The magazine-style TV shows, which are produced by Northern Ireland-based production company Green Inc, are now in their final stages of production with less than three months until RTE pull the plug.

Our source added: "They did a lot to cut the amount of spending on the show for this season.

"In the past they have kept it going until April but this year was going to be a shorter time from the offset and everyone was aware of that.

"The production team were all given the dates in the summer and we knew that it was going to be a shorter run and that it would wrap up in March.

"It was a case of waiting to hear word on next season, but with money so tight changes have had to be made." However bosses at RTE are said to still be keen to try to salvage what they can of the afternoon slots and are holding crunch talks with producers in a bid to see if there is anything that can be done.

"There's a lot of discussions going on at the moment," our source said.

"They are all trying to figure out a way that might allow them to recommission.

"But as we all know, budgets are tight and although there is a great desire to hang on to the shows, right now nothing has been confirmed for the autumn schedule."

Our insider added: "The killer for the team involved is that the ratings were up year on year. The shows were in a good place, it's a pity."

Speaking on the matter a spokesperson from the RTE press office said: "I can confirm that both Four Live and The Daily show have shorter runs this season and will finish in early March.

"This is a cost cutting measure.

"We need to address the deficit and this is one of the steps we are taking to do that."

The spokesperson added: "We have not yet finalised our 2012 budgetary decisions so I cannot confirm anything on our Autumn schedule.



hnews@herald.ie

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