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George Lee James Horan/Photocall Ireland

George Lee joins Prime Time as part of RTÉ News shake-up

RTE has announced a range of changes to its current affairs programmes – including a new focus on investigative work.

GEORGE LEE is to become part of flagship RTÉ current affairs programme Prime Time in a shake-up of the station’s news programmes announced this afternoon.

Claire Byrne is to officially become a co-presenter of the show having presented a number of episodes in recent months. Lee will be working on economic and business segments of Prime Time.

The station said it is to bring back “major investigative output” from next year with the appointment of a new editor of Prime Time and a new Head of Investigative Unit. The Prime Time Investigates series was permanently shelved last year in the wake of the investigation into the Mission to Prey programme.

Among the changes to its news and current affairs shows announced by the station today are a new morning news programme on RTÉ One which will be broadcast between 9am and 11am starting early next year.

The Frontline, presented by Pat Kenny, is to move to a permanent time-slot of 9.30pm on Monday evenings. It will also be moving closer to Prime Time: the two programmes will be sharing a new studio from early next year.

The Week in Politics, the agenda-setting programme hosted by Seán O’Rourke, will be broadcast on Sunday afternoons at noon in addition to its current late night slot on Sunday evenings.

Some of RTÉ’s digital output is to be revamped, including the popular RTÉ News Now app and the existing RTÉ News website. RTÉ will also focus more on using technology for its news, including linking up with a wireless network in Dublin to allow its journalists to report live from anywhere in the capital city.

The Morning Ireland radio studio and the News on Two television programme will also be changed and updated.

RTE appointed Kevin Bakhurst, a former deputy head of the BBC Newsroom, as its managing director of news and current affairs in July. Speaking at the announcement of the changes today, he said the changes were “a very clear signal of our commitment to strong current affairs programming and to investigative journalism”.

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