Sunday 19 January 2020

'Staff have to help with RTE cash crisis', says Cahill

'We all have to be realistic,' says veteran Des Cahill
'We all have to be realistic,' says veteran Des Cahill

TV presenter Des Cahill has said that RTE's employees "have to be practical and try to help" when it comes to the current financial crisis.

Director general Dee Forbes unveiled a raft of measures last week, including 200 proposed job cuts, reducing top earners' pay by 15pc and implementing salary freezes at RTE, which had a deficit last year of €13m.

One of its best-known sports presenters, Mr Cahill has worked for RTE since 1984 and said that people just have to deal with the ongoing crisis as best they can.

"People have to be practical about it and try and help. I saw the point made that for a lot of young people starting off now it's very tough for them and they don't live near RTE and they never will.

"They have childcare costs, etc. People have different challenges and different problems, but we all have to be realistic as well about the world we live in," he said.

"You have to be realistic to the situation as it is and something has to give.

"If there's only X-amount coming in and it's costing RTE X-amount to run, something has to give."

He said that negotiations are starting shortly, so everyone is waiting to "see how that all goes".


"The management have said they're going to be negotiating with the unions so let's see how that all pans out," he said.

The 59-year-old said that Ms Forbes and members of the Executive Board have an unenviable task when it comes to sorting out the current mess.

"There's a lot of concern and a lot to be done. It's very tough for the management at the moment, having to deal with it all.

"It's very stressful for them and obviously, job losses anywhere is a huge issue," he said.

"It's tough trying to manage it, because the whole media industry has changed and there is less money being spent in traditional media, so that presents a problem for RTE, if there's less money coming in.

"But it's not unique to RTE. It's across newspapers and other media too."

He was speaking at an event in Dublin's Merrion Hotel, which saw Skoda Ireland unveiling a new-age diversity initiative called Simply Older, Still Clever.

He was joined by media personality Francis Brennan, agency owner Celia Holman Lee and veteran social-media influencer Eileen Smith with the campaign aimed at promoting the idea of people working beyond 65.

"I think it's fantastic. I've worked with people like Jimmy Magee and Micheal O Muircheartaigh who have contributed so much," he said.

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