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RTE stars' gushing messages to new boss

HE won't step through the doors of RTE until September, but unless the tweeting stops his head might not fit.

RTE staff are in a tizzy trying to win early favour with their new boss Kevin Bakhurst.

The incoming head of News and Current Affairs has been bombarded with welcome messages by giddy workers at the national broadcaster.

A constant stream of cringe-worthy messages have clogged up the BBC man's Twitter stream since his appointment was announced on Monday.

Rolling out the welcome mat two months early were a number of RTE's most respected names, including Miriam O'Callaghan, Ciaran Mullooly and Rick O'Shea, who shamelessly took to their social networking sites to send him congratulatory messages.

The former BBC news chief, who has 9,541 followers on Twitter, is known for his practical cost-cutting measures.

But the gushing tweets became a little too much for the current bosses at Montrose who asked some staff to hold fire on their flattery.

A source told the Herald: "The bosses felt that it was getting a bit much. There was a steady stream since he was appointed. I think the attitude was 'more work, less Twitter'."

Leading the way was Prime Time presenter Miriam, who clamoured: "Mega congratulations on your new appointment -- our big gain. I know you'll be very happy here -- and we'll all make sure you are."

No doubt Mr Bakhurst will be forced to tighten the budget belt when he arrives.

News correspondents working around the country, who will be hoping to avoid repercussions of a slash on its regional spending, were among the tweeters.

But the north-east's Richard Dowling walked into a bit of a grammatical error with his tweet. "Am sure you're probably sick of tweets about you're (sic) move but anyway . . . Welcome to RTE!! Looking forward to meeting you soon," he wrote.

Ciaran Mullooly, the Midlands correspondent, added: "Best wishes on your appointment today. Looking forward to meeting you in September."

Head of 2fm, John McMahon also expressed his excitement at meeting the chief, while afternoon anchor Rick O'Shea posted: "Best of luck with the new job, sir."

Mr Bakhurst will be charged with rejuvenating RTE's News and Current Affairs team in the wake of the Fr Kevin Reynold's scandal.

In his position he will be looking to secure voluntary redundancies as well as decrease running costs by €25m.

labutler@herald.ie