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a new direction

Here are 12 things RTÉ is promising over the next five years

The national broadcaster published its ‘New Direction’ strategy this afternoon.

RTÉ HAS OUTLINED its strategy for the next five years, which aims to ensure “the future and the relevance of a transformed” national broadcaster. 

‘A New Direction’, published this afternoon, is set to guide RTÉ from next year until 2029. 

The report states that during this period, RTÉ will “transform in order to take account of major changes in the media landscape, evolving audience preferences and behaviours and the expanding role and importance of public service media”. 

The plan involves the loss of 400 jobs through a phased Voluntary Exit Programme in order to save money, as well as limiting presenter salaries. 

Much of it involves enhancing its current offerings, such as the RTÉ Player, while investing in new digital services. 

A new audio app, which will serve as a platform for delivering “a full suite of audio content from RTÉ for listeners to access and discover”.

Audience insights will be gathered on the app to shape the content strategy. It will be launched next year.

As a result, four digital radio services (RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse and RTÉjr radio) will close before the end of the year “ahead of refreshed content within the new Audio App”. 

A new daily news podcast. This will bring digital audiences “the story behind the stories” and provide additional insights into the news and events of the day. This will also be launched in 2025. 

There will also be a new RTÉ News App launched next year to showcase “the best of the depth and breadth of our quality journalism, making more creative use of text, video, images and other storytelling devices with content that is worth sharing”.

A dedicated Disinformation Unit will be established in the broadcaster’s news and current affairs department. This will also see the establishment of a new Disinformation Correspondent role at RTÉ. It will be launched in 2025.

A feasibility study for a new digital Irish language radio station targeting
15-34 year-old listeners will be undertaken in 2025. 

A sign-in feature will be introduced for all RTÉ Player users in an effort to make the service more personalised.  

The RTÉ Player will also have a “redesigned and further improved interface” and new features, such as Live Restart. This will be introduced in 2026. 

There will be a 100% increase in the hours of children’s content available on the RTÉ Player by 2026.

The broadcaster will invest in a new production centre in Cork, which will be home to a mix of in-house and commissioned programmes. The production centre will have a dedicated regional commissioning editor and will begin operations in 2027. 

RTÉ will also explore joint ventures with independent service providers in the new production facility.

The broadcaster will aim to have 60 hours of original Irish drama and comedy on air by 2028. 

New online channels on RTÉ Player, such as RTÉ as Gaeilge and RTÉ Archives, will also be launched by 2029.

By the end of 2029, the RTÉ One + 1 and RTÉ2 + 1 channels will close. The report says this content will be available more widely on-demand.

Closing these will allow RTÉ to “reduce the cost of traditional broadcast distribution” as they prioritise the delivery of live and on-demand content through digital products, it says. 

It will also reduce the share of staff based in Dublin. By the end of the strategy period, it said the number of employees based outside of the capital will rise from 13% to 20%. 

Director general Kevin Bakhurst said the new strategy sets out “transformative change in how we deliver for audiences and how we run the organisation”.

“It is a plan based on our core values. It is outward looking and ambitious – but it is deliverable,” he said.

“We are determined to build a strong, modern RTÉ that will play its role in Irish life, that Ireland will be proud of and that will deliver a better outcome for the public we serve.”

The full report can be read here.

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