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Saturday 20 October 2018

Grainne handed new role as recession takes bite out of RTE autumn schedule

She has lost her daytime show gig -- but Grainne Seoige is still one of the highest paid stars on RTE.

And she was at the centre of RTE's latest programming launch.

The former Seoige presenter has been confirmed as a host of the second series of the universally panned Ireland's Got Talent... but that's all, it seems.

Despite spending much of the summer waiting for more work Grainne was at the centrepiece of RTE's somewhat lacklustre launch for the autumn and winter schedule yesterday.

She and new Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy were joined by a few Clinic stars and little else for the press day at RTE.

While Grainne's Seoige programme has been scrapped, the highly charged Afternoon Show will be back.

And although it was the question on everyone's lips, RTE is still keeping mum about the future presenters of the Afternoon Show.

Speculation

Speculation on Blathnaid ni Chofaigh and Sheana Keane's future has been rife, as RTE's probe into alleged bullying continues.

The programme's presenters have yet to be revealed.

A spokesperson said the line-up would not be confirmed for "another couple of weeks" and yesterday's launch was concentrating on publicising prime-time programming.

Financial difficulties at the cash-strapped broadcaster have had a significant impact on its autumn programming.

While spending on factual programming has increased compared to last year, RTE has had to cut its outlay on lifestyle and entertainment programming.

"As an organisation, we decided to protect the programme budget so there was as much pressure brought to bear on other aspects of other budgets of RTE," Steve Carson, the new director of programming, said at yesterday's launch.

"There was efficiency chased in every production ... saving 7pc and 10pc off budgets for both in-house and independent producers."

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