herald

Friday 13 December 2019

RTE could sell off €1.2m Cork studio to ease cash crisis

Director general Dee Forbes
Director general Dee Forbes

RTE is keeping tight-lipped amid speculation it is gearing up to sell its €1.2m Cork studio and more of its Dublin 4 base in a bid to raise extra cash.

The national broadcaster is facing one of the biggest crises in its history after a failed bid to secure €55m from the Government to become more of a digital operation.

It is currently running at a €13m budget deficit from 2018 as advertising revenues continue to plummet for traditional media.

Cuts

RTE director general Dee Forbes has warned staff of major changes ahead after a cost-cutting review, with a raft of job and pay cuts expected.

She has said its current financial situation is "not like anything we have seen before" and has commissioned a far-reaching review, due for completion next month, into the running of the organisation.

According to a Sunday newspaper, RTE is selling its Cork studio, which houses the popular Today With Maura And Daithi show and The John Creedon Show, as it scrambles to boost its coffers.

Currently the national broadcaster's only major studio outside Dublin, it opened in 1995 and began airing the daytime programme with Maura Derrane and Daithi O Se in 2012.

Property experts say the four-storey building in Father Mathew Street in the centre of Cork city could raise up to €1.5m on the open market but its loss would come as a huge blow to the city.

Asked to respond to reports of a possible sale, an RTE spokesman said the company remained committed to "securing the future of public service media in Irish life".

"We are mindful of RTE's central role in reflecting who we are as a people and a nation and where we are going, a role that is more important now than ever," he said.

"However, with commercial revenues and public funding both significantly below what is needed to operate the organisation in its current form, it is no longer possible to continue as we are.

"It is in this context that we are finalising a review of everything we currently do and what we can continue to do in the future. We expect to be in a position to share details in the coming weeks."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News