herald

Saturday 7 December 2019

'RTE workers have to accept pay cuts for greater good', says Maura

RTE presenter Maura Derrane
RTE presenter Maura Derrane

RTE presenter Maura Derrane has spoken about the crisis at the broadcaster and said everyone has to accept the changes "for the greater good".

The Today With Maura And Daithi star said that pay cuts were inevitable and everyone had to accept the realities of the company's fiscal plight, which saw it landed with a €13m deficit last year.

"I suppose the pay cuts are definitely going to happen across the board," she told the Herald.

"Everybody has to do what they have to do, it's as simple as that. There's nothing else you can say; it's just the way it is. If it has to be done, it has to be done, for the greater good.

"It is tough times for traditional media, whether you work in TV or newspapers, but RTE have to work their way through this and that's just the way it is.

Idea

"Obviously [RTE director general] Dee Forbes has a plan and an idea and she broke it all up very well, I thought.

"And what can you do? You just have to go along with it. There's a younger generation that wants stuff on demand and developing things like the RTE Player will help that. Everyone has to change."

Speaking at the tree lighting ceremony at Kildare's Kilkea Castle, she also poured cold water on suggestions that RTE was considering selling its Cork studios.

"We've heard nothing about that down there. Of course, we read but no, I don't think that's happening," she said.

"Some of Lyric FM is going to move down to us, apparently. So that was announced recently so it looks like it's staying put.

RTE chief Dee Forbes
RTE chief Dee Forbes

"There's a lot coming out of Cork. In the sense of TV, lots of documentaries, John Creedon's doing a lot.

"Our show is filling a massive schedule from September to the end of May, so, to be honest about things, it doesn't really make great economics to get rid of Cork [studio]."

Maura is married to Fine Gael TD John Deasy, who has indicated that he will not be contesting the next general election.

He was appointed special envoy to the US in 2017 where he has been working on the issue of the undocumented Irish.

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