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RTE's 'cost-cutting' doesn't save a penny

j RTE has decided to axe its morning current affairs show, Morning Edition, after just two years on air.

According to an RTE source: "The decision has been made due to ongoing financial pressures", which suggests that it is due to cost-cutting taking place in the national broadcaster.

Strangely enough, however, if any other business was cutting its losses on a show, it would do so by divesting itself of the single biggest cost - its staff. In the parallel financial universe in which RTE lives, however, this is not an option, and all the staff involved in the show will be given other roles in RTE.

Which, of course, means that the cost of the shows they are assigned to will rise, and the licence-fee payer will continue to pick up the tab.

What this reminds us all, of course, is what a remarkable job TV3 has done with Ireland AM, which has thrived. An audience of over 50,000 viewers may not seem like an achievement, when the Late Late consistently gets 10 times that, but at that hour of the day it is. And to put it into perspective, the last figures for Morning Edition showed an average of 14,200 viewers.

So RTE can dress it up whatever way they want, blaming it on cost-cutting, but the stark reality is that it's obvious why the show was axed - their viewership figures were appalling.


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